How “redneck reality” became the new rural working-class sitcom

by Scott Von Doviak

In “Fishin’ For Business,” a typical episode of Duck Dynasty, Duck Commander honcho Willie Robertson and his brother Jase introduce another chapter of their rivalry with a bit of dialogue that sounds like a pitch straight out of a sitcom writers’ room: “Let’s have a competition: Who can make the most selling fish?” In this contest, the upwardly mobile Willie assumes the role of the know-nothing city slicker; he has the fanciest boat, with all the latest gizmos, but he can’t catch a fish to save his life. Jase, on the other hand, sets out in a filthy rust bucket with only his trusty rod and a pail of bait, but because he’s a good ol’ country boy intimately familiar with every fishin’ hole on the river, he comes back with a hundred pounds of catfish. Since he doesn’t have his brother’s business sense, however, he can’t sell any of it.

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