With the second season of Hillbilly Handfishin', a show devoted to men who capture catfish with their bare hands, and sometimes feet, premiering this Sunday on Animal Planet, we think it's time to acknowledge what we've been unwilling to admit: We are in the throes of a full-fledged redneck reality TV epidemic.
Reality television once set its sights on the unattainable luxuries of the white-collar-wearing hoards. From the demanding teens on MTV's My Super Sweet 16 to the unsettling success of Bravo's Real Housewives series, rich kids and well kept wives have ruled the small screen. Maybe all of the shopping sprees started to wear on middle-class viewers, whose annual spending at H&M was dwarfed by a single reality-show purchase on Rodeo Drive.
Enter the blue-collared, backwoods folks, who make an honest living using their hands alone, trudging through muck and mire, with a dialect so difficult to understand that some shows even include subtitles. Instead of ignoring America's down-home population, reality TV has embraced them, trading cities for swamps and bleached veneers for missing front teeth. It all kind of makes you feel superior, doesn't it?
We're not threatened by people we've deemed (often erroneously) hillbillies, backwoods, and redneck—we're entertained by them. And that's the point, right? Leave it to Hollywood to play with our desire to feel all high and mighty! Luckily, the byproduct in this shift means less entitled 1% types on our television sets and more "good ol' boys and girls" whose work ethic we can at least respect. No elitists here; these are The 10 Most Hilarious Redneck Reality TV Shows,y'all!
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