Film and TV

Reality Check: 'Bering Sea Gold' introduces a few female divers in season premiere

A new season of "Bering Sea Gold" aired over Labor Day weekend. To refresh your memory, this is a program about underwater gold mining in Nome. Due to post-production timelines, we're just now seeing the winter season on the TV.

This season's major plot line revolves around the Department of Natural Resources tightening regulations, not giving permits and shortening the season. To quote "Bering Sea Gold" star Zeke Tenhoff, they are "shutting us down." While spending five minutes on the Google truth seeking, I found a hilariously sass-filled letter from the state addressed to "Gold Seeker."

Because of all this, Emily Ridel, the master of getting screen time, is permit-less. She decides to partner up with ex-boyfriend, ex-best friend Zeke Tenhoff, who did receive a permit, because without these two this show would be as boring as watching a "Buying Alaska" marathon.

Emily then brings up three very attractive young female divers to be their new diving team. One of these hotties has perfectly ombre hair. Another has fake eyelashes. And they all seem to have put a lot of work into their Nome fashion looks. One girl, Shelby, has real diving experience, but the other two seem to have been cast the same way you might cast Lauren Conrad's "friends" on "The Hills."

As Zeke meets his new divers, he says, "They look all right to me. They are pretty ladies. I'm down for that. I like ladies. What can I say, whether or not these ladies are going to prove themselves to be hard workers and good dredgers is yet to be seen." In 20 seconds he said "ladies" three times, all while wearing the most "Hot Tub Time Machine"-looking jacket I've ever seen. I have a feeling these "ladies" will be making $.783 to Zeke's $1.

Emily shows these new "ladies" their air systems so that when they are diving, they won't breath toxic fumes. But this system is pretty jacked up. That's when Kendall, a friend of Emily's from Homer, decides this isn't the gig for her.

She lays down the law by saying, "Not one thing on your dredge situation is safe. And I have zero respect for you."

Dammmmn Kendall. First, there is no better way to belittle someone's work than by adding the word "situation." Second, instead of bowing out, she makes sure Emily knows she has no respect for her.

When Emily tells Zeke what happened, we find out that he didn't like Kendall because she had called him a "fat boy" in eighth grade. This explains why she's so good at insulting people; she's had about 15 years of practice.

Anyways, there are some other dredges out there looking for gold, too. Nothing as exciting happens with them and there are no hot girls in bikinis.

On to the news in brief. There have been more hunting charges related to the reality TV industrial complex this week. Apparently, a) there is a hunting show on the Sportsman Channel called "The Syndicate" (who knew?) and b) the people and production companies involved with the show were charged with poaching in the Noatak National Preserve. Allegedly dozens of animals were killed illegally and some of the killings ended up on the show (Sportsman Channel has since announced they've suspended airing the show).

Second: The Murdoch family of the evil Fox Empire bought National Geographic. Taking National Geographic from a nonprofit to the most corporate of corporate entities. Woof.

Third: On Sept. 14 a new show on ABC called "Dance Battle America" aired, featuring five girls from Wasilla. The show aired after press time, plus I'm not into the whole dance show craze, but: Go team AK.

Finally, the NFL Network is featuring the Barrow football team on "Football Town." The first episode airs on Thursday night. Sounds like "Friday Night Lights" meets "Hard Knocks" meets "Life Below Zero." I'm in.

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