Well, it’s another season of the Alaskan Bush People. They still don’t live in Alaska and they are not ‘bush’ people. Other than that, it is going to be another interesting program of things to be scared of happening, once they turn on the cameras. Since we last left them, Bear’s big romance with Raiven has gone terribly south, and Raiven had a child with the half bear and half Bear. The youngun’s name is River, and seems to be doing fine. The dysfunctional weirdo parents, on the other hand, have engaged in an all out war on social media to discredit one another, and prove to the world that one or the other is somehow doing the wrong thing.
So let’s get cracking on the family that refuses to leave our TVs, and our thoughts, no matter how hard we try. Is Billy going to get sick again, or ever do a job? Is Ami going to wear her old hats? Is Bam going to stick around? Can Bear find true love? Is Noah going to invent something stupid and useless? Are the girls finally going to act like adults? Will Gabe find his missing wife? Is Matt ever going to show his face? Will Bill and Margaret Fuller make a surprise cameo demanding payment for the ostriches? Is Billy and crew actually going to build a communal house for certain himself and individuals in the family? Let’s settle in and find out what is happening at the North Star Ranch and Looney Bin…
When we last left them, a new plan to replace the old plan was hatched by Billy, to build a large house to accommodate Gabe, his wife Raquell, Noah and his wife Rhain w/H and their son Eli, plus Billy and Ami. They had spent the larger part of the last season worried about the coming horrific winter and building individual shelters for themselves. The result was a collection of half assed sheds and scribbled plans that went nowhere fast. Remember Noah’s big dream of a castle, and the construction that halted after about 50 cinder blocks was assembled in a poorly thought out foundation ? I am sure the family will once again crow on about the unseen dangers of bear attacks, freezing nights, and floods that could possibly ruin their lofty expectations.
I am getting comfortable in my chair, nervously holding the remote in the anticipation of another season of the Alaskan Bush People. The lights are dimmed, the pets are quiet, popcorn is ready to eat, as the seconds slowly tick by on the old clock. The commercials drag on as I am feeling that uneasy queasiness lift up from my stomach. And then, the cheery music starts, Asa the narrator leans into his microphone, and the insanity starts again.
The episode starts with the sober announcement that a fire has taken a toll on the North Star Ranch and Home for the Insane, a number was given to contact the Red Cross to offer help. We sincerely hope all is well and the family and crew members are safe.
Before Asa can utter his nonsense about the Wolfpack and their obscenely crazy methods of life, Bear is shown having an attack of pre-marriage jitters by rolling around in the snow, jumping in the snow, rolling some more in the snow and finally saying ‘extreme’. Asa then comes alive to earn his pay as he relates the adventures awaiting us in this season of the people who live on a mountain in Washington, but refer to themselves as bush people from Alaska. Gabe has a kid, lots of snowfall, coyotes that are threatening nobody, trained bears to chase away, a new house to build, ostriches, lots of howling by the Browns… But first, “5 Months Ago”… Here we go…
5 months ago in a place far, far away from reality, is a brother and sister playing the rock rolling game on a hillside. The object appears to roll a rock down a hill, and they are having a ball doing it. They set up a starting point and an end point and then prove to the world there is no point. Gabe and Bird roll a few rocks, and then it is off to flashback city, and the tale of the family who endured the fake Alaskan life, and now are acting like they are living on a mountain in Washington. They show us the boys digging a hole, Bear doing some pushups, and a trained deer that is told to ‘stay’. Now comes the inevitable review of why Billy can’t work, must adhere to ‘bush medicine’ rather than that other medicine the rest of mankind depends on to heal their ills. Gabe explains it to us. A map of the North Star Ranch is displayed to show us where the cult has laid out their individual residences. But the map is wrong of course. Last season, because of Bill’s made up sickness, they had to move the RV down the hill to next to the barn, but it clearly shows the RV still way above the barn.
Billy, Gabe, Bam and Noah get out the stolen dozer and end loader, and start to level the ground for the new house. No blueprints are seen or even referred to. Billy starts yammering on about the house, while a computer graphic shows a rather tidy looking house in the woods. Please don’t refer to this image when the house is built, as it will end up looking like a shack that a mad man designed and built in a drug fueled binge. Billy explains it will be a two story, 2400 SF residence, and then we are off to another flashback to see the horrendous living conditions in Browntown, Alaska. Bam gets in a little camera time and actually seems to be in the groove this season, all excited and going with the plan. The producers must have given him a raise, a Harley, a bonus and a used car to make him all agreeable this time around. It is made very clear a house must be constructed immediately or suffer the consequences of freezing to death without proper shelter. Once that is burned in our brains, all construction stops while we discuss the other very thin plots of this episode.
