Film and TV

How do 'Alaskan Bush People' get ripped abs? (And other reader questions about reality TV)


Dearest readers, each spring I like take a moment to answer your emails. I love receiving emails from you, and more than anything I love answering them to the public. So with that let's hear what you have to say:

"Why don't Alaska bush people shoot a bear? I heard it's healthy & delicious," read the subject line of a content-less email.

Great question, Bear Shooting Enthusiast. I believe they don't shoot the bears because: a) the "Alaskan Bush People" are never actually that close to the bears so it would be hard to shoot them; b) the bears aren't causing them harm; and c) the jury is out on whether brown bears are actually healthy and delicious. Here is more information on the wild Alaska game for your reading pleasure.

Another one about "Alaskan Bush People": "Please tell me that this show is coming back. I want to see them find love, get married and, one day have children of their own. It's amazing to watch. I don't care if it's not all real. I love to watch."

Bush People Fan, I believe that "Alaskan Bush People" will be on television until (youngest Browntown inhabitant) Raindrop's children decide they want to be serious actors and start starring in independent films. You probably have nothing to worry about.

One of my favorite emails about "Alaskan Bush People": "Does the Alaskan bush people really live in Alaska and if so how do the kids get ripped abs do they go to a gym."

[Up close with bears — and Bear — on 'Alaskan Bush People']


No Punctuation, according to some internet sources, the Browns do live in Alaska, but they may not live in Browntown. However, many people who live in Alaska and don't go to the gym are fortunate enough to have "ripped abs." You can actually do a variety of ab exercises, like planks, sit-ups, etc., almost anywhere.

From an email about "The Last Alaskans": "Give this program a look … I'm a 36 Alaska resident and have watched most of the Alaska reality shows. My impression is that 98% of them are garbage, not at all representative of the real Alaska … 'The Last Alaskans' is real life, hardships, no neighbors 50-150 miles away. Look forward to your review."

I completely agree that 98 percent of shows are garbage. I watched a few episodes of "The Last Alaskans" and I also agree it's more real than most. However, reality is kinda boring. And I'm a person with garbage taste.

"Unreal TV with dumb asses acting dumb … SAD but what is even sadder is the dumb asses who watch it," wrote in a man going by the name "Capt Ron."

Capt Ron, yep. But it's fun, silly and mindless. That's the entire point. It's like reading trashy beach novels while you are on vacation.

Finally, and perhaps best of all: An email that had a sad face and an angry face as the subject line. And in the body of the email it just said "Bear." I will assume that this person was both sad and angry about (human) Bear from "Alaskan Bush People." Or maybe they were sad and angry about an actual bear on any one of the 60 Alaska reality TV shows. We may never know.

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.