REALITY TV… Part I: Gold Rush and Duck Dynasty…

Not all “reality” shows are created equal.  Some are given the green light because of the production company producing the show.  Some are created by the network which will air the show.  Some are shows which aren’t expected to do well, but find a growing audience.

The operative word is “reality.”  If you didn’t realize this by now, there is NOTHING real in 99.9% of the “reality” shows airing on TV.  “Reality” shows all started out with the intent of showing viewers an inside peek into the everyday of lives of people… or started out with the intent of affording viewers a look into an interesting situation ala “Survivor.”

For the most part, what has started out as a fun and interesting look into others’ lives and/or reactions has devolved into trash TV.

There are a handful of “reality” shows which are of interest… shows which have not become totally manufactured.  One “reality” show which has made a record descent into phoniness is “Gold Rush.”

In only its second season, “GoldRush” has become simply another formulaic show.  Every episode involves a major equipment breakdown; a major dumbazz decision made by the leader of these “gold miners;” a major meeting; followed by a major hardhat click.  The only redeeming character on “GoldRush” is Parker Schnabel’s grandfather, John Schnabel.

The Schnabel’s have provided Discovery a photo album of John Schnabel… from his early years growing up in Oregon in a chicken coop… to seeing his grandson, Parker, take the reins of his BigNuggetMine.

In a comparison photo, one can see that grandson and grandfather are definitely related…


After watching Mr. Schnabel’s interaction with his grandson, one can only aspire to be more like him… always smiling, always encouraging, always positive, always energetic… even after suffering three heart attacks.

As for the rest of the people on “GoldRush”… you can frickin’ keep ’em!  They will never find that big ole “glory hole”!

duck dynasty

“Duck Dynasty” is starting its third season this month, after it’s hit first and second seasons.  DD was one of those fluke shows… a situational “reality” show, but with more realistic situations and very likable characters.  Even A&E knows DD is not a “reality” show… as A&E describes DD as a “docu-series.”

DD has whooped its competitors in the ratings race…


“In the final national ratings, which were released December 7, 2012 by Nielsen, Duck Dynasty delivered 6.5 million viewers — A&E’s top telecast ever.  The docu-series also set a record among adults 18-49, earning a 3.0 rating in the valuable demo — topping shows like CBS’ Survivor, ABC’s Nashville and Fox’s TheX-Factor, while matching CBS’ Criminal Minds (ABC’s Modern Family was a repeat, which helped). That also means Duck Dynasty won its 10 p.m. time period outright.

The second season of Duck Dynasty grew its audience by 139 percent overall compared to its first round.”

In a video released today, Willie Robertson talks to students of Harding University, his alma mater (the video was filmed two months ago).   The Duck Commander CEO discusses trying to keep Christian references in the final edits of the program to baptizing a famous friend in a hot tub. He mentioned that the people he meets who are so rich in material goods but lack faith are the most unhappy people.

Willie Robertson and his family are very open about their Christian faith in the hit program, with each episode ending with a prayer around the dining room table.

Further info re “Duck Dynasty” can be found at!

NOTE:  This is Part I of a look at various “reality” shows.  What these two shows, “GoldRush” and “DuckDynasty” have in common is their faith base.   With more and more “reality” shows popping up and fizzling quickly, as they are an affront to decent values, the producers and networks carrying “reality” shows should analyze why the above “reality” shows are hitting it big with viewers.  

Honestly, no one wants to see any adult woman with a brain cell in her head swinging on a stripper pole on a “reality” show.