To somehow save face from the embarrassment of Bear’s and Raiven’s huge debacle and lunacy once last season wrapped up, we get to hear and see the Brown’s side of the story. Bear and Raiven are shown merrily traipsing along in utter joy, as they plan the event of the week at the North Star Dump. Their wedding is the talk of the family as we see them trying to decide the best place to have the ceremony. Will it be the woods? Or the Conex containers that reek of sweat and unknown stains? How about the joyless home of Bird amid her dead cat remains? Nope, the fairytale wedding will be celebrated among the cow chips and chicken feed in the barn. It took them all of five minutes to decide that. Her colors will be burgundy and burgundy and there will be dancing. Bear howls and the wedding is set to go, soon, real soon…
Bam is laying on the ground zeroing in his rifle for the big hunt. Gabe and Bam plan to bag a deer for the big feast after the wedding, that is coming up real quick. They grab their supplies and Bam starts in on Gabe almost immediately, so maybe the changes he made to his arrogant personality have eroded. But then again, when Gabe pulls out red and yellow crayons for face camo, it is kinda easy to give him the business. The two head out for the third subplot of tonight’s episode, the Big Hunt.
Noah, Rhain w/H, Eli and Bird take the truck to town to make a smart trade on some building supplies for the house that has no plans. They get there, and the paid extra, named Jason, points to some old rusted scrap in a pile far away from the paying customers. Noah is thrilled to find just enough rebar to start a project of laying cement for the house. He then mansplaines to no one about the importance of rebar and cement. I wrote it down for further use some day. Jason tells Noah he can have the rusted junk if he can cut an old rail in half. Noah tells the girls to load the rebar while he gets the torch ready to cut. He has some trouble at first, the camera crew steps in with the cameras off to explain to the nut job how to light the torch and cut the rail. Once that is accomplished, the cameras roll again as Jason stares at the weirdest people he has ever met anywhere. Once the rail is cut, the rebar is loaded and Jason quits laughing, the idiots drive back to the ranch to order takeout and play roll the rocks down a hill.
Bear and Raiven are seen out in the woods picking up boughs and sticks to make the forest nice and clean for some reason. Later I am sure they got out the vacuum cleaner and sucked up the dirt laying around everywhere. As you watch Raiven, the desperation and fear are beginning to show up in her alarmed expressions. Bear is clueless and thinks that some girl will actually marry him, live in a storage container with no heat, no electricity, no water, a stained and filthy mattress hanging from the ceiling to sleep on, and a family of the worst sort just living down the hill to try and be nice to every morning, while she is forced to wait on them and serve breakfast. Other than that, everything is peachy…
The hunt is deteriorating into a mess as Bam complains about Gabe, and Gabe acts like a, well, Gabe. Bam accuses Gabe of making too much noise, Bam compares himself to a tiger and the prey as a gazelle. Of course they have a camera crew following along, a caterer, a sound technician, a producer and a makeup artist, so Bam’s complaints are rather lame. The producers attempt to show some semblance of reality by including some stock footage a deer from last season, and the doomed hunt continues.
Bear runs out of his fetid, storage living hellhole with an electric guitar and announces to the world, or the crew member with his cellphone, that he has written a love song for Raiven. He strums the guitar with no sound because of no amp, no cord, no electricity and the fact that the whole scene is made up, for awhile, and then everyone gets tired of the foolishness and the scene ends. What better way to say ‘I need help so bad that I do these idiotic things’.
Billy and Ami are sitting on a log talking about the Bear and Raiven marriage. They recite their scripted hokey lines very well. Billy goes on what a fine son Bear is while Ami wears her 1927 hat and ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ sunglasses. They do mention the fact that Raiven is Bear’s first girlfriend, and it is taken for granted that the fool proposed to her after meeting her for about three days. I mean, what could go wrong? Flashbacks are seen of the good old days in Alaska where Bear was in his prime, climbing trees and kept away from females. They finally agree everything will be just fine. Uh huh…
Noah and the rebar gang are heading back to the ranch, they are talking about the need to traverse over the primitive roads, otherwise known as a dirt road to the rest of America and the world. Bumps and twists and turns are everywhere. Naturally, with a camera conveniently trained on one of the trailers tires, that tire goes flat and the trailer loses a rail. Rhain w/H yells to stop and they get out to survey the damage. Flat tire, trailer upset, rebar scattered down the road. Noah sends Bird and Rhain w/H to gather the missing rusted pieces of scrap as he gets out the jack and explains how a jack works. Then the camera crew changes the tire for the fat churl and then make it look like he did it. The girls are picking up sticks and weeds and finally discover the three pieces of rebar right where the producers placed it. They clamber back into the truck and rush home to let the rebar rust some more in a pile that is forgotten.
