Duck Dynasty

This is an insightful look at why Duck Dynasty is so good. I’m glad she brought up the faith part, too, because there’s something, I think, really charming and nice about seeing people whose faith is obviously important to them acting it out in their daily lives without wielding it as a weapon against others or even making a big deal out of it.

I also think they do a good job of letting the young kids participate without overburdening them with making them individual stars. There are a ton of kids. It’s not always clear who belongs to whom. They’re not always named.

And I like it because I like seeing a large family dynamic on TV. Lots of people live in large extended families that are important to them. You don’t see a lot of that on TV.

7 thoughts on “Duck Dynasty

  1. Yessssss. I have some many thoughts and feelings about Duck Dynasty, which has become the only show I really want to make an effort to watch. There’s so much there that could be so incredibly awful but it isn’t. And I feel like I know these people because I have been surrounded by them my whole life.

    Honestly, most of my thoughts and feelings boil down to the following:

    1. There’s some traditional gender roles posturing, but I can tell that none of the women or girls in this family are playing second fiddle to anyone, nor are they really expected to.
    2. This is a terrific intersection of southernness and sophisticated marketing that is mercifully controlled by the family instead of some outside force.
    3. There is nothing funnier on television right now (in my opinion).
    4. Si for president.

  2. 2. Yes, so she’s so right about it actually feeling like a Southern family with a teasing dynamic instead of Hollywood’s idea of what a Southern family with a teasing dynamic would be like. It’s really the difference between Charlene Harris’s books and True Blood. Same characters, same setting, only one really gets at what the regionalism means.

    1. I want someone to write a whole book on this. Because I think this is something really important here with larger implications. Because, right, if I get Jase and a nice house and cool inlaws and what is, in practice, a kind of equality, I don’t really mind it coming in a veneer of “boys are this way, girls are that.”

    But if I’m not getting Jase and the house and the cool in-laws, then I don’t really want to have to tolerate that kind of gender essentialism. Just give me my straight-up equality.

    And yet, I think a lot of women are being asked to accept not a veneer of gender essentialism, in which they are the gender that sucks and does all the work, but the actual thing. And they are being asked to accept it on the off-chance it will land them Jase. And they’re being told feminism is just for women who hate Jase.

    When, really, feminism is for women who realize Jase has a wife and the rest of us have to find a way to work something else out. And that’s a lot harder if we’re treated like we’re less than men.

  3. Yes, exactly, so the gender essentialist on display here is something that can be anywhere from mildly to VERY grating and offensive. I want to write a book about it too, but I have neither the skill nor the energy.

    Superficially, Phil is set up as the most old fashioned about gender, but his actions repeatedly belie that, which is really interesting to me. I think that Jase is that weird elusive type of dude who is officially The Cutest and The Most Desirable and Very Charming but also maybe the least…something. Fair? Actually interested in equality? I don’t know. All of this is based on what I see of a highly-edited show of course, but like I said above, I have been surrounded by these people my whole life so I am observing some very familiar stuff. Like, Jase is the guy would never be expected to do the work to support (or to get out of the way of) gender equality and would just get a pass because he’s so charming, if that makes sense.

  4. Yes, right, Phil seems like a fart, but then you see that his wife runs everything and he’s more than happy to a.) let her and b.) do what she says. And I think you’re spot on about Jase. Everything’s going fine for him, so what’s the problem? If he’s not that way in real life, he’s definitely playing a real type.

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