Why Duck Dynasty and Downtown Abbey are Cut from the Same Cloth, So to Speak


Over the past four years, watching TV was a non-topic for me. I just didn't. If I started a show, that meant a paper that wouldn't get written, a chapter would remain unread, or a lesson would go unprepared. I exercised delayed gratification as much as possible, then when I needed a break I would watch something on Netflix about once a month. That's it.

2012 was different. I had finished my coursework, was ticking long on my research plan, and needed to say "hello" to my husband. So I began to join him once a week for "The Big Bang Theory." Thirty minutes a week was heaven. The show was incredible, and I became hooked.

So I added another: Bones. The show was frustrating because it was occasionally great, frequently cheesy and occasionally just flat-out bad. So I cut back on Bones.

And then I added Downton Abbey AND Duck Dynasty.

So I'm watching a full four hours of TV per week now. FOUR hours! But in some ways, I feel like Downton Abbey and Duck Dynasty are two extremes of the same show, so I'm going to give myself a break and say I'm really just watching three hours weekly.

Why? Because...

  • They are both shows about people of means, but whose lives are filled with human conflict, humor, drama and more drama.
  • They both have older characters in the show who are quotable above most all quoteables. Violet Crawley and Si Robertson keep my giggle box full. For example, a classic Violet quote: “Don’t be defeatist, dear. It’s very middle class.” And Si: "Whether you're talking about bees, dogs or women, PAIN can come upon you quickly." In other words, the eldest characters are endearing because they speak the truth as they see it.
  • The communities in which they lived are enriched because of their influence and philanthropy.
  • They are a tight-knit bunch, family comes first, and there are plenty of rules to learn if you become part of the family.
  • Their children put up with quite a lot simply by virtue of having been born into the family. But they are given much as well for the same reason.
  • The men profess to be in charge, but the women can make or break a situation every single time.
  • They wholeheartedly embrace their culture, initially resist progress, but then usually adapt.
  • They can get into trouble with other community members based upon their own belief systems, and have to sort things out with said community members from time to time.
  • And...They both eat like kings.

I'm sure we could "contrast" these two TV sensations as well as compare, but I simply haven't the time to do that. Downton Abbey will be on soon, and I cannot miss it!


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