Wednesday, August 14, 2013

5 Reasons Why I Love Duck Dynasty

I have not loved or followed a show like A&E's Duck Dynasty since ABC's LOST. My wife and I have been looking for a show we could watch and enjoy together and though some were promising they either disappointed or were cancelled. Season 3 of Duck Dynasty was the most successful season of any show on A&E and the season finale was the most watched episode of any show in the network's history.

And I couldn't be more pleased.

My family loves this show and many have asked why a show about bearded rednecks and their duck calling business so compelling. Although I cannot answer that question for the other millions who regularly tune in, below are five reasons why I love it.

1. For Reasons Like This

Countless other examples could be given and this is just one example. The Robertson's wear their faith on their sleeves and it is clear they are neither crazy fundamentalists or violent radicals bent on world domination. Instead, they live by a humble faith and that faith makes them the people and family that they are.

Although apparently A&E has almost always edited out "in Jesus' name" in the prayers at the end of each episode, the network has not edited out hardly all of the references to Scripture, Jesus, faith, and Christianity. This is rare today. Can you think of any other show that is this open about Christianity? What other show portrays Christians in a positive light?

2. I Can Watch It With My Family

Outside of a few innuendos, I do not have to worry about violence, sexuality, or language. This is a rare find these days. When Duck Dynasty is on I don't have to worry about my kids viewing sex scenes, murders, or violence or listen to sexual innuendos and jokes or strong and violent language. The Robertson's are so clean that A&E has been caught bleeping non-cuss words. There is little to no family drama in the shows and every time there is division, there is redemption and reconciliation soon to follow.

3. Men are Men. Women are Women. And Family is Important.

Phil Robertson in an interview on the 700 Club said, "The United States needs a heavy dose of manhood." I couldn't agree with him more and the Robertson's might be at least part of that dose. The men of Duck Dynasty act like men, celebrate their manhood, and are not apologetic about it. Almost every episode ends with the Robertson family gathered around the dinner table praying. You will find the head of the household at the head of the table leading the family in prayer. The leader of each family physically and spiritually is the husband/father.

Likewise, the women act like women without any apology. Mrs. Kay is a cook that does not consider herself trapped in the kitchen. The other wives help the Duck Commander business and are portrayed as compatible partners,  complimentary helpers who treat their husbands with respect, wonderful mother's to their children, and beautiful (and not just in a physical sense).

Who wouldn't want to have the sort of marriage that Phil and Mrs. Kay has?

The Robertson's show that masculinity and femininity can be defined and lived in a way that is God-glorifying without any hint of chauvinism or feminism. And it is a beautiful thing.

The emphasis on the family is also worth noting. Even non-family members are treated like family. They eat together, live together, work together, serve each other, and love one another. Again, how rare is this on television today?

4. Country Living Is Celebrated

The Duck Commanders are recognizable because of their beards. We all know that. The philosophy behind their beards is rooted in southern culture. The Robertson's are bonifide rednecks and they are unapologetic about it. They hunt. They fish. They blow things up. They build. They tear down so they can build again. They drive big trucks. They eat big meals. And they throw nothing away.

In most shows, this is a typical stereotype that is the butt of all of the jokes. The stereotype is that anyone with an accent (or a long beard) must be an uneducated hick. The Robertson's are all well educated, extremely successful, and yet have not abandoned their upbringing. Duck Dynasty is rare in this sense. They are not embarrassed to be called Southerners or country folk and consider it a badge of honor.

At the same time, they contradict the implications of many of the stereotypes associated with Southerners. A love for mudding and duck hunting does not mean your empty in the head. It just means you like to go mudding and hunt ducks.

As a Southerner myself, it gets tiresome hearing the same stereotypical depictions and jokes regarding people from the South. The Robertson's aren't another family of rednecks to be made fun of on cable TV. They transcend all of that without abandoning who they really are. Finally, its cool to be country again.

5. Its Good TV

I'm not a big reality TV fan. Most of it is predicable and no different from all the others. Each episode is driven by stereotypical characters who fuel drama. Duck Dynasty not only doesn't fit the mold, but their show and their family makes for great TV. We all think we have an Uncle Si. He is genuinely funny without trying. The sibling rivalry between the three brothers is relatable. Each episode is wonderfully crafted with great comedy. This all makes for great TV that makes you want to watch another one.

I suspect that the duck commanders will continue to find success and Season 4 has already been announced. It is rare, especially in this day and age, that shows like this come along. So enjoy.

Originally published on July 17, 2013
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