That's Right, Jack: The Success of Duck Dynasty

If you haven't seen an episode of Duck Dynasty, you're officially out of the loop. Did you know the show's premiere this season actually beat American Idol that evening in ratings? And the number of viewers just continues to grow.

Something big is happening with this show. It's undeniable. Competing with shows that have the support of major television networks and huge budgets demonstrates there's something special about Duck Dynasty that has people talking.

I'll be honest. I'm a vegetarian. I like to feed ducks at amusement parks. When I first heard about Duck Dynasty, a bunch of rednecks who make duck calls for a living, I was horrified. I hadn't even known what a duck call was until I heard about this show, and let's just say, I wasn't impressed by the concept.

Then I actually watched it, and I found myself laughing so hard. Now, there are still some episodes I don't watch (i.e. anything involving the deaths of squirrels and frogs), but I've even found myself quoting the dialogue. That's right, Jack!

So what is behind this phenomenon? Why are so many people all across America tuning in each week to watch a group of group men making (or more accurately, not making) duck calls?
  • Family values. Think about it. The guys in Duck Dynasty may be . . . well, colorful . . .  but when it comes down to it, they all have very healthy family dynamics that are portrayed in the screen. They aren't divorced with a new spouse half their age. Their kids aren't high half the time. And some of the things Phil says to Mrs. Kay are enough to make anyone blush. The Duck Dynasty guys present traditional family values in a non-abrasive way, which I think we haven't seen in the entertainment industry for some time.
  • Life is slow, tea is sweet, and friendships matter. Duck Dynasty presents too-busy Americans with an alternative lifestyle that I think appeals to many people. So many Americans are overworked, underpaid, and emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally exhausted. That's why the idea of building a makeshift water park at the lake sounds pretty darn appealing.
  • Moral value. Every episode ends with a nice little takeaway concept for the audience, and I think viewers like that. It makes us feel as if our time watching the show was not wasted, but rather, in even a very small way, we learned something. Modern Family also does this often . . . leaving viewers with a nice tie-in of all the story lines, and I think that's one of the reasons for its success as well.
  • Relatability and likability. I never thought I'd call redneck duck call makers relatable, but really, these guys are. They feel comfortable, and come across as the kind of person it'd be easy to have a conversation with. Plus, they're pretty funny.
  • Uncle Si. Let's face it. Without Si, there'd be no show. I'd be remiss not to mention the uncle who I get the hunch doesn't need any scripted lines. He's kooky enough all on his own to keep us laughing. Isn't it funny how someone who would probably scare you a little in real life can be your favorite "fictional" character on TV?
  • Their faith. These guys are serious about not backing down from their faith. They're definitely not aggressive about it, but they make no apologies for what they believe. And frankly, I think America sees and respects that, even if they don't agree. I think America likes to see someone believe in something for a change.

I wanted to share this video from Phil. I think it just goes to show what a big God we serve... so often, when we envision "the lost," we think of them looking like ourselves. But God cares about everyone--those in other countries, Ivy League professors, and yes--even rednecks.

Love what he says at the end. "If you're not a believer and you don't believe God exists and at all, about the only hope you have is that He's not there. That's your hope. What we're saying is, we trust that He is."

That, folks, is why people like Duck Dynasty. Maybe, just maybe, these rednecks are going to change the world.

I want to hear your thoughts! Have you seen the show? What do you think of it? Why do you think so many people are watching?

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