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.

19 comments on “REALITY TV… Part I: Gold Rush and Duck Dynasty…

  1. This is bad, but when SH is commenting on Gold Rush and big ole “glory hole”, I immediately thought of Brandi…lol. Wonder why?


  2. I love how Parker works his butt off to get his Grandfathers respect and to continue his legacy. It is so nice to see It is so nice to see the Generations respect each other. It gives me hope.
    I like D.D. for the same reason. Do I know the scenes are situationaly scripted, yes but I love the spin they put on everything. I enjoy watching how they treat each other and that Family,Faith and Fun can exist all in the same place.


    • I agree with you on all points Cyn. I enjoy watching both of these shows as does my entire family.

      Parker’s a good kid with a huge responsibility on his shoulders. He’s still wet behind the ears, but how old is he? He’s much more mature than some mid 20-somethings I know.

      This is only the 2nd season of Gold Rush?

      I do FF through all the machinery breaking down, it bores me. I wanna see everything else about the day to day of gold mining and especially the end, when they weigh it.


  3. I love the Robertson family. Its amazing how good tv show can leave you feeling just a bit more relaxed after watching. Even their antics are precious. Jase is my favorite. There is something about the feelin you have after watching this show vs the HW shows that really says it all.


  4. I loved first season of DD.But the newest season is too much.I understand it going to be scripted but I hate they have amp up stereotypes to draw in viewers.I wish they would of stick true to formula of first season it felt realistic.I don’t put blame on family but these awful producers/companies that are ruining my favorite shows!



    It really is funny. Si and Jase are seriously hysterical when they’re not following the show ‘outline’. I love that they call themselves ‘The Beards’ too. Great family.

    (They could maybe stop showing dead things skinned, but other than that, all good. lol.)


  6. love me some Duck Dynasty! my dad got the book for Christmas and I read it over the holidays and love them even more! they come from humble beginnings, have made awful mistakes that they openly admit and take ownership for (Phil got drunk and left Kay and the boys for a couple months!), and they have worked hard for all they own now. plus i love how they stay grounded- i mean, not many millionaires would still live in a double wide! check out the book if you get a chance – it’s quick, easy, and you’ll appreciate the show even more! plus it discusses how Willie and his wife adopted one of their kids and as someone interested in adoption- i loved it!


  7. I haven’t caught either of these shows but will now. There’s another gold show on Discovery..the Bering Sea Gold where there are three or four boats digging for gold in Alaska’s offshore…I caught part of that..after meeting one of the crew members while on vacation. That looks pretty good as well.

    Can’t beat old fashioned values…they always stand the test of time. Nothing new about that!


  8. Love me some Duck Dynasty. I do know some of it is directed, but the heartfelt love and family togetherness makes it null and void. I read the book a month ago and I love them even more. I love watching how grounded they all are even if they have some money.


  9. My son likes this one, I don’t watch it myself. Another that went downhill quickly was theone called “Lizard Lick” . Can’t recall which channel , but it started out ok & now just looks sooooo staged. I hate that. A little bit of the set up stuff (like vacations on the RHWVS shows) I can see. But to totally set up situations & play them out like they’re real , just dumb i/m/o. But like I say I’ve never really watched DD so I can’t speak to that one.


    • That Lizard Lick Towing is such a joke. Makes the Housewives Franchises look like they are real and unscripted. I don’t know how that show is still on tv.


      • It’s a shame too because in the beginning it was enjoyable to watch. The blonde guy comes out with some good phrases that crack me up. However, there was one episode where the guy comes and steals his car back from their lot. The owner says there’s nothing he can do because in No. Carolina (I think) it’s not illegal to “steal back” your own property. HELLO – It is NOT his property – it’s the bank’s property. I mean how stupid do they think we are?


  10. I love DD. I especially love Ms. Kay. I wish she would put out a cook book or a video or two about her canning. I quit watching any of the RH shows when I just got too caught up in them and having a teenage daughter – I realized what a terrible example I was in watching those shows and letting her watch them with me.


    • Nonna check their site. I know in one of the episodes they were doing a cooking video. They are branching out all over.


  11. Loved reading this post, SH! You are ABSOLUTELY spot-on about the differences with these 2 shows, compared to the others! I, myself, watch Duck Dynasty & I love how every episode ends with the family coming together around the dinner table! Not to mention, they do/say some of the DUMBEST things that have me ROFL by the end of the show!
    I guess I can’t be too surprised that they’re show is doing so well……it’s like a new-age Beverly Hillbillies, & that show was a success during it’s time!


  12. Melvin and the Blue Notes: “Wake Up Everybody”. Just one of my all time favorite anthems, with a beautiful message. TY Ms. SH!!!


Comments are closed.