"Duck Dynasty" returned to A & E for Season 6 Wednesday night, despite the controversy that has surrounded the popular family in the recent past. The season premiere seemed to sneak up on fans without as much media hype as usual, and this might be a good thing. The Robertsons are still America’s favorite family, but they just are not belly-laughing funny anymore. They are warmly familiar and still loads of fun, but the show was just not comparable to earlier seasons when the episodes remained hysterically funny through unlimited reruns.
Wednesday night’s episode featured a visit by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to present an award to Duck Commander for excellence in business. It just seemed awkward and stilted for some reason. And, it seemed sort of odd that John Luke, a young high school student, was introducing a governor. Sometimes the writers make John Luke a bit too quirky.
Maybe it’s the writers, or maybe it’s the same turn of events that beset “Happy Days,” “Laverne and Shirley,” or any other long-running, mega-popular sitcoms. Keeping the momentum is difficult, but can be done with the correct writing, as exemplified by “Last of the Summer Wine” in the UK. They were the longest-running sitcom in the world, and, after 37 years, they still continued to improve!
Hopefully, the rest of the season will bring some new zest to “Duck Dynasty,” which is still one of the best semi-reality shows on television. Fans of the show, however, still crave the zany, unique humor of the early years. Perhaps, the folks at A & E are over-scripting the Robertsons, who all seem to have a natural comedic sense that is being wasted, especially Uncle Si Robertson. When he is forced into an unnaturally- set script, he comes across as silly.
All good things come to an end, but hopefully that will not be the case with “Duck Dynasty” anytime soon. It is still immensely popular, but unless they find their original rhythm, they may lose some of their fan base. Yes, it’s a good thing they did not hype this season premiere as much as they have in previous years. It would have been a let-down.