And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Duck Dynasty, Taking Back the Throne of Family Television?

Over the last several weeks our home has enjoyed a new television reality show, Duck Dynasty.  The program offers an inside look at the Robertson clan.  The family made its fortune in the outdoors sporting goods industry, specifically, inventing and manufacturing high quality duck calls.  The premise of the show is all about giving an inside look at a family that became wealthy, yet holds on to their “redneck roots”.  Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the family is said to have turned down an NFL quarterback contract as it interfered with duck hunting season.  His college backup was none other than Terry Bradshaw.   All in all, the storyline supposes,” if a redneck could dream big and have all the resources they need, what would they do.”


It is that premise, out of curiosity, my attention was drawn to watch the first time.  What I found has me watching every episode, and for good reason. In a day of outrageous television, this show is quite the opposite.  You would expect outrageous behavior, and there is some: blowing up duck blinds, scaring a daughter’s boyfriend with intimidation, frog hunting at midnight on the country club golf course, and more.   However, the antics of the family, though a bit rough on the edges for most, are quite refreshing.  Whereas other “reality” shows are outrageous in their self-absorption, vulgarity, and over reaction to deadlines that do not matter at all, the Robertsons emphasize sticking to what is right, without compromise.  The underlying beauty of the show is that despite their differences they truly are in the habit of looking out for one another.


The family has an interesting dynamic. Everyone has a ZZ Top style beard that is, except for the ladies and the grand kids. Their rags to riches story starts with Phil inventing the calls, and his strong marriage to Miss Kay.  Often they espouse simple marriage advice.  All of it is positive.  All of it is practical.  Willie works as the CEO and thus in business matters has to be the boss of his own family.  I do not envy what he has to do.   Because this is a family business the stakes are high.  His brother Jase and he often trade roles of being the protagonist in different episodes.  Though competitive brothers, they often portray of maturity amongst differences in the end.  There are many more family members, we find uncle Si as most endearing.  He is a little out of the loop with technology and laws of the land, such as stating that its fine to do 55 in a 35 zone.  “35 is just a suggestion.”  Every family should have a Si among them.  For all his proverbial attempts at philosophy, you find a rare humility.  


Thus, it’s the people, who seem very down to earth (Though it is television) that have brought me to look forward to Wednesday nights after church.  Our family joins the Robertsons by way of technology for a look at principals not often found from television.  Not once have we heard anything offensive or any cursing.  Not once have we heard someone legitimately attempt to tear someone down.  The entire family shows honor and respect.  Homer Simpson, Al Bundy, and others take note. 


Television needs more families like the Robertsons.  Each episode ends with a prayer, yes a prayer, with the family gathered together around a table for a meal.  Our family would love to dine with them, but please, no frogs. Or squirrel. Or opossum. The parting words are usually narrated by Phil or Willie.  They sum up a family value that is illustrated by the previous 23 minute experience, often missing from not only television, but homes in America.  My family has been blessed by the Robertsons, because after every episode we find ourselves bonding, not through entertainment, but in discussing what we found right with the way they live.


Stay tuned:  I am working on another article, My Thoughts on 19 Kids and Counting.

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