Duck Dynasty proves what anyone who has ever seen Here Comes Honey Boo Boo already knows — rednecks make for great reality show figures.
The A&E reality show that highlights the life of “redneck” millionaires, Duck Dynasty, returned this week for its second season. The show focuses on a folksy Louisiana family that made a hugely popular business out of whittled duck calls.
The family in question, the Robertsons, look like they could be a ZZ Top cover band, Zap2It notes. The show features their decisions in the board room and their simple Louisiana lifestyle outside of work.
But, as the entertainment blog notes, it is the genuine nature of the Robertson family that makes Duck Dynasty stand out among other “reality” shows:
“Unlike the appalling antics of the Jersey Shore cast and the train-wreck tales of ‘docu-series’ like Teen Mom, Duck Dynasty focuses on a hard-working, loving family. The charming and charismatic Robertsons are wildly entertaining, without a whiff of exploitation. Hopefully, shows like this one will continue to whittle out a niche in the reality TV genre.”
There could be something larger behind the success of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty, the Globe and Mail notes:
“The rise of redneck culture snuck up on us. Then along came Honey Boo Boo and her outrageously cheerful, couch-bound, junk-food-consuming family who rarely move but do scamper outside when there’s an opportunity to enjoy playing in mud.”
“Duck Dynasty and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo click with viewers because too much mainstream TV relies on formulaic, static storytelling. The playfulness of these redneck shows serves to underline how limited are the tropes of network sitcoms and dramas. Even the language of the Honey Boo Boo and the Duck Dynasty crowd is invigorating. The colourful vernacular is vastly more entertaining than what most top sitcom writers can create. And everybody’s into that kind of fun.”
Duck Dynasty is popular largely because of what it is not, critics note. It does not have the dull, ultimately empty quality of the Kardashians or the over-the-top nature of other reality shows focusing on young, good-looking stars who drink and fight. Instead, it is just a family, their simple world, and their wooden duck calls.