REALITY PREMIERE "Duck Dynasty"
WHEN | WHERE Premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. on A&E
REASON TO WATCH Do people in real life still wear ZZ Top beards? Yes! They do!
WHAT IT'S ABOUT See for yourself in this tightly edited tale of Louisiana's "backwoods" Robertson clan. They earned their mansions and Hummers the old-fashioned way -- hand-crafting great duck calls. (For the uninitiated, that's a little gizmo blown by hunters to lure the birds toward doom.)
Despite being a hirsute "dynasty," they're still the same down-home dudes. Daddy Phil and Uncle Si head out to kill them some beavers. Brother Jase, the call master who "speaks duckinese," dodges work by hitting the swamp for catfish and other quarry. "I'm a frog's nightmare," he says, when night-vision cameras track his hunt.
Back in the office, brother Willie hides herd on business. Derided as "suit man" -- why, he went to college! -- he's got "big trucks" ready to fill that "Finland order," but no Jase perfecting the product that needs to be shipped.
Then there's mama Miss Kay, who's ordered up the frogs to use in making her cooking video. And daddy with his grandkids, trying to "teach them to live off the land" with benefit of "river rat counseling." (Warning: It involves bullfrog decapitation.)
Mama's the only one without whiskers.
MY SAY Proliferating docusoaps love nothing so much as quickly relatable characters and memes. (Other words you could choose: stereotypes, formulas, cliches.) The bidness brother, the bad boy, the folksy dad, the homey mom, some common-sense wives -- just add mouth harp and plunkin' guitars and you got yerself a show!
Which isn't to say "Duck Dynasty" isn't entertaining. It's just more of the same.
BOTTOM LINE They call themselves "wealthy rednecks." Guess you can, too.