A&E’s TV series, Duck Dynasty, is truly one of the most remarkable shows on television. Yes, it’s been controversial at times, but members of this West Monroe, Louisiana family appear fearless as they deal with personality differences, and walk viewers through the intricacies of their lives.
I also know, after a lifetime of working in television, that almost all of these ‘reality’ shows are heavily choreographed and orchestrated. Sorry if that pops your bubble, but those are the facts of life.
Still, there are some things that can’t be faked. Many of us saw a Duck Dynasty episode a year ago when the Robertson family showed up at their HOA board meeting after being dinged for owning chickens and for burning leaves. The faces in the room are priceless. The vacant far-away, shell-shocked expressions among homeowners should be given some kind of acting award. The matriarch’s repeated statement that she brought a casserole to the HOA meeting had me rolling in laughter. Faked or not, this episode was hilarious.
If anyone among our readership has contact with the Robertson family, or their producers, or the many actors and technicians who work on their set, please let me know. I want to send them some copies of Neighbors At War!
What was so funny about this?
Kay — the woman who brought the cassarole — made the mistake of thinking that an H.O.A. corporation is some type of friendly association of neighbors, instead of realizing that she was dealing with a group of petty authoritarians who wield tremendous power over her family’s property.
And for all of Jase’s talk about “unalienable rights – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and the H.O.A. making him “want to move to Scotland or China”, in the end he shut up and did as he was told.
It wasn’t hilarious. It was sad, watching them submit to the H.O.A. corporation. I’m not laughing.
Given the Robertsons’ resources and outspokenness, I expected them to fight for their rights. Except that they learned that home owners who are governed by unregulated private corporations, under the guise of contract law, with no consumer protections, don’t have rights to fight for.
Bill Brauch, the Director of the Consumer Protection Division of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, once said that
Imagine how powerless the average home owner who is not a state’s chief consumer protection lawyer is when dealing with their H.O.A. corporation; even if they have a net worth of millions of dollars to hire a good legal team and the public support that comes from one of the most popular shows on television.
Your points are well taken, Robert. But if we can’t all laugh once in a while even at ourselves, then we become rudderless as a movement. Duck Dynasty is heavily scripted and edited. But the expressions on every face in that room, no matter how many video takes were required, were perfect. The writer of this episode has to have been a one-time victim of the HOA movement.