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Reality Check: Is 'Slednecks' the Alaska reality show we've been waiting for?

  • Author: Emily Fehrenbacher
    | Reality Check
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published November 19, 2014

Dear readers: Sorry I've been gone for a couple of months. But like the darkness, I'm back. We have a lot of catching up to do and a lot of TV to watch together.

But enough with the pleasantries -- let's get right into the raging dumpster fire that is MTV's "Slednecks." The first thing to learn about this show is that it is on MTV. Young people getting crunked, hooking up with people they shouldn't and blowing up random furniture is the DNA of MTV.

I so badly wanted to like "Slednecks." Before I even saw the show, I picked a fight with my husband about its cultural significance. But there are so many structural problems that I don't even know where to begin. So I will try to boil down my despair and disappointment into a digestible list.

1. There is a complete disregard for seasons. MTV should stick to filming in warm climates, where they can freely cut from month to month and make it seem like it's the next day. That doesn't fly in Alaska. They cut between summer and winter constantly and expect us not to notice. Or maybe they are just lazy and don't care. Also, I'm concerned about the cast, because they frequently are not dressed for the weather… I hope no one gets frostbite.

2. The cast is way too big to actually keep track of. There are 11 people who "star" in "Slednecks" and many of them aren't introduced until episode two or three. MTV clearly set up the cast, but they are trying to make it seem like they are lifelong friends. Some probably are, but they obviously set up housing for many of the cast members. Those people from Anchorage, girl from Kotzebue and kids from the Valley probably didn't just find each other on Craigslist one day.

3. There are random cuts to moose, bears, elk (do we even have elk here?), etc. The quality makes me think they found old VHS tapes of family vacations to Alaska at some hipster art show in LA, put crazy neon "Saved By the Bell"-esque title cards over them and now are using them to transition every scene to make it seem artsy.

4. MTV made "Slednecks" a 30-minute program. Which is the appropriate amount of time to waste watching anything on MTV (except "The Challenge," which could and should be six hours an episode), but then they run two new episodes back to back. It's puzzling. Why not just edit it into one hour?

5. Finally, as my go-to MTV watching partner pointed out, MTV has tried to market the show as both a "Jackass"-type stupid stunts show and a "Jersey Shore"-esque drinking and fighting show. Yet it doesn't really deliver as either. MTV needs to commit to one and nail it.

That being said, there are some things that I genuinely enjoyed about "Slednecks."

First, they go to Platinum Jaxx. Which just fills me with nostalgia. May it rest in peace.

Trevor (the narrator-ish of the show) is entertaining to watch. Not because of his messed-up relationship with another cast member, but because he inexplicably wears a helmet through most of the show. I like to imagine that he gets drunk and does such irrational things that production required him to wear a helmet while just standing around a fire so he doesn't hurt himself or others. Also, he has green apple car air fresheners. Who wants their car to smell like green apple? Who makes green apple car air fresheners? Why, Trevor? Why?

And finally, Leonard. So Trevor the helmet-wearing-green-apple-car dude and his best friend Kelly work at Alaska Airboats. And they have a grizzled boss who drinks giant energy drinks out of koozies all the time, and is so quotable that I thought he must be scripted. But sure enough, if you go to alaskaairboat.com/contact you'll find a man named Leonard Haire. I think he's real! If I had the time I'd go spend a week with Leonard because I have a million questions to ask him.

In conclusion: Go to bed, MTV, you're drunk.

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