Saturday, April 28, 2012

Three Current Incarnations of The Beverly Hilllbillies

The Beverly Hillbillies (film)
The Beverly Hillbillies (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Clampett family on The Beverly Hillbillies is one of the most well known families in sitcom history. If you’ve never seen this iconic show, it is basically about a family from the deep south that strikes it rich one day when the patriarch of the family – Jed Clampett – is out hunting one day and strikes oil, or Texas Tea as it’s called in the show’s theme song. As a result of their newfound wealth, they move to Beverly Hills where their deep south lifestyle clashes with the upscale culture. Although that show is decades old, there are several TV shows today with the same premise.

Bayou Billionaires:
This TV show on CMT is more like a reality show than a sitcom, but it has the same idea that The Beverly Hillbillies had. It follows the Dowden family that struck it rich when they found oil in their backyard a few years ago. Since then, they have been trying to find new and exciting ways to spend their money. The patriarch and matriarch of the family has made sure that their family tags along and they have taken financial care of their kids and grandkids in addition to spending their money.

Duck Dynasty:
This show is a little different in that the Robertson family created a duck call product that turned into a multimillion dollar company. The company they created is owned and operated by the family which often creates a multitude of problems. One of the most popular phrases from one of the premiere episodes is when the CEO of the company yells at his family and says, “I’d wish I could fire you, but you’re kin to me!” The family, which lives in southern Louisiana, finds fun ways to spend its money. In one episode, they build one of the most elaborate duck blinds that money can buy, reminiscent of some of the antics of the Clampett family.

My Big Redneck Vacation:
This show follows a group of self-proclaimed rednecks on a vacation in the Hamptons. The two cultures clash when the family from Shreveport, Louisiana, which includes several brothers and sisters and their children, invades one of the most upscale communities on the eastern seaboard. The family is shown some of the ways of the elite but they also teach the Hamptonites a few things of their own, including the art of mudding when hurricane-like weather hits the vacation spot. When the family leaves, they have made some good friends with the people they spent their vacation with despite their rough beginnings.

The fact that there are so many shows on TV today that echo the idea behind the Beverly Hillbillies is a testament to the iconic sitcom’s staying power and timelessness. But as always, the original is always much better than the imitators.