It’s amazing how popular “reality” TV has become. Networks discovered after their initial successes that they could produce these show for far less than the scripted series they’d been creating for years. As each new show became a hit more and more appeared. The sad thing is that many became tedious to watch but held on trying to stay on the air. What’s nice is when one decided the time is right to leave before they hit that point. DUCK DYNASTY is one of the few that has chosen to do so.
The series was about the Robertson family, a group that was in the business of making duck calls and founded by patriarch Phil Robertson. Sons Willie, Jase and Jep all worked in the business with Willie taking it to a whole new level. Their first foray into TV was with a small program about hunting and fishing that included small moments with their family. From that rose what we now know as DUCK DYNASTY.
Each week we got to see what went on behind the scenes of this Louisiana business. At least that was a part of each episode. The majority of each focused on the family lives of each of the brothers and their father. Everything from their children to their mother’s cooking to building duck blinds became fodder for the show. The best part was that there was humor in every corner of the program, not so much forced as created by the predicaments that they were in. Was it scripted? I have little doubt that much of it was, but not all. As we got to know the family it was easy to believe much of this really happened.
All of this began just five years ago. It’s become so ingrained in today’s pop culture world you would think it had been on the air longer than that. We’ve watched kids grow up and get married, enter dance competitions, have surgeries, and more. The family members became celebrities that attended social functions and their political beliefs became common knowledge. Their focus on faith, perhaps one of the biggest positive and popular items in the show, was criticized and attacked by the press. But they held true to their beliefs and their popularity remained.
Each episode began with an issue and ended with the family gathered around to eat a meal and offer a prayer. In the politically correct times we live in this was cause for consternation with many critics of the show. Their voices didn’t matter in the end and the faith on display here stayed with the show until the end. And that end is now.
Just released is DUCK DYNASTY: LAST CALL, THE FINAL SEASON. The series lasted 11 seasons (keep in mind a season and a year are two different items) and its popularity was beginning to wane just a tad. At one time the most watched cable series the numbers had begun to drop. And after filling the market with everything from books to bobble heads, the family decided to call it quits.
Fear not though, that last season was filled with the same fun filled moments that the previous ones had offered. Jase and Willie campaigned against one another to be president of their neighborhood home owners association only to discover the amount of work that went into it. The employees get overly excited about a 3D printer. Willie and Jep must handle a teenage girl’s sleepover when their wives are away on a mission in Africa. ZZ Top appeared in the final episode, appropriate since their song “Sharp Dressed Man” opened the series when it began. And my favorite episode involved Korie challenging Willie to come up with an inexpensive romantic evening that resulted in a homemade drive-in.
All of these episodes and more are available on this DVD collection. The entertainment value is high as well as family friendly, something rarely found in a world of trying to be the next cool kid on the block known as series television. This group is not the local yokels that many would like to consider them. They are not the backwoods hillbillies many suggest they were. They were shrewd businessmen who say an opportunity and took it. They took a simple idea, one based in hard work and faith, and created a juggernaut that found many watching, buying marketed items and picking up each season of the series. If you are one of those people then you’ll want to make sure to add this one to your collection as well.