Duck Dynasty cast prove why they’re popular, get beaten by Swamp People

Duck Dynasty‘s extreme popularity is now as well-known as its total artificiality. It’s a scripted sitcom that lies to viewers, except it’s honest about one thing: its cast members’ personalities.

The cast appeared on Katie Couric’s talk show Wednesday, and did a good job of proving why they are entirely the reason why the show works, and why it’s going to be all but impossible to duplicate its success (though a lot of networks will be trying, ugh).

They played a version of Family Feud (during which the Swamp People cast members demonstrated some remarkable Kardashian knowledge) and told stories about the show’s origin. They’re not exactly new to doing media or interviews, and are obviously confortable in front of cameras, but still, they’re funny and charming and comfortable with being themselves, and that works.

Later on the episode, some blowhard talked for a few minutes about why rural reality shows are popular right now:

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.