Louisiana TV: how shows have helped the state's image

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 9:29pm

Louisiana has been the setting for several popular TV shows, and is gaining fans, but what has put the state in the spotlight done for Louisiana’s image.  FOX44 talked with Troy Landry from ‘The History Channel’s’ “Swamp People” to find out how his life and his home town have been affected the since the show started.

Troy Landry’s life on the bayou in Pierre Part is peaceful until he tries to go out: "If I go to the local hardware store which is a mile away usually I can run to it there to the grocery store and be back in five minutes. Now it takes me an hour just to run to the store."

He one of the stars of "The History Channel’s 'Swamp People.'” He said since the show’s started his life has been changed.

“It's hard to believe in like 5 years how far we've gone and how many opportunities have come our way,” Landry explained. “I'm the same old guy I always was. I'm nothing, but an old fisherman and everybody freaks out when they see me.  They act like they're meeting a real movie star.”

The show chronicles the lives of Louisiana alligator hunters giving the world a glimpse of life on the bayou and the colorful characters who live there.

Louisiana has also produced other big time characters like the Robertson family on “A&E’s Duck Dynasty.”

 Jensen Moore, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of strategic communications at LSU’S Manship School of Mass Communication, said the Robertson family shows off one of the unique cultures of Louisiana. 

“’Duck Dynasty’ this is a group of people who made millions of dollars on something as simple as a duck call,” Moore explained. “Now people are thinking to themselves how can I make millions of dollars and still live a down to Earth lifestyle.”

Moore said more and more audiences are taking notice of all the diverse cultures and characters Louisiana has to offer.

“It says we have a lot of characters. It definitely says there are a lot of people here who are entertaining and worthwhile, and people are interested in,” Moore said.

Moore explained the more audiences see Louisiana and Louisiana characters on TV the better for Louisiana’s image.  

"By bringing in more of those shows and showing just how diverse and culturally unique we are it really does help Louisiana," Moore said.

Troy Landry said one reason for viewer’s love of Louisiana is the people.

"Louisiana is one of the few places in the country where you have people who fish for a living commercial fish for a living.  I think people in other parts of the country are fascinated with the beauty of the swamps and the bayous they are fascinated by the alligators," Landry said. 

Landry said the show has helped popularity of places like Pierre Part.

“They come on vacation. They don't just come for one day look for me and leave. They rent some hotels. They rent apartments. They rent little beds and breakfasts and they stay here for weeks,” Landry said.

Fans come from all over the world just to see the place made famous by “History Channel’s ‘Swamp People.’”

"Because as big as the show is in this country in other countries it's even bigger," Landry stated.

Landry explained fans also visit other Louisiana locales when they come to visit helping businesses across the state.

"They spend money while they are here so it's good for the community. It's good for the parish. It's good for the whole state," Landry said.

Landry said the show also helps introduce fans to some of the unique vocabulary of the bayou.

“People caught on to our little sayings we say in the boat and people love it,” Landry said.

Landry said it can be hard to get a moment of quiet since the show started.

“My wife and I had to disconnect our phones, because people would call all hours of the night,” Landry described. “And in Pierre Part there are four Troy Landry's. There are four of us.”

Overall, Landry said being on the show is a positive experience. Landry said he’s grateful for the opportunity to show off the place he calls home.

"To me there is no other place that I would want to live,” Landry exclaimed. “There is no other place nearly as beautiful. For me the swamps are kind of the place where time forgot." 


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