Skip to comments.Bitter Clingers Have Taken Over Your Television, or How America Learned to Love the Duck Dynasty
Posted on 05/06/2013 11:24:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Did you hear that? The shotgun blast heard round the world? It happened when A&E Networks hit reality TV show Duck Dynasty reached over 8 million viewers in its season premiere.
Like any gunshot, it got my attention. I tuned in to see what all the fuss is about and am now hopelessly hooked on this revolutionary bit of televised perfection. I quickly discovered that Duck Dynasty has very little to do with ducks or duck hunting, and everything to do with traditional American values and the current American condition.
Like all great television, Duck Dynasty works because it follows a proven formula. In the case of Duck Dynasty, that formula is the roadmap to realizing the quintessential American dream. Have a clever idea. Sacrifice. Work harder than the next guy. Make it happen. Earn your wealth the old-fashioned way. Pass the business and its blessings along to your children and grandchildren. Have fun. Never forget where, or what, you came from. Give thanks to God. Repeat.
Like most rednecks and hillbillies, the starring members of the Robertson clan of West Monroe, Louisiana, are as clever as the proverbial old swamp fox. And so are the development execs at A&E. With Duck Dynasty theyve struck more than ratings gold. Theyve struck a vital nerve in contemporary American culture. And I think they know exactly what they are doing.
Each week millions think theyre tuning in to watch the crazy and entertaining antics of a bunch of rich rednecks with beautiful wives, powerful trucks, bountiful firearms, a knack for explosives and avoiding the drudgery of work, and an endless supply of homespun one-liners.
If annual sales, endorsement deals, and TV ratings are any indicator, the brand of Americanism these swamp rats are peddling is white lightning in a bottle. Down-on-our-luck, out-of-hope, and sick-and-tired-of-change Americans cant get enough of Duck Dynastys message, or its messengers. They take us back to the ideals that really work in this country.
Another T.V. rule that proves key to Duck Dynastys success is “show, dont tell.”
Duck Dynasty never tells its audience how to live their lives, what to believe, or whom to accept. Instead, Duck Dynasty shows you its core values. And those values translate to both a refresher course in what made America great, and an object lesson in the values it must cling to in order to weather the financial, political, and culture storms that currently batter the nation now.
For example, the Robertsons shamelessly teach their daughters and granddaughters how to handle a shotgun. They let their sons and grandsons experience the value of hard labor. They resourcefully bundle and sell a mess of fish theyve caught in a friendly competition. They repair a worn-out barbecue grill instead of replacing it under a warranty to which they are entitled. They haggle for deals when they could easily pay the list price for anything they want. Most touching of all, grizzled old Uncle Si gladly allows his grand-nieces to paint his fingernails, apply lip gloss, and attire him in a dress for a real tea party.
If I had to guess, Id say that the crazy old uncle, Silas Robertson, is a Tea Partier, as he reportedly consumes nearly two gallons of this Southern staple every day from an ever-present jug.
If Duck Dynasty staked out a political position on either side of dead center, it wouldnt enjoy anything like its current ratings success. Evidently West Monroe, Louisiana, is the place where viewers of Fox and CNN can actually meet in the middle.
Another redeeming value of the show is that the Robertsons are truly tolerant. They might not understand you or agree with your fashion, sexual, or political choices, but theyll make you feel welcome, work to find common ground, and save most of the beard scratching for later.
I find the Robertson brand of tolerance more genuinely American than the liberal brand of tolerance that dominates American media and which, in my experience, means, Be reasonable. See things my way.
Thats not to say that the Duck Commanders accept the current state of affairs in this country. While Uncle Si can easily discuss the finer points of Star Wars and the Black Eyed Peas (both the band and the entree), his brother Phil often waxes philosophical on the perceived softness and helplessness of todays youth, the wastefulness of modern culture, the destructive distraction of electronic devices, the oppressiveness of office work, and the restorative power of getting back to the woods — something most of his viewers have probably never done.
