MYRTLE BEACH, SC — Filming for the second season of “Welcome to Myrtle Manor” is set to start next week.
Cameras are expected to start documenting the shenanigans of the residents of Patrick’s Mobile Home Park in Myrtle Beach, a.k.a. Myrtle Manor, on Thursday, said Dana Painter, whose family owns Patrick’s Mobile Home Park off Highway 15. Painter, whose younger sister Becky is a regular on the docu-drama, has appeared in the background on the show.
Filming is expected to last until October, Painter said. The show will air next year on TLC, though a specific date hasn’t yet been set.
Folks are keeping details of the new season hush-hush, including whether all the cast members will return and what kind of issues the park’s residents will face during the show’s second season.
But a new house has been moved into the trailer park, so “somebody’s getting a new house,” Painter said.
“They are keeping it hush-hush for us, too,” she said.
The TV show – which averaged about 1.1 million viewers each week during its first season – documented the lives and problems of the park’s residents, including drinking, relationship drama and the struggle as the elder park owner handed the reins over to his youngest daughter, Becky. Some of the cast members have lived in the park for years, others had just arrived.
For the first season, filming took place in the park and at bars and businesses along the Grand Strand, including the SkyWheel, Myrtle Beach boardwalk and hotspots in Murrells Inlet. The first season was filmed in roughly three months last year, starting in August and wrapping just before Thanksgiving, Painter said.
The show, which had 10 episodes during its first season, debuted March 3.
It created a wave of controversy in Myrtle Beach, with some locals upset by the way they say the show portrays their town to a national audience. More than 2,400 people have “liked” a Facebook page trying to get the show canceled or “Myrtle” out of the title. Others say the show is funny and brushed off such concerns, saying TV viewers know that reality shows aren’t necessarily reality.
Painter said the criticism no longer bothers the Patrick family, though some of it did hurt in the beginning. The show has brought exposure to Myrtle Beach that has helped the local economy and lured fans here, Painter said, adding that the show has not hurt the tourism industry, like some critics have said. Tourism is the lifeblood of the Grand Strand’s economy, and critics said the show might turn off potential visitors.
Hundreds of fans drive through the park each day, snapping photos of the “Myrtle Manor” area set up at the back of the park with the large “Myrtle Manor” sign and recognizable pool, chatting with cast members and even buying Myrtle Manor T-shirts or other merchandise from the store set up in the park a few months ago. The fans have been from 48 states -- all but Nevada and Hawaii -- and six Canadian provinces, Painter said, adding that the park started logging where each visitor is from.
“That’s wild for a little trailer park in Myrtle Beach,” Painter said. “We are continually amazed.”
Some fans tell the cast members that they came to Myrtle Beach just to see Myrtle Manor, Painter said.
“That is really exciting when they tell us that,” she said.