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Reality Check: Digging Deep on the upcoming season of 'Bering Sea Gold'

  • Author: Emily Fehrenbacher
    | Reality Check
  • Updated: July 1, 2016
  • Published March 29, 2016

If you've never heard of "The People's Couch," you are probably a healthy, active human being who spends your weekends hiking with interesting friends and reading books about smart things. And hearing about the premise of "The People's Couch" will likely lead you to believe the downfall of American society is upon us.

"The People's Couch" is a Bravo series in which generally above-average-looking people gather with their friends to watch the trashiest of reality shows. But withhold your judgment, because it's actually both hilarious and charming. If you need convincing, check out this six-minute clip of people watching "The Bachelor" finale.

I decided to "Peoples Couch" the hourlong series recap special (titled "Digging Deep") of "Bering Sea Gold" with a couple of founding members of the Reality TV Book Club*, who have never seen an episode before.

"Digging Deep" starts as most episodes of "Bering Sea Gold" do: sweeping shots of Nome, Mike Rowe's deep voice and a skillet full of gold being dried over a fire. (First question out of the gate: "Wait, are they going to eat that gold?")

Here's are the top five points of discussion that came up while watching this 44-minute promo for season six:

1. The Pomrenkes (a father-and-son duo) have great emotional depth. In previous seasons, the father and son team have fought about who was in charge of their operation. But as they reflected on the experience, they both looked a little misty-eyed. "After that argument, we actually started talking a little bit more and understanding each other a little bit more, and then things progressed from there," the father said.

It was adorable, and we all agreed that Shawn Pomrenke (son) takes great care of his skin, and his hair, in looking on point.

2. Should drunken Irish dudes from Hawaii be allowed to mine for gold? This question might seem ridiculous, but the Kellys are two sons and a father who moved to Nome from Hawaii after seeing an episode of "Bering Sea Gold." Basically all they do is fight, curse, fight, fall off their dredge, ruin other people's dredges and fight more. We had a robust discussion about how they should start a side hustle selling Reuben sandwiches out of their dredge "The Paddy Wagon" because it looks like a food truck.

3. How expensive are baby shoes in Nome? To catch you up, Brad Kelly, who is the father of the Kelly boys, recently had a baby with a woman younger than his sons. Narrator Mike Rowe says, "With the baby needing a new pair of shoes, Brad's plan was simple: rob his sons blind."

OK. Since I don't have a baby, maybe I don't understand how expensive their tiny shoes are. But I looked on Amazon and there are baby shoes that cost $3.15. If you've got Amazon Prime, they'll ship it to you for free. Brad Kelly announced his intentions to run for mayor of Nome someday, so maybe this could be his first order of business -- lowering the price of baby shoes. Or if they got those corned beef sandwiches fired up, that could help pay for the shoes without stealing.

4. Would you rather get hit on in a bar by Zeke from "Bering Sea Gold" or any of the Brown children from "Alaskan Bush People"? This is a real toss-up. Zeke is erratic and kind of mean. The Brown children are not well socialized. Answer: neither, but if we had to choose, it's begrudgingly Zeke.

5. The most exciting things about the promo for this next season are, first, a guy falling out of a chair and, second, a backhoe crane fight over some turf.

In conclusion, the worst sentence uttered from the couch was: "There's so much packed in every minute it's almost as dense as gold." "Bering Sea Gold" season six airs Wednesday nights on Discovery Channel.

*Reality TV Book Club is like a book club, but without books.

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

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