In the end, Duck Dynasty is just televised entertainment made to peddle consumer products at commercial breaks. Sure, the reality it presents is not entirely real. Many of the weekly scenarios feel like theyre lifted straight from an episode of I Love Lucy. But Duck Dynasty reminds us that a huge majority of gun-owning Americans use firearms responsibly and dont need to be controlled, that the American dream still comes true if you only follow the formula, that you really can build that on your own, and that each days ends a little better when we return thanks to the One who provided it, and for the ones who make it worth living.
We find ourselves watching repeats, just because it makes us laugh and feel good.
Sting like a butterfly, punch like a flea....(((ping)))
I like Jace and Phil.
I keep DD on for background. Moved this weekend and no cable yet... Not doing very well without DD.
Love Duck Dynasty. Now ask yourself, is there any connection — any connection whatsoever — between the core values of Duck Dynasty and that other smash hit TV show, “Gold Rush”?
Gentlemanly ping to onyx.
I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about in what I was reading and convinced the wife we should watch an episode to find out. She scrunched her face but since nothing else of any value was on DirecTV that night, she relented controls of the entertainment wand (remote) and switched it over.
She has now made it her desire to own all of the season DVD’s and she retains control and sets up to all hours watching the re-runs.
The funniest I have seen is when Uncle Si handcuffs himself to Willy.
After about a month now of watching it, I looked to my wife and said, this is the new I Love Lucy.
—— . If anyone in America clings to God, guns, and religion, and did build that, its the Robertson clan. ——
2) Clans are cool. And it’s where we will have to go in post apocalypse America.
3) Willie was photographed with Sarah and Todd recently.
Tried to watch this twice. Can’t get in to it. Just another “staged” reality show.
They are my favorites too (Although I light up whenever Mountain Man makes an appearance. I could listen to him talk all day long.)
One of my Religious Ed students (5th grader) said ‘Happy, happy, happy’ to me yesterday. She’s a big DD fan too.
It is about the only show the whole family can sit down and watch without worrying about language or other objectionable material.
Exactly, cannot even watch ESPN or any chatter during sporting events with hearing about sodomites and how courageous they are...
We have a daughter who turns 15 next month. Too old for cartoons—too young for a lot of the stuff that constitutes ‘tv’ these days. She loves ‘Duck Dynasty.’
The Robertson’s and their friends and co-workers are good people. That is what sets them apart from other “staged” reality shows. They are the American dream writ large. They promote good moral behavior, love of God and family, and do it while having fun.
Sure the situations are mostly planned by producers and Uncle Si’s lines are probably fed to him, but like GWB, they are people you would like to have an iced tea with or bbq with or hunt with.
Never seen it but I do like Backyard Oil.
I personally know and have trained with and scritched the ears of said poodle. Said poodle is UH HRCH MHR Southern Standards Red Creole MH, first poodle to hold the top hunting retriever title in all four associations. His owner/trainer, Rich Louter, is the most patient dog trainer I know. All the dogs in that episode are his or his client dogs. When he started this gig, everybody laughed at the hunting poodles. They're not laughing now.
IIRC, poodles were originally bred as french retrievers. Over the past 100 years or so they have probably been bred for looks instead of hunting instincts, but it wouldn’t be hard to bring back that hunting drive.
I think the best was when Jase took off in the Motor Home to pick up Willy’s new ATVs.
He took a couple of workers and Si with him. They pick up the ATVs and they are hungry. Si looks thru the cubbards and mixes up a slurry of Pork and Beans, Tobasco Sauce and a few other methane producers. Next thing you know the gas leaks are so bad Si straps on a helmet and rides home sitting on of the ATVs that is trailered behind the Motor Home.
Of course explaining that to the cops that pulled them over was a laugh also.
I swear I was watching one of my Family Reunions...
One of the leftists at work was shocked that Time magazine is featuring DD this week. She can’t grasp DD much less why anyone would watch it or why it would be in time. She was flustered...I was happy, happy, happy!
I LOVE IT--made me laugh out loud, yet smile within.
The author of the article NAILS it as to why this show is so appealing!
Poodles are as smart as whips. Not surprised they make great work dogs.
Hey. The boys, wives and grand kids could all take acting lessons from Phil and Si. They are the only two that don’t look contrived (and those two are why I still watch). But hey...
What the hell is duck dynasty, it sounds stupid!
Do they know how to surrender also?
