BW needs your help with her homework!

As promised last week, I have another poll for you.  I am doing my homework for this Saturday’s radio show discussion about Louisiana reality TV shows.  Once again, I need your help and input.  Hey, it’s summer.  It’s hot.  And if you’re just sitting inside keeping cool at your desktop or I-pad, do me a BIG favor and check out a little reality TV, Louisiana style.  If you have a Facebook page, please share this poll with your friends, as I would appreciate as much input as possible–especially from folks outside of Louisiana.

Duck Dynasty is about a Louisiana legend, Phil Robertson and his north Louisiana family.  Phil designed his first duck call in 1973 from local wood, and Duck Commander has since grown into a multi-million-dollar business.   The shows are chock full of sage advice and red-neck euphemisms.

Swamp People features several different alligator-hunting teams in different places in south Louisiana.  The show even features a family that actually lives in and off of the Atchafalaya basin swamp.  And my favorite part–the all-woman team of Gator Queen Liz and her new helper Kristy.  Check them out!

And after you’ve done that, please come back and participate in the poll so I can get a better feel for how we are coming across to the rest of the country in these shows.  This time, you are allowed to choose more than one answer and to also make comments.

Meanwhile, I’m studying on this end and thinking of a new contest, which is my way of saying thank you for all your help.  I’m wondering, though, what kind of prize you might be interested in?

[polldaddy poll=6396230]

Please note:  I didn’t mean to provide a comment option within the poll.  So if you leave a comment within the poll, it will NOT show up on this blog comment section.  If you want us all to read your comment, please leave it on the blog (not in the poll box).  Thanks!

Studying hard,

BW

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Comments

BW needs your help with her homework! — 13 Comments

  1. I think (hope) most people take reality TV shows with a grain of salt. When I watch reality shows shot in other parts of the country, I’m pretty sure they are caricaturizing (is that a word?) the people to an extent.

    Some of the shows are better than others. I think Swamp People shows a lot of hard workers doing what they love. Duck Dynasty provides some good laughs, but does portray most of the characters as rather eccentric, if not downright dumb.

    The worst of the bunch that I’ve seen, in my opinion is Cajun Justice. It seems the producers of that show go out of their way to find the poorest, least appealing people they can to feature and interview.

    Like your friend asked, doesn’t anyone in Louisiana have teeth?

    I’m interested in seeing the other responses, especially from people outside the state

  2. Well, we’ve officially seen episodes o’ all these shows…and they are all certainly entertaining in their own ways. They are also most certainly more “reality” than “Real Housewives of…”, “Jerseylicious”, etc.
    “Reality” is really not an entirely correct name for the formula – and it is a formula, tried and true that dates back to the dawn o’ Television (even before it to movie house “serials”). It’s CHARACTER driven entertainment – whether characters ye relate to in some way, sympathize with, cheer for…the characters are what make the shows. Think o’ the ol’ “classics” like “I Love Lucy”, “The Honeymooners”, “The Andy Griffith Show”…even “The Waltons”. It was the PEOPLE – the characters – that made them successful. Sure, the writing in those shows helped, but good writing with dull characters makes for failed shows.

    These shows all do this. Few folk would watch “Duck Dynasty” if they all looked like the preppy college boys they did before (http://bit.ly/SF3naQ)…they probably act about the same, but now they are “interesting characters”. Would “Swamp People” be as interesting without the cross-section o’ characters? Maybe. Remember Marlin Perkins “Wild Kingdom”? How many folk watched that to call out ol’ Marlin for sitting safe in the studio while Jim rassled wild critters (and how many watched to see what would happen to Jim next week)?

    As @LilSis said, “grain of salt” (OK a good chunk o’ rock salt sometimes) and even some understanding the editing process, but at the end o’ the day, it’s entertainment AND most o’ these shows are showing a unique way o’ life that has survived for longer than the US has existed as a nation. “Duck Dynasty” has the added bonus o’ “if those guys can make a few million, what am I doing wrong?” (the spirit o’ entrepreneurship – “build a better mousetrap (or Duck Call) and the world will beat a path to your door”.

    @LilSis – just a point on Cajun Justice, I think it’s as “real” as any o’ them – the folk they are dealing with are generally law breakers – and from experience, most law breaking folks are usually swimmin’ in the shallow end o’ the gene pool. Again – characters – they want the viewers to dislike the “bad guys” and like the cops (against many folks normal tendencies). Really, would ye want them to only shoe “good looking” criminals? I don’t see a lot o’ high-end, organized crime types driving blinged out Escalades in the Bayou…LOL
    The cops on the show are a good cross section – and much more likeable than many cop shows (beats the tar outta the unmemorable show with the Jeff’ Parish lads and Steven Seagal…yikes).

    • Great dialog here! Think I’ll just sit back and watch and read and learn! And oh my goodness that pic is awesome!!! I’m trying to get Willie to come fishing with me this fall, and if I succeed, I will use those pics as part of the post!!! Thanks!

