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Film and TV

Reality Check: Anchorage couple competes to find family in 'Relative Race'

Last week I wrote about the on-camera coitusing of young people back in 2002, and today I write about BYUtv, apparently a religious channel based out of Provo, Utah. If that's not range, I don't know what is.

According to their public relations staff, BYUtv is a "groundbreaking High Definition cable television network ... that has created a breadth of original 'see the good in the world' programming that fills a void in entertainment the entire family can enjoy together, including sketch comedy, history, music, and documentary offerings." Listed affiliates on their website are Brigham Young University and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But just like with politics, Reality Check will stay far away from discussing religion.

However, I won't stay away from making fun of some of these "see the good in the world" TV shows on BYUtv. "Studio C" is their sketch-comedy show that lists their memorable characters as "Bisque Man" and the "Awkward Avoidance Viking." Sketch comedy without some smut or an edge sounds really boring, but this Viking sounds intriguing. "American Ride" is about a Harley-riding history teacher who travels around to "discover more about the history and future of our great nation, meet people across the country who believe in freedom." I bet he wants to make America great again. And of course there are shows like "Turning Point," which I'm guessing is about people finding the church.

What does this have to do with Alaska? What does this have to do with anything you care about? Great questions. Anchorage residents Janice and Patrick Wright are contestants on a BYUtv show called "Relative Race." They will be racing from San Francisco to New York City with nothing but paper maps, flip phones and $25 a day (oh, and TV crews) to meet relatives found through DNA matching.

I half-watched the first episode, and it's basically "The Amazing Race," but with no cursing. It was pretty entertaining to watch married couples try to get out of a major city just looking at a paper map, and no GPS or direction. The other interesting thing is they are meeting these relatives for the first time, so the family dynamics have an opportunity to get real weird.

"Relative Race" was entertaining enough, but my favorite thing was actually the ad that played before the episode. It was for something called a "Clean Router," which goes one step beyond normal parental controls and blocks everything fun on the Internet.

You can watch online at, unless you have the fancy cable package. Then you can access this fun-for-the-whole-family programming on GCI Channel 124.

Finally, let's change gears completely and answer a few questions from readers' emails. This was received from an individual whom I'll call Hates Punctuation: "Hi there are you for real I mean like from alaska in alaska I love you last name by the way are you married my name is Hates Punctuation I live in niagara falls new york my question about brownstown is how do they get their electricity and I think I'm in love with the 1 daughter but I'm just wondering if the brothers have already claimed her I've always wanted to live inside a tree but here in niagara falls there are none big enough if you could answer back my questions I would appreciate it."

Here are the answers to your questions, Hates Punctuation.

1. Fehrenbacher is German and I am married.

2. My guess is they get electricity from either the Inside Passage Electric Cooperative, because they are located close to Hoonah, or they run off generators provided by Discovery Channel.

3. Not justifying the question about the daughter with a response.

4. There is another show made by the same people who make "Alaskan Bush People" called "Treehouse Masters." Maybe you should watch that.

With that, I'm out. Happy Fur Rondy.

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

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