RE: What the hell is duck dynasty, it sounds stupid!
For those who don’t know, here’s a brief intro...
Duck Dynasty is a reality television series on A&E. It shows the lives of the Robertson family, who became wealthy from their family-operated business, Duck Commander, operated in West Monroe, Louisiana, which makes products for duck hunters, primarily the duck call named Duck Commander.
The Robertson men, brothers Phil and Si, and Phil’s sons Jase, Willie, and Jep, are known for their long, flowing beards.
The business began in a dilapidated family shed, where Phil Robertson spent 25 years making duck calls from Louisiana cedar trees. His son Willie is now the CEO of the company.
The family was previously featured on the series Benelli Presents Duck Commander and its spin-off Buck Commander, which aired on the Outdoor Channel.
The first season was released on iTunes and on DVD in July 2012 (the latter only available on Amazon.com through Manufacture on Demand). The DVD includes an option for Spanish subtitles.
On both iTunes and DVD, the theme song (”Sharp Dressed Man”) has been replaced by “Workin’ Man Zombie” by Minneapolis, MN band, The 4onthefloor. Amazon.com also released the series through Amazon Instant Video.
Robertson family cast members
Phil Alexander Robertson (born April 24, 1946): Created the Duck Commander duck call in 1972, and incorporated the Duck Commander Company in 1973. Phil has become a legend in Louisiana and in the duck-hunting world in general.
He played college football at Louisiana Tech University, starting ahead of Hall-of-Famer Terry Bradshaw, and was drafted by the NFL after his junior year. He turned it down and quit football because it interfered with duck season, and he was not interested in having “large, violent men chasing me trying to stomp me in the dirt”. Phil is known for his dislike of modern technology (he proudly admits that he does not own a cellphone or a computer) and his concern that his grandchildren are becoming “yuppies”.
Marsha Kay “Miss Kay” Robertson (born December 21, 1950) is Phil’s wife. She married Phil at age 16. She is the mother of Alan (who previously worked with Duck Commander before becoming a minister but has since returned to the company; he is not featured on the show), Jase, Willie, and Jep. She loves cooking, so always has her entire family over for a home-cooked meal after a hard day’s work. (The meal setting is featured at the end of each episode, with Phil praying beforehand and Willie talking about the events of the episode).
Silas Merritt “Si” Robertson (born April 27, 1948): is Phil’s youngest brother, a Vietnam War veteran.
He works at Duck Commander, making the reeds that go into every duck call. Si is known for his storytelling, his constant use of the phrase “Hey!” and his ever-present blue plastic cup, which his mother sent him while he was stationed in Vietnam.
Willie Jess Robertson (born April 22, 1972): The third son of Phil and Miss Kay, and CEO of Duck Commander. He used his business degree (Harding University) to take Duck Commander from a family business to a multi-million dollar empire.
He is married to Korie Robertson, and they have five children. Willie does the majority of the narration on the show.
Korie Robertson (née Howard) (born October 24, 1973): is Willie’s wife and business partner. She also graduated from Harding University. She is the office manager of Duck Commander. Korie and Willie have known one another since she was in 3rd grade, and he was in 4th grade.
They married on January 11, 1992 when they were 19 (Korie) and 20 (Willie). They have five children: John Luke, Sadie, an adopted son named Will (called “Lil Will” on the show), Bella, and an exchange daughter from Taiwan named Rebecca.
Jason Silas “Jase” Robertson (born August 19, 1969) is Willie’s brother (the second-oldest of Phil and Miss Kay’s sons) and is in charge of the manufacturing aspects of Duck Commander. Along with other employees, Jase tunes the duck calls by hand. Many of the episodes feature the laid-back, self-professed redneck Jase doing something to aggravate the gung-ho, business-savvy Willie (such as turning a warehouse cleaning into a ping-pong battle).
Missy Robertson is Jase’s wife. She is often seen helping Korie and Miss Kay with ideas to expand the Duck Commander women’s line. Missy and Jase have three children: Reed, Cole, and Mia.
Jules Jeptha “Jep” Robertson is Phil and Miss Kay’s youngest son. He currently films and edits DVDs of the Robertson family hunting for enthusiasts worldwide and is often seen at Duck Commander and at family dinners. He is married to Jessica and they have four kids.
