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What is our fascination with Buck Wild and hillbilly TV?

A native of the storied coastal city of Charleston, South Carolina, Julie Sprankles has been a lover of words her entire life. As a Southerner, she certainly has what her mama calls “the gift of gab.” When she’s not writing, Julie can be...

You'd better redneckognize!

You can’t shake a stick these days without hitting a reality TV show portraying country culture (for lack of a better word). From Buck Wild to Duck Dynasty, audiences can’t get enough of good ol’ rural folks and their twangy ways. Here are a few reasons we reckon why.

Everybody loves a Southern accent

Listen, y’all… I’m a Southern girl, born and bred. I know the power of a little twang — my drawl may or may not have talked my way out of a speeding ticket or two. Suffice it to say, there’s just something about the way Southerners string a word out, holding tight to each syllable for a moment too many, that is intoxicating.

Of course, there are several levels of accents, just as there are several levels of Southern. When a TV show needs closed captioning to ensure the masses can make heads or tails of casual conversation, well, that’s the top tier of twang. People in that category don’t hold tight to each syllable so much as chew on them like fatback before spitting them out.

Pretty much all popular “hillbilly” TV falls into this category — Buck WildHere Comes Honey Boo Boo, Swamp People, Duck Dynasty and Myrtle Manor. But, let’s face, it… even when an accent lacks the charm of Dolly Parton’s (whom I’d sell my I-teeth to sound like), it’s still strangely addictive to hear.

Them country folk are funny

No one who has listened to the rural, philosophical ramblings of Duck Dynasty’s Si Robertson can deny the comic relief tuning into one of TV’s hillbilly shows provides. A few nuggets from the bearded thinker:

“With this $80 I just won, I’m going to parfait this into winning that camper.”

“Hey Jack, if I pop you with this, you’re fixing to be numb. That’s why they call them numb-chucks.”

“There are things you just can’t fix. Can’t fix stupid, can’t fix a neutered dog, and you can’t fix junk.”

“What kind of world are we living in where you take a samurai sword to a pawn shop and they can’t fix it?”

And those are just from Si — one man on one show. Imagine the bounty of comic genius you can tap into by watching them all.

They make your family look normal

Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson quickly became the hit of the Toddlers & Tiaras child pageant circuit, thanks to her larger-than-life personality… and ferocious mama bear of a mother, June Shannon. And, naturally, TLC scrambled to give Alana a spin-off since America just couldn’t get enough of the squishy little thing’s catchphrases of “You’d better redneckognize!” and “A dolla makes me holla, honey boo boo child!”

Enter Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, which follows the family’s day-to-day antics. When Mama June takes her girls to a redneck festival where they take turns belly-flopping into a mud pit, it might make you look at your own family in a different light. When Alana and her sisters— Pumpkin, Chickadee, and Chubbs — beg to take a dip in a lake infested with flesh eating bacteria, you might rethink calling your own siblings crazy.

You may, from time to time, think your family’s embarrassing or has a few unsightly skeletons in the closet. Darlin,’ the South puts the fun in dysfunctional. You know what they say… our hair’s so big because it’s full of secrets.

Good ol’ boys? Yes, please

We don’t particularly find the gnarly beards of the Duck Dynasty gang super sexy, but that’s not to say there aren’t some grade-A hotties hiding in the dense thicket of wayward Southern hair. Case in point? Swamp People. Um, check out the guns on Jay Paul Molinere — and we’re not talking about the ones he shoots gators with. Or how about “King of the Swamp” Troy Landry’s son Chase? We’d like to check him for ticks, to steal a line from country singer Brad Paisley.

Buck Wild boasts cutie-pie West Virginian heartbreaker Tyler “Pretty Boy” Boulet. Even Myrtle Manor, which documents the daily life of trailer park residents in Myrtle Beach, S.C., has its eye candy in the form of motorcyclin’ drifter Jared Stetson. Not to mention, there’s something to be said for old-fashioned Southern chivalry. These good ol’ boys know how to open a door and pull out a chair for a lady!

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