The Plot thickens
With the ending of the first season, one other point has to be made. In the 4th episode we see what is the absolute epitome of failed parenting. The youngest girl, ‘Merry Christmas Kathryn Raindrop’ has a toothache, so arrangements are made to take the child to the dentist.
The family walks into a dentist’s office in town to get Rain checked out. Billy tells the receptionist that he has no job, no money, no address, no phone and of course no appointment, and expects them to help his sorry ass. And of course, in the complete idiocy of this program, the dentist puts her first in line and arrangements are made to fix the kid’s teeth. The arrangement is for the dentist to do the work for some salmon Billy promises to deliver as payment. This is the point that most viewers said ‘Hey wait a minute, this is BS’. A scene like this is proof that it is a portrayal of a father and mother who cannot provide the basic needs of their children. What if the dentist said no? What if the kid had major serious problems? And then to pay for the work with fish, it strains even the most gullible folk’s reasoning that this would work. And it leads to the unending jokes about the rest of the show. How many salmon for a boat, a car, a chainsaw, a rifle?
And the whole scene is unbelievable for the simple fact that it had to have taken 2 hours for the film crew to set up the shot, there had to be at least 4 production members in the office during filming, and releases to appear in this show had to be signed by all the participants. And everyone acts (in the literal sense) that it is all spontaneous. If I was a camera crew member, I would have pulled out a credit card and paid, all the while telling Billy and the worthless mother to go get jobs. And then to add insult to the viewers, they go to ridiculous lengths to show how the fish were caught (by hand) and the rush to deliver the fish to the office. Why not get jobs? That would simplify things a lot. To even show this drama is wrong, it proves to the public that all they care about is some bum’s dream of living ‘in the bush’. And on top of this, no reference is made to the poor girl’s teeth from then on.
And so we continue….
The first episode is an attempt by the Browns to show that they are so distanced from normal society that they just celebrate Christmas whenever the mood hits. So they go through the motions of how a bush family might do it. Pretty sad.
We last left the imbeciles on a dock with everything lost… EVERYTHING, they even say it. So the second episode is showing them now living in a dirt bag apartment with new clothes, guns, plenty to eat, bow and arrows in a case, makeup for the girls, pictures on the walls, a new dog and other goodies. Where did all this stuff come from? There is even an electric guitar sitting in the corner. They say they have had to get jobs to buy their new land, and are shown pretending to do work with power tools and hand tools. Where did all this come from? Do they think we are stupid? And then they have saved enough money to buy two fishing boats and a skiff. The boats are looked at by Billy and Bam sitting in the water at the dock, they don’t even step into either boat or start them, and then in five minutes they buy them. What chumps.
The crew is ready to leave Ketchikan forever when Ami has a tooth problem. Back to the same dentist as before, who decides she has a multitude of problems and she MIGHT EVEN DIE ! Regardless, Billy and Ami set sail in the two deathtraps to find paradise in Chichagof Island, home of the black bears, WHERE YOU CAN DIE ! Five miles out, one of the boats catches fire and has to be abandoned in a bay. Billy calls a friend (or as in show biz lingo, ‘the paid extra’) to take the family to the final destination of the soon to be named Browntown.
After arriving on their newly purchased bit of land, the Browns find they are in immediate danger of becoming the entrees of the bears that live on the island, in other words, WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE! (from now on just WAAGTD!). They look for the bears that are encroaching on their campsite and we actually see some trained bears roaming around not bothering anyone. From here on out the story of Browntown is just a mishmash of stupid stunts and scenarios written by the crack Discovery team to make us believe these chumps really, truly live here, which is absurd because we all know by now they don’t. The State of Alaska has indictments on them for falsifying documents, and accepting payments, when they in fact don’t live there (and also fishing on in-state licenses when they live out of state). The absurd collection of rifles, tools, tents, clothes and everything else they owned was all lost in the sinking boat, yet we see them walking around the place with everything they need to build houses, hunt, cook, set up a homestead and dress foolishly in leather jackets. So from here on, everything told by these scammers is open to question. I, for one, do not believe anything coming out of these uneducated, illiterate fools.