Gabe and Bam still have no luck finding a deer to murder for no reason other than to pretend it is for a wedding feast we have all figured out ain’t gonna happen. Bam tells Gabe he is the master of directions in these woods, and then gets lost, till they come across Rain’s pathetic little house on a trailer parked in the woods. Still no deer to be found.
Bear is done with his guitar solo and is now stacking rocks in a feeble attempt to landscape his condemned property. This is his gift to his new bride, a pile of rocks. Lucky girl that Raiven, I am sure she was expecting a check from Park Slope and Discovery every week. Bear appears to be so excited and happy. Rain does a little talking head segment for the camera expressing her views on her brother Bear and his previous relationships with girls, namely a chance encounter with some gals in a pizza joint in Alaska that went south very quickly. They even produce a flashback scene to show in utter embarrassment the grown man called Bear acting like a 5 year old who doesn’t have one redeeming social skill whatsoever. It is truly a cringe worthy scene to watch. Again.
Gabe and Bam have now set up a patio umbrella, two lounge chairs and are sipping coffee as they wait for the deer to show up and be slaughtered. Gabe makes a deer call from some branches and some blades of grass, and proceeds to scare every animal away for ten miles. Bam looks on as Gabe does his moronic impressions of famous actors, while they sit there and trade jokes with the production crew. A title comes up that they have been there three hours, now four… Finally they call it quits and leave in the pouring rain, climb into their limos twenty feet down the path and head into town for some Big Macs and cold PBR’s.
Bird takes it upon herself to welcome the new girl Raiven into the family by forcing her to clean the barn. Bird wants to get to know the girl, since she is marrying the biggest loser Bird has ever known. Bird gives her a baby chick and tells Raiven to name it, it is Bird’s marriage gift to Raiven. Raiven now says she is nervous, she expected a romance, a nice wedding somewhere else than a freakin barn, a nice house, a 9 to 5 respectable job, a life, in a city. She pretty much spells it out to Bird, but that girl hasn’t a clue as she continues to get the rat infested barn ready to have a wedding inside it.
Short disgusting scene follows where Gabe is eating beans while Bird eats an onion raw while Rain watches in total shock. Doesn’t make a lick of sense and before you know it the scene ends.
Barn scene again where now Bird has the intuition that maybe Bear is moving a bit too fast in his marriage to Raiven. Ya think? He apparently only was with her a few days, and asked her to marry him, and a week later they are chasing chickens out of the barn to make room for the expected crowds of 2 or 3 to crowd into the smelly moldy palace of shame. Yet they continue to decorate the place and plan a big soirée.
Since the deer hunt didn’t go as planned, Gabe takes it upon himself to create the wedding dinner fit for a wino and his back alley bum friends. He cooks up the most awful spaghetti meal ever shown on TV while forgetting ingredients and burning the noodles. Guy Fieri won’t be stopping by anytime soon. I was sorry I had dinner before the show started, this was truly terrible. I am sure even the farm animals turned down this mess. Even the camera crew can be heard laughing at the imbecile as he asks for some cheese that would make the meal even more horrible. And all the while Gabe is sporting the newest fashion design on the mountaintop, a black shirt with a North Star Ranch logo on it. Which family member made that by hand, bush style?
Finally the big day arrives, the planning is all done, the wedding is set to proceed. But now Bird runs frantically up to Billy and Ami’s run down RV to let them know that the groom cannot be located. A production crew member tries to get the information but is shooed away like the sub human scum he is. Bird comes back outside on the porch and tells the waiting world that the wedding is off. And that is it till next week.
Well, an exciting first episode, filled with tension and fun, hunting and planning. I, along with the other fans, was wondering just how the production team and writers were going to handle the Bear/Raiven fiasco. Well, we found out. Pretty much another load of crap to add to the other loads that are piled in the Alaskan Bush People corner.
Still no Matt, although for a second he did appear in one of the flashback photos. Mr. Cupcake was a no show. It appears that Ami is having almost no interaction with the rest of the family, although in a clip from a future show she is holding little Eli on her lap for a bit. The family didn’t utter the greeting/farewell ‘More’ once tonight. The photography was good as usual, the editing right up there with the great banjo opening music. The storyline was the same goofy crap we have learned to expect. And it was nice to have some new programming on after the months long slowdown of new shows was killed by the Covid-19 virus and it’s circumstances. It was nice to see folks without a mask on.
Till next week…
More, or less…
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