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Jewel is back on the ranch on ‘Alaska: The Last Frontier’; In McCarthy, ‘Edge of Alaska’ winds down

  • Author: Emily Fehrenbacher
    | Reality Check
  • Updated: December 13, 2017
  • Published December 12, 2017

It has been awhile since we've checked in on the comings and goings of the Alaska reality television world, so let's get right into the goodgood.

First, there is a new season of "Homestead Rescue" airing on Discovery. In case you forgot, this "docudrama" is vaguely about Alaska because it stars the Raney family of Wasilla. They travel around the rural-ish Lower 48 helping homesteaders who are trying to live off the land, but failing miserably and hilariously.

Typically, the show follows the Raneys as the bearded son helps with a "predator problem" (meaning: teaches basic hunting skillz), the daughter Raney does something involving food prep and safety (builds a garden or pens the livestock) and the elder statesman Raney attempts a random hair-brained project that no one thinks will work, but it typically does in the end. For example, in the season premiere, Marty tries to build a well pump using a rusty old oil drum that he suspends from the air so that when the wind blows it pumps water into a tank. Unfortunately, the wind never blows, so they end up putting in a tried and true hand pump. And shockingly, the thing that's been used for hundreds of years works well. (Pun!)

All this is done so they can reunite a woman with her daughter, who isn't allowed to visit the homestead until there is proper sanitation. Or at least a place to go to the bathroom that isn't just a bucket on the front porch. This season looks similar to others: there's bulldozer mishaps, Conex trailers, plenty of night vision shots of predators and so many corny dad jokes you could write a book (which I'm sure Raney already has in the works). "Homestead Rescue" airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. AST on Discovery.

FILE – Alaska-born singer Jewel on “Alaska: The Last Frontier” (Screen capture via

Also on Discovery, "Alaska: The Last Frontier" is still/always airing. Jewel is back driving cattle with her fam and her son, while the rest of the family is moving an old Kilcher structure, the Octagon, away from the bluff that it's about to fall off. I don't watch a lot of "Alaska: The Last Frontier," but watching this episode is the 100th time I've seen them show earthquake footage from the January 2016 earthquake. While they are working to move the Octagon, Eivin gets hit in the head with the excavator bucket, which looked terrible.

Finally, we had the season, and maybe series, finale of "Edge of Alaska." Mostly, it showed Neil Darish, the owner of most of McCarthy's businesses, putting 90 percent of downtown McCarthy up for sale. However, the sale hinged on fixing the porch of the Golden Saloon, which Darish had asked his buddy/onscreen enemy Jeremy Keller to handle for him. Keller, who is petty AF, decides to rip off the porch and burn it on the river, instead of just fixing the parts that were broken.

Other than that, we literally watched Mark Wacht strip logs. Which is boring when you do it in real life, and even more boring when you are watching someone do it on TV. Goodnight "Edge of Alaska," it's been real.

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