Is Duck Dynasty the new Cosby show?
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My children introduced me to Duck Dynasty or I don’t think I ever would have discovered it.  I can’t say I’ve seen very many episodes, but I’ve watched enough to understand why people think it’s funny.  It is!  I’m not a “camo” kind of person and I’ve never understood the attraction of shooting a gun at a poor, defenseless duck.  (Sorry to all of you hunters out there!)  But, given the Fall line-up on our major networks, I have to admit I like Duck Dynasty’s agenda.  It is a comedy about a family, whose patriarch is a preacher of the gospel.  (Albeit with a Bayou accent!)

Duck Dynasty is the biggest reality show in the history of cable television.  The show shattered ratings records this summer, reaching a high of 11.8 million viewers for the season premiere this month.  WalMart is now carrying Duck Dynasty merchandise in six of their departments.  I was in Mardel’s Christian bookstore the other day and was surprised to see the front of the store covered with an assortment of Christian camo items.  Who knew???  This family already had a great business selling duck hunting gear, especially duck calls.  If you want to think ahead for Christmas – a Duck Commander duck call may be the perfect gift for the executive who has everything.  One article I read said they are a new favorite item in the workplace.  Each employee can have their own “call.”

We should have purchased stock in Duck Commander, their official business.  Feel free to click the link if you want to browse for any number of camo, duck hunter, and tv show items.  I’m thinking they would be fun stocking stuffers.  Wouldn’t Christmas morning be a hoot with personalized duck calls for all!  I’m a personal fan of the wristbands that read: Faith, Family, Ducks.  I love the order of those priorities and I love the fact that while they are funny, it is a huge priority of the family to be faithful as well.

A New York times article reported Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the family, “is increasingly dedicated to preaching, something he has mentioned he would prefer to be doing with most of his time.”  Phil had been the least interested in turning their business into the multi-million dollar enterprise it has become.  He said he was as famous as he wanted to be already.  Willie, the son who is credited with having the larger vision for the family, told his dad that the show could provide a larger platform for his message and his dad agreed.  Each program ends with the family sitting around the dinner table together, discussing an idea or topic.  They call it their “goodnight John Boy” moment.

Last week I sent out a post about the ad for the ABC show “Betrayal.”  There are a LOT of shows on television now that are terrible and should be banned from a Christian home.  Our kids are exposed to so many vile things these days.  But there is always good news too.  I wonder if Duck Dynasty would have achieved its popularity if it wasn’t one of the few shows that people can sit down as a family to enjoy.  When my boys were young we used to look forward each week to sitting down together to watch the shows on ABC.  The evening was advertised as “TGIF” and the shows were comedies parents could watch with their children.  The Cosby Show was on NBC and we rarely missed watching.  It was the biggest hit show of the 1980’s and is syndicated today on other networks.  This year’s fall lineup is advertising shows like: Betrayal, Scandal, Revenge, Trophy Wife and Modern Family. 

Last week’s blog post received a record number of comments and I’m grateful to all who took the time to express their thoughtful opinion.  Several asked what they could do to try to make a difference.  Here are some ideas:

1.  Talk to your family and make certain that everyone understands which shows are allowed in your home and which are not.  Parents don’t always have to be popular, especially when they need to protect their children from what is on television.  And by the way, it is YOUR home.  As Bill Cosby used to tell his television family, “This isn’t your house.  You don’t pay for it.  We just let you live here.”  He also told his son one day, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out.”  We could use a little more “Cosby” in our parenting these days!

2.  Enjoy shows together like Duck Dynasty that teach family values.  I love that they end with an evening meal together.  A great example to follow!

3.  Speak up about the shows that you dislike.  Advertisers listen.  They won’t pay for shows that people refuse to watch.  Send the networks an e-mail and share your opinions of their programs intelligently, rationally and often.  Every network has a place to “Comment” on their websites.

Let’s support the good guys and steer clear of what is wrong.  If I had a Duck Commander duck caller – I would use it right now to send out a duck call “Amen.”  Have a great day – I’ve got some shopping for camo to do!!!

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