  3. I like most of the shows, swamp people being the best of the lot. Growing up in the south and still living here. I can filter out the crap and enjoy whats real. Hard working folks always willing to help out a friend or neighbor. Family loving people. I do think northern folks might believe all they see. Most that I know don’t have a clue as to how we live. Thats OK, I don’t know how they live either. Love your site, I visit every day, would love to take one of your tours or fishing trip. Maybe someday. Bill

    • Thanks for the comment, Bill. And it’s good to know you’re here reading even though you’re not always so verbal! Appreciate your perspective on the shows, too. Be glad to show you around my neck of the bayou some day! BW

  4. The only one I can say I enjoy is Duck Dynasty. It’s wholesome and funny in a kitschy way. I’ve maybe seen one episode of Cajun Justice and it was too fake for my taste. I haven’t seen any of the other shows just because the commercials make it seem that all of Louisiana can be depicted from these very small demographics of people.

    • …as happens in any instance where folk try to depict entire cultures in half hour segments! They really hate it when there’s more than one culture in any given area – AND it’s not neatly packaged in a corner somewhere…Louisiana has been confusing ’em for centuries! LOL

  5. The other day I started thinking on why I wasn’t too impressed with the Cajun Justice, or Lima Bean as a deputy, or Seagal’s show. I like the duck and gator hunters. It came to me. Capt Swallow danced around it mentioning the housewives of every major city. All the Cops have been done to death. From every angle, adding some Cajun dialect to the police vernacular still gets you the same ol’Bad Boys, so whatcha gonna do?

    Gators and ducks are new. No one has done them before. AND it’s good clean, set the whole family down, programing. I believe though that it’s their personalities which make me come back the most. To me it’s not so much about the gator hunting, because I really like the segments of the brothers going squirrel hunting, jug fishing, getting a floater to the saw mill and falling short of lumber to do their porch. These are the kind of things you either remember, or relate to in something long forgotten. I loved Justin Wilson’s cooking show and all he did was cook and talk. It’s the stories, the personalities, the way we all love life.

    BTW did you know that the Ducks was originally produced for the outdoors channel? They fit right in with Ted Nugent’s Spirit of the Wild. I am sure it was, as all the others are, to stimulate product sales thru hunting showing beautiful country. Can you imagine how their duck call sales must have gone thru the roof! The first time I saw them as they are now on the History Channel, was when they were discussing a shotgun ad. They did a Boss Hogg theme which really started their popularity snowballing. I was laughing so hard I was crying. This is the commercial, not the show of them talking about making it, which was so great.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNmMMd0kiP8

    Lastly, one last thing I notice, every Louisiana show somewhere has something cooked on it. Think about it. It dawned on me the other day watching a commercial with a couple driving cross country, each state had a song the couple sang while driving but while passing thru Louisiana (singing “Born of the Bayou”) they were also both eating beignets. I think cooking his a huge part of our culture, bigger than any other area of the country. It’s because it’s a gathering of friends and neighbors. If we are not cooking, we are hunting/gathering so we can.
    I learned, as a young child when a person would pull up in the drive, Mom would immediately put on a pot of coffee, Cajuns love to visit.

    Shame you can’t see the flour sack bloomers on talk radio………..

    • Now that I’ve stopped laughing from the flour sack bloomer remark . . .

      Okay, this is the second time you mention Lima Bean, so I had to look him up. I’ve seen Steven Segal’s show, but I didn’t know anything about Deputy Butterbean!!! Still haven’t seen him, but at least I know who you’re talking about. Funny you would notice the beignet in that commercial. I noticed it, too. And Foam, you hit the nail square on the head. LilSis and I were talking about this very thing this morning–it’s about characters–people, their lives. She really liked the Geist brothers, and I even think she might have gone to ole Mitchell’s funeral if she could have, but they were real fellas who harvested and cooked real food, no matter what it was. We saw their home, their family, and what they ate. Same with most all the other gator hunters. But for some reason, we never get that deep into the Gator Queen’s life, and because of that, she’s not the most interesting gator hunter to watch. Would you agree? Your points are well made, and thanks for mentioning Justin Wilson again. He and my mother-in-law taught me how to cook bayou style. When I have my show, I guarantee you we’re going to cook something we caught and eat it up!. I mean, how many yankees (before Joe’s Crab Shack was invented) had any idea how to crack open a blue crab and suck out that sweet white meat? I think those sights and sounds would make for some GOOD TV viewing, don’t you? Thanks for another great comment.

  6. I tried to watch Duck Dynasty and Cajun Justice but, just couldn’t get into the shows. I still prefer Swamp People. I tried to read up on the shows Monday while hubby was having surgery but, I again couldn’t get into the info.

    And as far as eating Cajun food, I have several of Justin Wilsons cookbooks and I watched his show faithfully for years! I also noticed the beignets being eaten in the commercial. Made me hungry.

    I’ll have to pass voting on this poll because I simply do not know how to answer it. Best of luck on it though.

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