Language/Dialect-filter: In search of "authentic" Southern (American) accents...
One of the 20 or so things I've always wanted to be when I grew up was a linguistic anthropologist (it's been pretty consistently in the top 5 actually). Instead, I've taken up #3 (sorta) and try to maintain #1 along the way. Point being, I'm fascinated by accents of all kinds and how they are accurately or inaccurately portrayed in the media. Of special interest is the "Southern American accent", a blanket term which many use to cover a ridiculously large geographic area that (not surprisingly) has produced a number of widely varying dialects.
Now the request: those of you who grew up in the South or hang with a lot of Southerners, I'd love it if you could give me film/media examples of the best and worst Southern accents you've come across, with regional specifics (about you and the actor's accents) if at all possible.
Bonus info: I'd also love to hear your take on the accents of the numerous actors who grew up Southern, had to lose their accents for their careers, then were asked to perform as a Southerner (Josh Lucas and the guy from Lost who plays Sawyer come to mind, also Parker Posey who grew up in Mississippi but I can't actually remember her playing Southern...). Do their re-learned accents sound odd to you, or do they fall right back into it?
p.s. Some resources I've found already:
the speech accent archive
This American Life #138 "The Real Thing"