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For some "Duck Dynasty" fans, the show surely carries a sort of nostalgic vibe, recalling a time when we played in the woods (or outdoors) instead of being chained to our laptops and cellphones and trapped in a deadline frenzy.
"There’s something to be said about not being caught up in the rush-rush of urban life," says A&E president Robert DeBitetto. "They seem to be a family that has figured out how to live a wonderful kind of alternative life on their own terms. For the masses slaving away in the big cities, there’s something enviable about that."
7. The setting
Speaking of the big cities, "Duck Dynasty" whisks us away from the overly familiar TV terrain of Los Angeles and New York to present its audience with a much-welcome rustic backdrop.
As Huffington Post TV critic Maureen Ryan recently pointed out, the Louisiana setting gives the show "a kind of freshness — you’re not going to encounter snakes and turtles and shooting ranges on ‘Modern Family.’ " At the same time, it’s not overly exotic because the backwoods/Southern genre is so popular on cable TV these days.
8. The Robertsons are relatable
OK, so not all of us have full-blown, forest-thick facial hair or spend a lot of time in duck blinds. But we can see parts of ourselves in the quirky quack pack.
"(The show) is connecting market by market, around the country," DeBitetto says. "It’s as popular on the coasts as it is in the breadbasket. It seems to cut across so many of the things that we tend to think differentiate us."
Adds Farrell: "On one hand, they look nothing like my family. On the other, they’re very much like my family."
9. Beards are sexy?
You might think that a show full of shaggy, camo-wearing bird hunters would largely appeal to men, and it does. But check out the fan sites and you’ll find plenty of female devotees, who clearly prefer manly, rugged men over the metrosexuals they so often see on TV.
Says Shelia Garris, a "Duck Dynasty" devotee from Mississippi, "I love men who work hard for a living. Men who get dirty, who work and live off the land. Men who take care of their families. Men who have good family values. Men who are like our dads were or are."
10. They get us to laugh and smile
When it comes down to it, there’s nothing deep or profound about "Duck Dynasty." It’s basically a well-produced, expertly edited dose of escapism enjoyed by millions.
"(The Robertsons) are a family that many of us would like to have, or hang out with," Neumeyer says. "I could rattle off a lot of different reasons the show is a success. But the main reason is it makes people happy."
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