It’s true, there are a ton of folks out there in America’s wild woods and swamps that can blast off more ammunition rounds than a movie theatre’s popcorn machine can blow up corn kernels, but there’s a thing or two that redneck hunting enthusiasts around the world don’t have on the bearded Duck Commander boys from West Monroe, Louisiana… This multi-millionaire family start-up stars in the most-watched cable show in television history. Yep, that’s right, Jack. Think of this bearded bunch of hunting junkies as a band of Southern dwarves who’ve turned-in their chisels for shotguns. And they’re not only pulling in a ton of loot, they’re pulling off a series of hilarious hijinks that have the whole world QOL’ing (meaning “quacking out loud,” of course…).
The openly fun-loving and secretly hard-working men of Duck Dynasty, backed by the remaining humorously relatable Robertson family women and children, have made a gradual and inspiringly surprising uphill climb to stardom, both on-screen and off, thanks to some good ol’ fashioned American ingenuity and determination. Setting the Duck Commander company and family history aside, and specifically concerning ourselves with the A&E television show itself, Duck Dynasty has crafted for itself a glimmering camouflaged crown that’s completely unique unto itself. It’s an honor television shows receive when they earn the highest reality-show ratings seen to date. The fourth season alone is capturing well over 11.8 million viewers (that’s up 37% from the third seasons premiere episode, mind you) and the most zealously hardcore fan-base a TV show has experienced in quite some time. The TV show is a big duck in a not-so-small pond, so to speak, but it’s still making sizable waves in the social media discussion pool, an increasingly powerful method of popularity development for entertainment media. And not only this, fans are gluttonously devouring every little Duck Dynasty merchandise-egg they can find. Just take a trip to your local redneck watering-hole known as Walmart and prepare to be overwhelmed. Selling out and spreading faster than backwoods wildfire, Duck Dynasty products include more than just a few t-shirts, hats and the meat-n-potatoes of the family business, their signature Duck Commander duck calls, although all of these are selling by the thousands. Think posters, bobble-heads, coffee mugs, greeting cards, air fresheners, cooking seasoning, koozies and, well, you get it… It appears that the Robertson folks know a thing or two about marketing, a skill that dates back to the family patriarch Phil Robertson’s duck call developing days. But what makes all of these accomplishments that much more impressive is the fact that the show has only been on air since March of 2012.
For fear that you’ve been living up a tree for the past year or so and don’t know what the Sam Hill everybody’s talking about, let’s bring you up to speed on the show’s premise: The appropriately titled Duck Dynasty series depicts the dynamic, albeit obviously exaggerated, day-to-day doings of the Robertson family, a fun-loving gaggle of sweet Southern folks nesting in northern Louisiana that love God, hunting and each other, offering a self-styled nuance in the reality TV community depicting a family that actually gets along. The family is led by the grey-bearded family papaw, Phil Robertson, who developed the Duck Commander duck call company which is now headed by his son and company CEO, Willie Robertson. Whether romping through the local swampy woods of their family property in search of game birds and fish or grabbing boredom by the throat at the duck call factory, the family is charmingly captivating and continuously entertaining. It’s a show you could watch comfortably on the couch with your kids and grandma without worrying about awkward on-screen sexual scenarios or foul, although plenty of fowl, language.
This article wouldn’t be doing full justice if it didn’t mention the recent hoopla over Phil Robertson’s words as taken from GQ Magazine concerning homosexuality. Having stated his opinions concerning homosexuality, many have responded in uproar and criminalized the founder of the Duck Commander company. The A&E Network even went so far as to suspend Phil from further filming of the Duck Dynasty TV show. This has been met with mixed responses, and fans air on the side of Phil’s defense questioning how folks could possibly be unaware of his stance on this topic given his clear lifestyle and spiritual orientation. Only time will tell whether this controversial flame will grow or wither. That being said, if you have yet to give the show an honest shot, after investing yourself in a few episodes, which is especially easy to do since they don’t need to be viewed in order, it’s obvious to see how Duck Dynasty became an immediate must-see cultural phenomenon and history’s newly crowned cable TV king.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ezra Melino is an all-around-geek turned serious blogger out of North Carolina who not-so-secretly relishes an in-print love affair with everything from technology and multimedia entertainment to film and digital TV. Specifically, his blog, DX3.net, is a tech blog that is devoted to exploring new technological developments all around the world.