‘Duck Dynasty’ Serves as Addictive, Meaningful New Show


Megan Parman, Section Editor

To clear the bases, I will start by admitting that I am a reality TV junkie, but when I first came across the previews of the A&E series “Duck Dynasty” I was utterly disgusted. The show looked to be about a family of unfortunately rich rednecks in Louisiana who make duck calls, drink sweet tea, and eat squirrel. Although, on one lonely and pathetic Friday night I found myself hopelessly scrolling Pinterest and viciously flipping channels. Before I knew it, it was 3 a.m. and I was on my seventh episode of “Duck Dynasty.” The Robertson clan sucked me in with their wickedly different real-life show and the message at the heart of each.

I have kept up with the Kardashians, I have gawked at rich girls celebrating their super sweet sixteen, I have seen Abby Lee Miller make little girls cry, and I have watched people sing and dance their way to their dreams. Never have I ever been shown how the other half lives, that is until “Duck Dynasty” came along. Reality TV has finally brought something real to our homes. Each episode highlights the family’s Southern down-home humor, and surprisingly made duck calls more interesting than the catfights on the real housewives of anything. The Robertsons consider hunting and fishing a part of religion and a necessary part of life and counteract the myth that rednecks must have a low number of functioning brain cells. Main-man Willie Robertson “went off and got educated” and brought back to West Monroe an unusual CEO of a company who occasionally manufactures duck calls himself. Most reality shows focus on petty family arguments but the men and women of this one waste no time on such silly things. Instead the cameras roll while the Robertsons run wild.

Even though the show is not likely to garner an Emmy or improve the world, it depicts many aspects of life that Hollywood does not show much of anymore, such as the importance of family (and ducks). These bearded men may wear the unlikely combination of tuxedos and camouflage but they know how their food gets to the table and pass down useful lessons through the generations of Robertsons. The Robertsons do have their tiffs (do not even begin to count the ways Jase rubs Willie wrong), but they assure viewers that there is good to be found in the family and love all around them. At the end of each episode, in the most touching part, everyone closes their eyes and takes a moment to appreciate the crazy and wonderful family they have.

Those who refuse to take a leap into the duck pond rally on the fact that it does not seem interesting; all they see is the surface. There is much more to this show than ZZ Top beards and a peculiar family business. The originality of “Duck Dynasty” and the wholesomeness of the show is what makes it so easy to binge-watch, whether by accident, happy coincidence, or on distinct purpose.