Alaska News

Reality Check: 'Alaskan Bush People' are back to business as usual

The new season of "Alaskan Bush People" aired on Wednesday. And they somehow found a way to make an entire episode out of moving logs from one place to another. Let's be real, that's a pretty impressive feat -- unless you are "Alaska: The Last Frontier" (ohhhhh, burnnnn).

Enough banter, let's get into the weekly highlights.

Billy Brown's platitude of the week: "Instead of survive, we're going to thrive."

Outfit of the week: Bear cut the sleeves off his signature red hoodie so you could see his guns as he climbs trees.

Weird "only in the Bush" and/or "only on 'Alaskan Bush People'" thing of the week: "We like to play 'it.' It's like a really extreme version of tag we invented," said one of the Brown boys that is way too old to be playing "it." Also there is absolutely nothing that makes "it" different from tag. It is tag with grownups.

Noah does something while wearing an impractical floor-length coat: While clearing some of their land, Noah decides to use a sword instead of a machete. "Some people prefer machetes and axes, I prefer actually my sword. Because it is a tool, it's just a ninja's tool. Not to mention it looks really cool." That's debatable.

Best hair of the week: Gabe must have the greatest hairdresser ever, because he now has a rattail in addition to his signature mutton chops.


Matt is a 12-year-old trapped in the body of a 32-year-old man moment of the week: Matt uses axle grease to shave his face. Grosser than gross.

Possibly illegal activity of the week: While Ami, Billy and the three youngest children head to Juneau for medical treatment, the oldest boys set out to catch salmon for the family. According to a source that knows more about fishing regulations than I do, they appear to be seining from their skiff, which I don't believe is legal unless you are a commercial fisherman. They proceed to catch about 20 pink salmon and talk about how delicious they'll be.

Finally, I found this softball interview with the Brown family where they won't answer any real questions.

With that, I'm taking a few weeks off, which means you'll have to actually watch TV on your own. Don't forget to tune into Destination America on Thanksgiving for the "Railroad Alaska: Real Time Train Ride," a five-hour broadcast of a train's journey from Talkeetna to Healy (airs in Alaska from 5-10 a.m., and rebroadcast 10 a.m.-3 p.m.). I'll leave you with another quote about the special from the greatest press release ever written.

"Most networks compete to produce the most exciting show ..." said Henry Schleiff, group president at Discovery. "We also want to own the other end of the spectrum, providing viewers with the single most boring program ever to appear on television during Thanksgiving … even more boring than the Detroit Lions football game." Thank you again, Destination America PR people, you've given us all a great holiday gift.

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.