Rednecks: They’re not just stuff of backwoods lore anymore—they’ve gone mainstream.
Television producers have been developing more unique shows featuring these folk whose everyday lives are outrageous. Animal Planet, the History Channel, CMT, the Discovery Channel, TLC, A&E and NatGeo have all hopped on the blue collar bandwagon.
“‘Moonshiners’ is totally a redneck show, and I don’t need to say why because it’s pretty self explanatory,” said Rachel Prisbrey, a sophomore music major from Santa Clara. “I love that show because these guys are speaking English, and yet you need subtitles to understand what they are saying.”
On the Discovery Channel, the characters in “Moonshiners” attempt to produce illegal 180-proof alcoholic beverages in the bayous of the deep South.
But the definition of “redneck reality TV” isn’t set in stone. Some students consider a wide variety of programming to fall within the confines of trailer trash television.
Kendra Hall, a freshman education major from Hurricane, said any show associated with agriculture is considered redneck. She also included shows on the History Channel like “How It’s Made.”
“Anything that involves hunting is redneck,” said Tera Kvarfordt, a senior business major from Las Vegas. “To me, hunting is very redneck, including the camouflage and the hound dogs.”
Kvarfordt said one of her favorite redneck shows to watch is “Ax Men” on the History Channel, which takes viewers into the dangerous and intricate life of loggers.
“They’re funny, they’re ridiculous and they’re outrageous,” she said. “They have this swamp version in the South, and they’re total rednecks based on the way they talk and everything.”
Kvarfordt said she doesn’t appreciate all redneck shows as previews for a particular show disturbed her.
“That ‘Honey Boo-Boo’ thing, that is just too much,” she said.
“Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo,” which airs on TLC, follows a pageant princess who found fame on “Toddlers & Tiaras.” She and her family are known for such things as slathering a turkey with butter while sneezing on it, devouring chicken nuggets and “‘sketti” (Boo-Boo’s pronunciation of spaghetti), and energizing before beauty pageants with “Go-go juice”—a combination of Red Bull and Mountain Dew that Mama June gives Honey Boo-Boo in order to perform better.
“That crosses a line for me,” Kvarfordt said. “I don’t think I can watch it. It seems a little too white trashy.”
However, Kvarfordt said a lot of redneck television is interesting because it’s different than what she is used to based on the way the characters say and do things.
“It’s just how it’s so different from [my] lifestyle,” Hall said.
She said it is fascinating to see people living lives that seem better suited for the 19th century. She compared some of the redneck families on TV to the classic show, “Beverly Hillbillies.”
“It’s different even though [rednecks] are living in our time period. In ‘Beverly Hillbillies,’ it was interesting to see how they adapted to our lifestyle.”
Dakota Jones, a freshman general education major from Kanab, said one of his favorite redneck shows is “Lizard Lick Towing,” which airs on TruTV.
Employees of “Lizard Lick Towing” deal with angry people as their unpaid vehicles are repossessed. Viewers can expect to see wild scenes like a pair of strippers showing up to the repo lot demanding their car back. Insanity ensues when employees like “Big Juicy” get in on scuffles.
Jones said it’s funny watching people get upset and fight the towing company while their cars and property are repossessed.
“There are some pretty funny moments in there,” Jones said. “I love things that make me laugh and that happened to be one of them.”
The shows on TV are endless, and there are surely more to come. From “Duck Dynasty,” which showcases a family of duck hunters who struck it rich by cashing in on the duck call market, to “Redneck Island,” the “Survivor” doppelganger that strands a group of hillbillies on an island and pits them against each other, there’s a redneck reality TV show for every taste.
And if there’s not one that catches someone’s fancy, chances are there will be one soon.
Editor-in-Chief Matty Jacobson contributed to this article.