Since Billy has convinced the Discovery Channel executives that he is an actual bush person, and that he and his family can survive through anything, he now has to live up to that claim. But from the very beginning Browntown is pretty much one catastrophe after another. They immediately break the chainsaw, let the skiff loose to float to the middle of the bay, lose their crab pots, and two of the jerks get lost on the water at night. They build a trapper shack that I wouldn’t let a dog sleep in, an outhouse that will give you splinters in the worst way, and a shower that drips cold ice water on you. The boys and girls are now given reinforced roles as the show moves on.
Bam is barely seen in the first couple episodes, he must be consulting with the lawyers about the whole Alaska Fund fiasco. Matt is seen as a worthless idiot, who would rather be trying to crack people up with his lame jokes than working to get shelter and food ready for winter. He seems to argue needlessly with his brothers and you now get the idea that maybe the family has not been together forever in the wild, but rather brought together from their various residences to put on this show. Bear is still climbing trees, running through the woods for no plausible reason, punching fish and saying things like ‘extreme’ and ‘awesome’. Gabe is seen as a great big doofus with a heart of gold whose favorite pastime is doing poor imitations of Sean Connery. And of course there is Noah, genius extraordinaire, who now seems groomed to take top spot on the show behind the pathetic father and mother. He now talks in a stilted language (most sentences end with ‘ah’), acts superior to his brothers, and proudly tells us all how he is on the same level as Einstein and Edison. He comes off as a pompous, pretentious fool who would not last a day in a normal job, in a normal society. His magnificent inventions are the work of any stoned high school shop class student. The girls are amazingly stupid, the oldest Bird, still plays with dolls yet is portrayed as a crack shot hunter, yet we haven’t seen her shoot anything so far. Her main claim to fame is her really screwed up teeth, which brings to mind the trips to the dentist for her mom and sister. Why she is not given proper care is rather disturbing. The youngest, Rain, is viewed as a young girl immensely enjoying the wilderness, but we mainly see her standing around with her hands in her pockets watching the rest work on meaningless projects, like shelter and outhouses and showers when it’s been made clear none of them intend to spend a night there, let alone live there.
Which brings up Billy and Ami. At some point the producers tell us the story behind these two incredibly incompetent people. Billy’s folks and his sister died in a plane crash when he was 16. He married Ami (Amora Larene Bronson Brown) when she was 15 or 16 and he was in his 20’s. Billy has a criminal history of horse theft, while Ami has a criminal history of welfare fraud. After leaving Texas where they lived, they went to Alaska, Billy refers to the statement that he doesn’t want a 9-5 job as he feels it is too restrictive to his lazy lifestyle. Ami just follows like a cult member, agreeing to every insane new project that is dreamt up. Together they have 7 children. He claims family is everything, and that he exists for nothing but keeping his family together through thick and thin. He refers to his family as the wolfpack. But what is not explained on the show is that Billy was married once before to a lady named Brenda, and has two children by her named Twila and Brandy, and that they have grandchildren. He apparently abandoned them after a few years of marriage, but seems to keep in touch with his former children infrequently, Twila makes an appearance on the show at one point, and then she is quickly forgotten.
Work on Browntown commences, getting shelter and food are the immediate concerns, to have the shelter up soon and proceed to hunt. We watch as Gabe tries to shoot through a scope that still has the protective caps in place, and of course misses. Bird is sent out to bag a deer and she shoots at one and then her and Gabe bring the deer that the producers planted in the bush, back to camp where everyone eats a fresh meal. ‘WAAGTD!’ from a bear attack is mentioned throughout the show to no avail, we see a few trained bears but they just stand there looking stupid. Matt decides to build a shelter underneath an old rotting tree and goes to great lengths to tell us how great it is to live in a hole, under a tree. Later he fashions a cellophane wall around the dismal area, trying again to expose everyone to the wonderful hole in the ground, under a tree, covered in the cellophane mess he has made. Which only makes us wonder where in the hell did he get that new roll of shrink wrap cellophane he just wasted. Never explained. Naturally the cellophane tent survived all of a couple days before everything was soaking wet inside and in tatters.
More contrived crisis situations are shown, a storm that ALMOST KILLS THE FAMILY, a boat ride into town THAT NEARLY ENDS IN DISASTER, a cold that sends billy INTO NEAR DEATH and on and on. The show has sparked an upsurge in viewers so the writers and producers must find a way to keep the public’s interest.
