19 November 2015

Alaska Reality TV

Remember that I told you about how the Discovery conglomerate reality programs based up here are pretty much bogus?

How the Kilcher family, desperately attempting to survive winter near Homer, is actually only a few miles from town, and literally next door to a butcher shop and meat packaging operation?

How the "Alaskan Bush People" weren't really from Alaska, and were only renting the cabin and land where the show is recorded? How they were staying in a nearby hotel, and taking a bus to the shooting location?

The plot thickens:

Two stars of the wildly popular reality show "Alaskan Bush People" pleaded guilty in Juneau court Wednesday to lying about their Alaska residency on applications for the Permanent Fund dividend.

Billy Brown, the 62-year-old patriarch of the family, and his second-oldest son, 31-year-old Joshua "Bam Bam" Brown, each pleaded guilty to a single count of second-degree unsworn falsification in the case that has called into question how long the Brown family actually lived in Alaska between 2009 and 2012.

... On Wednesday, the Browns didn't show up in Juneau. Instead, they called into the hearing from Seattle, Billy Brown told the judge. The family previously resided in Texas and Colorado, according to Fish and Game citations.

As part of a proposed plea deal, the two Browns would serve two years on probation, pay back thousands of dollars in dividends and each complete 40 hours of community service, which the judge said cannot be filmed.

There are plenty of real-life pioneers, prospectors, trappers, and miners scratching out a living up here. Some of them do pretty darned well, as a matter of fact.

But there's a term Alaskans use to describe those here to take advantage of the State's people, opportunities and reputation, and you Southerners will know exactly what I mean.


All y'all can watch that dreck if you want to. We have better people, better stories, and better things to do.


Vicki said...

The real heros are those like my grandparents who eked out a living on their homestead in northern MN in the early 1900's, raising 9 children in the process. And those who homestead now, homeschooling their children, raising their own food, teaching their offspring right from wrong. I have no time for pretend homesteaders but admire those who are real.

Rev. Paul said...

Vicki - I'm with you. Most folks nowadays have absolutely no idea how tough life was, even two generations ago. Faced with the choices that your grandparents made, modern people would run screaming.

Old NFO said...

Yeah, reality TV ain't real... sigh... And glad they got caught!

Rev. Paul said...

Me too, NFO. And it was only a couple years ago that the gold-miner show generated some trouble, too. I wonder how long before the Discovery network figures it out?

drjim said...

The "reality" shows that really crack me up are the car ones, lo\ike "Fast 'N Loud".

They agonize over missing deadlines, telling us they work all night long.

BUT....they always have time for a two day shoot with the finished car!

Rev. Paul said...

Jim, you're right: most of the reality shows are staged to a certain extent, and some more than others.

threecollie said...

Every once in a while they appear on our screen, over which I exert no control. And I get sucked into watching, and become very unpopular as I kibitz about how stupid the things they are doing are and how bad things will happen next.....which they always do, just as predicted. I am no Alaska back country pioneer, but I've been farming a long time. Actions have consequences. Dumb ones have bad ones. Thank you for sharing this information so the next time the boss pauses in his endless click, click, clicking, I can tell him the real deal.

Chickenmom said...

That's why they call TV the 'idiot box'.

Rev. Paul said...

threecollie, you're quite welcome. Alaska has plenty of real survival stories, and I've mentioned a few on this blog. People who wander the wilderness at night, or get trapped in a blizzard and live off a sixpack of Coke and a candy bar for a week ... that sort of thing.

Chickenmom, indeed.

Lisa said...

I googled the Kilchers after realizing that Jewel whose married to Ty Murray which I've met is related to them. First thing that popped up was their net worth of 8 million for Atz, Sr and 9 million for Otto. That may be true or false but true enough for me to take with several large grains of salt when I hear talk about them roughing it in dangerous situations. "Reality" TV doesn't seem to contain much reality in my opinion.

Rev. Paul said...

Lisa, I believe you're spot on. I tried to watch the Kilchers' show, a couple of years ago. When the younger fella opened a mostly-empty freezer & declared, "We're almost out of meat - we need to get a moose or we won't make it through winter!" I nearly fell out of my chair.

That was also the last time I watched it.