Tuesday, August 20, 2013

MORE THAN IT IS QUACKED UP TO BE


I can not help but wonder about the rationale for the huge success of programs like Duck Dynasty and what it reflects about society’s need for entertainment.



While scanning the New York Times Best Sellers list today I noted not one but two books about the Robertson family in the top ten. Over the weekend, one of my best buddies spent the weekend adorned in his Duck Commander t-shirt.



At first thought, there is little redeeming about this run away success which is now in its forth season. The hugely popular A&E reality show is at best a huge waste of time but 11.8 million people tuned into watch the premier of the latest season last week. So much for my ability to pick a winner.



No wonder they are  “Happy, Happy, Happy”? 

Ducklings have insatiable appetite for everything Duck Commander. Duck Dynasty dominates Twitter, there are two books about the Robertson’s on the New York Times non-fiction top sellers list, video games, trivia games, kitchen products, recipe books, cooking DVD’s, apparel, sponsorships and of course the product that made them rich in the first place – the patented duck caller.



Duck callers you say. It is estimated that they will make close to $45 million on the duck calls this year.  The Robertson family controls a financial dynasty that’s worth tens of millions of dollars.



So, what is the appeal?  To me it is obvious; folks want a break from reality. They want a few laughs and to be entertained by mindless television.  It is a great escape!



I say to each their own.



Frankly, there is something about the Robertson’ real-life success that tickles me. A family that is living the American dream through handwork, marketing and dedication. No hostile takeovers, polluting the environment, living off the profits of past generations like these heiress reality shows.



How is The Game of Thrones and True Blood supposed to compete with a real life hit featuring family values , religion and good old boys?

In fact, it is reassuring to know that programs like Duck Dynasty resonate in a nation where violence, sex and broken families dominate popular culture. 

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