There’s only a couple of reality shows I watch fairly regularly. One is Pawn Stars and the other is American Pickers. Both have a historical element that I find interesting. I’ve also watched a couple of food reality shows with my wife like Restaurant Impossible featuring ex-Royal Navy guy Robert Irvine tearing down crummy restaurants and rebuilding them within 48 hours.
So when I heard that Duck Dynasty was the number one reality show (almost 12 million viewers) I really didn’t care. It seemed like an odd idea to have a show about a bunch of Louisiana bearded boys that had something to do with ducks. I figured it was a fad and would soon pass. But it seems like it gets more popular every season and so I began to wonder what was the big deal.
Then I happened to catch Fox’s The Five‘s interview with Willie Robertson, the C.E.O. of Duck Dynasty. The Five proceeded to ask Willie questions about the show and about his politics and Willie came across as the ultimate and articulate gentleman and basic all around good guy. Even Beckel could not find anything nasty to say about him other than he hoped Willie would not run for Congress because he’d just be another right-winger in the Republican Party.
I really didn’t get much of an idea of what the show was all about. I grasped that the bearded ones were Christians and actually prayed on air and that they modeled family values and that the show was funny but still didn’t know what it was about exactly until I read a column by Doug Giles from Clash Daily.
It was these two paragraphs from Doug’s column that made me want to check out Duck Dynasty:
You just know that kind of success has got to make miserable the dainty, little, progressive crowd who are trying legislatively and culturally to peel America away from the pro-God-and-country values that the cast of Duck Dynasty showcases with hairy-chinned hilarity.
Indeed, without a sex tape; without shoving transvestites down our throats; without lauding rank, familial dysfunctionalism; or parading feral children of the corn, or mocking God, or having sex on camera for their grandparents to see, or selling moonshine, or being naked and afraid, or having their children yell, “F— you!” at their parents during church, America has voted with their time and with their cash that they would rather watch the Duck Commanders move through their day than watch the cultural chum slick that Hollywood dishes up, ad nauseum, et infinitum.
So, having found out exactly what Duck Dynasty was not I decided to tune in to see what it was. My wife and I watched two episodes from last year as A & E geared up to start the new season last week.
The first episode was about the Duck Commanders (the guys that worked in the shop) planning and making the world’s largest duck call. That’s when I finally I got the duck thing. They manufacture duck calls and it’s a family business. OK, I can be slow on the uptake!
The plot line was simple as they went through their day over coming obstacles and personalities in their quest to produce the world’s largest duck call at 4 1/2 feet in length! The show was funny, clean, and everything else so much of television is not just like Giles said.
The second episode we watched was even more amusing as well as a little touching. The wives of the three brothers led by Willie’s wife Korie decide to give Willie’s parents the wedding they never had 48 years before. Apparently, 48 years ago the parents (Phil and Miss Kate) were married by the Justice of the Peace and never had a church wedding with a reception.
The brother’s and employees are not excited about the idea but the women will not be deterred and rope the men into doing all the heavy lifting while at least some would rather be fishing. I can identify with the fishing. Let’s see, go fishing or plan a wedding? Hmmmm, I’ll take fishing.
The group diverts Phil and Miss Kate away from the wedding preparation as odd (Vietnam Veteran) Uncle Si takes the couple for a trip down memory lane. It was funny.
The Robertson’s oldest son is a pastor and he “marries” his parents in a brief touching ceremony at the end while the Robertson clan and friends look on. Miss Kate tells how she loved Phil since she was fourteen-years-old and while he was apparently quite the jerk for quite a while he was and had been for a number of years the best husband ever. Phil said as much in his speech about being a jerk in his earlier years as he expressed his ever lasting love for Miss Kate.
In our era of throw-away marriages their speeches were a powerful testimony to the grace of God working in their lives. Again. this is not something you would usually see come out of the cesspool of Hollywood.
I’m not going to say Duck Dynasty is the type of thing I must see. I will say that if it’s on and I’m home I’d tune it in if for no other reason than to see something that is truly counter-cultural.
- Why I’m Inspired by “Duck Dynasty” and the Robertsons (tmgaouette.com)
- “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson shares his faith (amarillo.com)
- Duck Dynasty: The Pro-God, Guns, Family and Capitalism Reality Show Rules the Ratings Roost (conservativeread.com)