duck dynastyI’m not going to bury the lede, I absolutely love reality television. For me, the trashier and dumber the players involved, the happier I am.

You can only begin to imagine how excited I was when I noticed the emerging trend of reality TV’s guido population packing up their spray tans and shake weights and returning to the pits from whence they came in their IROC-Zs, free to once again terrorize, roofie and spread a new breed of venereal disease to the population of their original domiciles, in favor of a new hillbilly paradigm.

In my eyes, guidos fall into the same category as juggalos and bronies: people that both horrify and disgust me and that the world would be a much, much better place if we were to load them all up in a rocket and shoot it into the sun.

While some remnants of that bygone age still cling to life (Mob Wives, Snooki & JWoww, etc) the spotlight has now been transferred over to our lovable, idiot cousins south of the Mason- Dixon.

We’ll start with Buckwild, MTV’s new jam about a group of youngins in West Virginia living their backwater lives and gittin’ ‘er done. The show is described as being “Jersey Shore in Appalachia,” which I’d argue is pretty apt. The show knows what it is, and that’s fine. I’d rather it be that way then have them try and class the joint up with any substance.

Granted, people bitch and moan on the Internet (as they are prone to doing) that the show perpetuates negative stereotypes of West Virginians and is ruining their reputation, because everyone thinks of West Virginia as a bastion for intellectual pursuits and not a backwoods flyover state, right?

Then there’s Duck Dynasty, A&E’s way of letting us peer into the lives of the Robertson clan, a family of obscenely rich Louisiana residents that own and operate the stupidly profitable Duck Commander duck call company. They like heavy machinery, camouflage, explosions and shooting stuff. It’s a regular ol’ slice of the American Dream. The thing that I’d argue is most endearing about it is that the people it follows are like your idiot cousin, but instead of having these grandiose plans that will never come to be, they have a near-limitless pool of funds to make their dreams reality. Wanna make the world’s biggest duck call? You can sure as hell try, so what if you don’t have the skills or intelligence? The cash is all that matters.

To make it even better (hard to imagine, right?!) I learned important life lessons, like how you should always take a shotgun with you whenever you go in the woods, “redneck geometry” and that you shouldn’t judge a man’s prowess by the size of his duck call.

I don’t like Duck Dynasty, I love Duck Dynasty. And in all honesty, you should love it too, in an unironic way. You should love it in the way I do, wherein you find it endearing and worthy of said love, even though at the end of the day it’s making you stupid, and that’s okay.

Yeah, it’s just another way to pander to an audience by offering them something stupid and entertaining, but I really hope this can go on for a long time, because I love it all so goddamn much.


Tom is a photographer, writer, and the former Managing Editor of the Stony Brook Press. He likes chili cook-offs, cats, hot dogs, and viewers like you.

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