But try as they may, a few insights into the Brown family are starting to reveal that all is not what it seems. As with the charges to deal with in the State of Alaska, the internet is starting to find these folks at various places through social media. Pictures of them on Facebook and Twitter show a different picture almost weekly as they are shopping at a Wal Mart, or eating at a Pizza Hut far from the wilds of Browntown. And to add to the now confirmed reality that they don’t really live a bush life is the family’s own Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Plus the fact that a book Billy wrote about the trials and tribulations (called ‘One Wave at a Time) is for sale through Amazon. And if you search around enough, You Tube videos of the family can be seen. So much for the projected ignorance of everything modern, and the fact that it appears every one of them carries a cell phone. And as far as the claim made almost every week that they are broke, and must rely solely on bartering to survive, it is reported through the web grapevine that Billy is actually well off from his book sales, and a paycheck from Discovery to act like a total buffoon, along with his deplorable acting children.
So as the story progresses in Browntown, Billy and Bam plead guilty to the charges the state has made against them, all the while proclaiming their innocence. They must spend a month in home detention in a hotel somewhere and are then released back to a grateful family. Noah continues to build ridiculous ‘inventions’, or rather stuff that only works in the wild, like a bush washing machine and dryer, a bush telephone, a bush this and a bush that. In the end, it is all rather tiresome to see him act like he is a genius, getting a real job where he could put his genius to work is out of the question mainly for the fact he has not even a high school education, as the rest don’t have one either. Any job outside is definitely going to be entry level low paying crap work, and I am sure that he would feel it would be below his station in life to even show up for any job like that.
Billy makes the decision to buy a large old decrepit boat called the Integrity. They use it as a platform for more humdrum tales of danger on the high seas. They supposedly get themselves into the hauling business but we only see them do about 4 jobs in all. Most of the time on the boat revolves around the family being overly dramatic and overacting.
Matt finally breaks down to his family that he needs help because he is an alcoholic, which of course raises the question of where does he get the booze while living in the wild far, far away from any civilization. The obvious answer is that they don’t live where they claim, and he is on his own much of the time to freely drink his life away. The family sends him to rehab somewhere and we hear nothing about treatment or the family visiting him at all, in fact we hear nothing about Matt from the family once he leaves.
Bam finally gets fed up living a lie, and packs his bags to find a better life. The family is upset somewhat and wishes him well. Gossip has it that he found true love with a Park Slope crew member and when he asked to have her on the show, they refused, so in a pissy mood he just left. Last we heard he was living on a yacht in the Bahamas.
Bear shows the same asinine behavior as before, constantly running for no reason and howling like a lunatic. He seems totally devoted to anything to do with Billy and Ami with no questions asked. Gabe also is still portrayed as the muscle man, and is also blindly following anything the parents do.
The girls are shown being amazed at anything from outside their bush world, yet seem to have access to iPhones and computers. They still play the innocent but strong wild females of the woods, doing stupid stunts for the camera on cue.
The cabin they started on is built and seems quite comfortable, but suspicions arise that a construction crew built 90% of the structure. A garden is planted, a greenhouse is built out of the same shrink-wrap Matt used before and we never actually see any plants grow, in fact, we never really see them eating anymore. Everything revolves around the almighty Wolfpack, and the tremendous dangers of living in the wild, although all the dangers mentioned never ever happen. It also is mentioned many times per episode the importance of keeping the family together and saving the ‘dream’ of living in the bush/wild.
One of the funniest moments in filming was when the family tried to construct a windmill to harness electricity for their little ghetto. It appeared to be a disaster from the very start, and the attempts by the production crew to make it look legit were pretty feeble. Once put up and running, it seemed to run a single light bulb for awhile, and was soon not talked about again. Also adding to the comedic effect was the purchase of a cow that they made a huge deal out of, and then after a few episodes just disappeared.
Later on Matt returns to the shit hole ‘cured’ and thankful the family is still there and didn’t move somewhere else and not leave a forwarding address.
Life in Browntown seems content, but the ratings for the show have declined and the producers at Discovery are scared their golden goose is going to stop laying the golden eggs, so a new direction is found for the abysmal Brown family and their awful lot.
Next up: Trippin the day fantastic in California, Colorado and the cancer scare.