Sorry America, But Your Beloved ‘Duck Dynasty’ is a Terrible Show
I figured it was time you knew the truth.
That's right, I'm saying it, everyone's favorite millionaire hillbillies have one of, if not the worst show on television. Which says a lot considering Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Real World, and a variety of Real Housewives shows are still on the air.
To be fair, I have tried to give the show a chance by watching a couple of episodes. It was the least I could do after several friends, whose opinions I trust (or at least I did), told me how much they enjoyed the show. However, after feeling my mind go numb, my eyes glaze over, and a small stream of drool trickle from the corner of my mouth as the Robertson family's antics slowly lowered my IQ to just below "turnip", I was able to pull it together and press the "Channel Up" button on the remote before I started to seek the sweet relief of death.
Don't get me wrong, I get the appeal...sort of. With the TV landscape being filled with shows that are constantly pushing the limits of sex, violence, and language, a show like Dynasty is completely void of all those things making it something the whole family can watch. Fine, whatever, but that doesn't make it a "good" show.
For a show that falls under the guise of "reality TV", everything about it is so blatantly set up that you can spot it a mile away. Take the episode I watched a bit of the other night. During the opening scene, Jase I believe his name is, gives his brother Willie a good-natured ribbing about how being the CEO of the company is so easy anyone can do it. In an effort to teach Jase one of those valuable life lessons, Willie gives him the opportunity to be CEO for one day so he can see it's far more difficult than he ever imagined. What could possibly go wrong??
Fast forward to later in the episode where Jase is seen strutting around the warehouse wearing a white suit jacket (that's apparently how you know someone is a CEO, I guess) with camo pants and hunting boots, because he needs to prove he's still a redneck, when uh-oh, it's discovered that a huge order of duck calls didn't get shipped out like it was supposed to, and if it doesn't go out RIGHT THIS MINUTE it will be late. What's a CEO-for-a-day to do when he's trying to prove to his brother the job's not that hard? Why, he grabs his wacky uncle who claims to know how to drive a semi (blatantly indicating more wackiness to come) and vows to make the delivery himself. Surely that will go smoothly, right?
The "hilarious" antics of this trip don't stop there, later on they get lost and proceed to pull out an old school paper map to try and find their way, because obviously multi-millionaires can't afford to buy a freakin' GPS.
One more rant about this episode (that I didn't even finish watching, by the way) before I move on. Another story line involved an upcoming family football game that Willie was bound and determined to win even though his wife has absolutely zero athletic skills. So to get her in football shape, he talks his old football coach at whatever college he went into letting him have free reign over the school's football field and training equipment. Which totally happens in real life all the time! Just the other day I went back to my old high school to see if I could run a few drills for old time sake, you know, to see if I still "had it", and Coach was more than happy let me have the run of the place. He even gave me $10,000 cash because he always appreciated the "cut of my jib". Oh wait, that didn't happen because for starters, I didn't play football in high school (I had a less important job during games) and secondly...THAT. DOESN'T. HAPPEN.
If you want to lose 22 minutes of your life that would be better spent jamming rusty nails into your eyes, you can watch the entire episode on A&E's website.
Outside of acting that makes any soap opera actor look like Meryl Streep, I can't fault the Robertson's for doing the show. If a network approached me with a ton of cash wanting to feature me in a show, I'll walk around in a diaper and they can call it "Daddy Poo-Poo" for all I care.
Who I will fault are the networks who continue to put this mindless drivel on TV and pass it off as entertainment, or even worse, "reality". Which, as I think more about it, is really the root of my anger. Duck Dynasty just happens to be the "it" show of the moment, and therefore has found it's way into my crosshairs, although scripted or unscripted, it's still a bad show.
There have been a number of stories over the years as reality television has become a staple that producers often set up scenarios for the show's cast to make it more interesting. So why are we still calling it "reality"? Because these are "real people"? How many shows do you know of feature fake people? Last time I checked, there's no Happy Fun Time Cyborg Hour, although I'd probably watch it if there were (mental note, trademark Happy Fun Time Cyborg Hour). Sorry, but if they're getting paid to be on TV, they're an actor now.
Who I'll fault even more is you for continuing to watch. The season 3 finale of Dynasty earlier this year was watched by 10 million people. 10-I-want-to-put-a-certain-curse-word-here-so-badly MILLION people. You are the reason everything can now be a reality show. The more you keep watching this schlock, the more they'll keep making this schlock.
I'm not asking you to stop to watching, this is America after all, you're free to watch whatever you want. However, I am asking that you at least watch something scripted, something designed to not come across as "real". If you want real, watch Cops, 'cause that s**t's real jack!