Jessica Robertson is Jep’s wife. She is often seen helping Korie and Miss Kay with ideas to expand the Duck Commander women’s line. Jessica and Jep have four children: Lily, Merritt, Priscilla, and River.
Other cast members
Justin Martin is an employee of Duck Commander; he is often given grief over his large figure.
John Godwin is an employee at Duck Commander. He has worked at Duck Commander since 2002, mainly building duck calls, managing supplies, and overseeing the shipping department as well as being the decoy technician.
“Mountain Man” (real name: Tim Guraedy) is a neighbor, and is the only semi-regular cast member who is not a Duck Commander employee (he operates his own air-conditioning repair business and co-hosts a local radio talk show on KXKZ). He is known for talking very slowly. His real name has never been used on the show.
Linda Hammitt is a secretary at Duck Commander.
“Jimmy Red” is a family friend, featured on a few early episodes.
That is a part of the appeal for me. The staged reality is "upstaged" by the real reality.
I also liked the trailer recycled as a duck blind. Having been in cold wet boats, waders and blinds hunting ducks, I could go for a blind like theirs.
Si’s new dog episode is one of our faves!
More on “Phil Robertson - The Early Days”:
or Deadliest Catch?
Agree, I cannot see what all the hoopla is about. I’ve tried 3 episodes and came away more disgusted with how low class humans have become. Get a shave, cut your hair, don’t get tattoos, speak English properly, dress like an advanced human being,...oh I guess I am just a dinosaur.
These may be very nice people and the show is devoid of the 4 letter words which comprise most other shows but dang, I just don’t get it.
Anyone that would name themselves ducks is pretty stupid!
They run as soon as the first shot is fired :)
We have a staff ice cream social every summer where I work, and one of the suggested themes (by me, in fact) was “Owl Dynasty”, since our mascot is the owl, in an homage to Duck Dynasty. One of the ladies in the group took offense, saying that she doesn’t see how hunting and eating ducks (or owls, in our case) would be a fun theme for a social.
/the other themes suggested was Downton Abbey (?) and Dr. Who (50th anniversary, goes with the Owls, after all). Looks like we’re going with Dr. Who!
RE; Anyone that would name themselves ducks is pretty stupid!
Well, that’s how they got rich... making products for Duck hunters.
Because they are everything the left hate. Gun owning, Bible believing, God fearing, animal killing, hard working, self made, American loving family.
So, the show is a little corn ball, but it sure beats the hell out of that commie loving crap Hollywood shoves out.
The left is comedy challenged.
Are they tuning in to see if we're human? Or are we "exotic" and can only (safely) be seen on a TV screen?
I wish the country would make up its mind about us.
The appeal of all ‘reality’ (that means ‘amateur writers’) shows is that the viewers are able to feel morally superior to the freaks on TV. That goes double for the redneck shows.
I was kind of afraid of that. No wonder all these "redneck" minstrel shows are such big hits in Obama's America, I suppose.
Though you got to love someone who's named after Yiftach.
Undoubtedly. But apart from the "freak show" aspect, reality shows are also a lot cheaper than shows with major stars and other actors. And shows shot outside big cities would have even lower costs.
Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
Can't say we didn't try. I gave it two 20 minutes views. Was just bored. Not for everybody I guess. I'm glad it makes others happy though. :-)
That’s right. Like the “show” Labs, they had the retrieving bred right out of them. It’s taken some careful breeding but they’ve got it back. . . . for a pretty penny, cause a poodle that will put a dead duck in his mouth or spoil his perm and pedicure by jumping in a muddy pond is scarcer than hen’s teeth . . .
I’ve just started watching to see what all the fuss is about. I am so impressed with the 14 year old daughter. She is beautiful and sweet and respectful. Imagine all that at only 14. And they don’t have to bleep out words. I can see the attraction to millions of red-blooded Americans.
Here are a few episodes you can watch on the internet. The nice thing is you don’t even need a TV or cable provider. You get to screw over the alphabet networks!
from that picture in the opening post and the stupid name I wouldn’t consider watching it!!!
No way would I ever sit in front of a computer screen and watch TV!
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