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Duck Dynasty: Why Isn't This Show Terrible?

'The Viet Cong had a bunch of rules and regulations. You see how that worked out.'


We haven't put a person on the moon in the past 40 years, but America is still a nation capable of unfathomable feats. Take, for example, a Southern family that got rich during the recession by selling duck-tricking tools.

The A&E show Duck Dynasty follows the owners and employees of a duck-call business in Louisiana. The show doesn't sound good or smart, but it is.

Season 3 premieres in early 2013, but it's worth catching up with the first two seasons online, if for no other reason than it's funny and you'll learn how to cook frogs. But most importantly, the show subverts expectations by pulling off something new to reality television: chronicling the lives of people who are perfectly functional.

The reality genre seems to require stupidity and shrieking dysfunction. But even when buttered-up frog juice drips from their beards, characters on Duck Dynasty are nowhere near as gross--physically or intellectually--as anyone on Jersey Shore.

It's refreshing to see the patriarch, Phil, condemn cellphones and video games with sincerity, and then, with a stoic glare and careful attention to his words, proclaim, "Kids in America today are fat."

Others on the show are a bit more flippant. After Willie proposes an employee handbook, Uncle Si points out, "The Viet Cong had a bunch of rules and regulations, too. You see how that worked out."

He then goes back to napping and "dreaming about beavers." Which he means quite literally.