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What’s Behind the Popularity of Duck Dynasty?

What's Behind the Popularity of Duck Dynasty?I never would have thought that a redneck family from West Monroe, Louisiana would be involved in one of the highest-rated reality shows on television, but I’ve clearly been proven wrong.

“Duck Dynasty,” which follows a family who manufactures duck calls for hunting season, has created a ‘duck nation’ of followers. Many may relate to the Robertson clan one way or another — whether it’s through their humorous antics, or Uncle Si’s endless array of hilariously entertaining shenanigans or one-liners (Si-isms).

And while I personally laugh with the utmost enthusiasm during each 30-minute episode (laughing with them, not at them; I think the gang is acutely aware of their comic relief), I’m honing in on their primal love for family and togetherness.

Kate Storey’s op-ed piece in the New York Post remarks that despite the absence of renowned celebrities, nudity, designer trends or crazy fights, 12 million people tuned into “Duck Dynasty’s” fourth season premiere in August.

It’s also noted that “Duck Dynasty” has triple the ratings of Emmy winners, including “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men,” and “Game of Thrones.” This trifecta reveals a somewhat darker side of television, featuring a meth dealer, a whorehouse and gruesome deaths and violence.

Needless to say, the men of West Monroe provide contrast for viewers and reach a wide audience. “Their audience is 51% female and 49% male,” Brad Adgate, director of research at Horizon Media said in the New York Post piece.

“That’s a strong dual audience. And the median age is 40 — right there in the sweet spot of the 18-49 demo. Even though these guys are older than 40, they resonate with a lot of young viewers.”

Several episodes highlight the Robertsons’ strong family values, and their genuine compassion for each other. This past season’s debut showcased the sons (with some overt nudging and prodding from the wives) and their attempt to create a surprise wedding for their parents, Phil and Miss Kay; they’ve been married for 48 years but never had an actual wedding with family and friends.

And yes, plans don’t necessarily go smoothly. But by the end of the day, Miss Kay walks down the aisle, moved to tears, and we witness something very real occurring in a beautiful, rural spot — one that encompasses sentimental, childhood memories.

The final minutes of each episode portray the Robertsons’ dinner table, where we sneak a glimpse of Miss Kay’s homemade biscuits, fresh crawfish or another hearty meal, and we watch Phil lead them in a simple, humbling prayer that demonstrates nothing but gratitude. (And I must say, the Robertsons are certainly not ‘in your face’ about religion; they just go about their routine, while offering us a piece of their experience.)

The Robertsons are mindful of the show’s focus on wholesome family values, and how it plays a significant role in the series. “We’re trying to infuse a little good into the American culture,” Phil Robertson said.

“Love God, love your neighbor, hunt ducks. Raise your kids, make them behave, love them. I don’t see the down side to that.”

Phil’s delivery is usually simple and to-the-point, and all the while, he comes from a good place. As do the rest of them.

Though the season recently ended, stay tuned for the “Duck Dynasty Christmas Special” airing December 11th.

What’s Behind the Popularity of Duck Dynasty?

Lauren Suval

Lauren Suval studied print journalism and psychology at Hofstra University, and she is a writer based in New York. Her work has been featured on Thought Catalog, Catapult Community, and other online publications. Lauren's e-book “Coping With Life’s Clutter” and her collection of personal essays, “The Art Of Nostalgia,” can both be found on Amazon. Lauren's latest E-Book, "Never Far Behind," a collection of poetry, is available on Smashwords, Apple Books, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. She loves to be followed on social media, including her Facebook Writing Page,

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APA Reference
Suval, L. (2018). What’s Behind the Popularity of Duck Dynasty?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 13 Nov 2013)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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