Film and TV

Billy Brown's long-lost daughter comes for a visit on 'Alaskan Bush People'

First, the weekly "Alaskan Bush People" update, because what else matters? This week we learned about Billy Brown's past life in Texas.

Turns out Billy wasn't raised by bears in the Bush after all. Instead, Billy's family tragically died in a plane crash when he was only 15 years old. Discovery Channel chose to tell this story by showing old newspaper clippings from Texas, which you had to pause the episode to read.

The gist is that Billy's entire family was flying out to his sister's beauty pageant, but he decided to stay home. And on the way to Corpus Christi their plane crashed.

I'm surprised by the details, but more surprised producers would neglect this story for four seasons. Especially because now it makes total sense why they freak out when their family is separated. This context would have been helpful years ago.

['Alaskan Bush People' father and son get 30 days in jail for lying about residency]

We also finally learned about Twila, Billy's daughter from a previous marriage who he hasn't seen since she was young because he was "ushered out" of their family. She is now 44 years old and for some reason agreed to be on "Alaskan Bush People."

Twila had some thick eyeliner and possibly fake hair and lips. Needless to say, she did not fit in with the rest of the Brown clan. However, Ami (her stepmom) was sweet, and made sure she felt welcome.


"I'd be honored if you called me mom," Ami said.

I liked Twila because of what she said in reaction to Bear: "I wish I could can some of his energy, bring it home and dip into it every now and then." Amen, long-lost sister.

Meanwhile, Matt, whose hair is starting to resemble Richard Simmons', put up a zombie apocalypse window pane, Bear made a new jacket with blades in the forearms so he can climb and chop things more efficiently and Gabe made a bucking bull out of a barrel to make their new sister feel more at home (extra points for stereotyping Texas).

All three boys were totally stoked about their inventions and claimed they were "awesome additions to Browntown." When you list the things that happen in any given episode of "Alaskan Bush People" it really points out just how nuts this show is.

Speaking of complex families, it seems Sarah Palin's future courtroom television drama will be called "Palin Rules." As a reminder, this program will feature non-law-degree holding Palin acting like Judge Judy. According to the producers, Palin will rule "the courtroom of common sense."

It makes my stomach hurt to write this. I hope that Lisa Vanderpump of "Vanderpump Rules" throws a fit over the title similarities. For those out of the Bravo loop, in Vanderpump's show she presides over the Botoxed servers of her LA restaurant empire as they drink, fight and sleep together. It's excellent.

Emily Fehrenbacher lives in Anchorage, where she reviews Alaska reality TV. You can reach her at or on Twitter @ETFBacher.

Emily Fehrenbacher

Emily Fehrenbacher lives in Anchorage and writes "Reality Check," a regular look at reality television set in Alaska.