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Thread: Un-reality TV shows

  1. #1
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    Un-reality TV shows

    Alaska: The Last Frontier is a TV show on Discovery. The narrator in the intro talks like this people are living off the land and have to depending on hunting and gardening for survival.

    The reality is the family is very well off. One of the cast members is the father of the singer Jewel and Jewel has been on the show before. The family lives only about 11 miles from a grocery store and so on. They have electricity. The show constantly shows them driving old equipment and vehicles. The reality is that they own a number of fairly new vehicles they use for trips off their property. One of the cast members is shown building things from old junk, but the shop he is working is a brand new building with very nice tools. The same cast member has a skid steer that appears to be brand new.

    The cast members had to do their own filming for the first three months of the pandemic and the show producers showed a lot of things we probably never would have seen otherwise. The nice vehicles were shown a number of times. They filmed the interiors of several of the houses/cabins and they had shiny new appliances and so on. It is clear they buy groceries in addition to hunting, fishing, and gardening.

    One of the cast members built a new cabin for his family. He spent many thousands of dollars on having building materials shipped in. Some stuff was even delivered by helicopter.

    The show usually has Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes before each of those holidays. It is obvious they are staged because there isn't any snow on the ground and they often eat outdoors at least for Thanksgiving. It would be too cold in Alaska to eat outdoors for either of those holidays.

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    Yeah it’s all for entertainment and money for the producers. I find some good shows on Netflix that have several seasons adding up to 40 plus hours per show, awesome stuff. Any tv shows we watch are usually recorded so we can skip the commercials.

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    A now deceased friend of mine was on that or a similar show...he was a PA (physicians assistant) in real life, but was in Alaska for a bit doing volunteer work in a community up there. He ended up being the vet resource for the duration, too.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce King View Post
    Yeah it’s all for entertainment and money for the producers. I find some good shows on Netflix that have several seasons adding up to 40 plus hours per show, awesome stuff. Any tv shows we watch are usually recorded so we can skip the commercials.
    I never watch anything “live”. I record everything so I can skip commercials.

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    Reality shows are cheap to produce and these people are getting paid and probably get some vehicles or other things as product placement. In the end, it is just entertainment.

  6. #6
    So-called “reality tv” is a way to avoid paying writers (and for that matter on-air talent) for their work. Nobody should be fooled that this isn’t totally scripted and a setup.

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    We've locked onto the reality show 'Alone'. The contestants have to survive 100 days in the wild, taking just 10 items with them.

    They do all the video recording themselves and have a Satellite Phone in case they need to quit.

    The fish and hunt and live in some brutal places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Lisowski View Post
    Reality shows are cheap to produce and these people are getting paid and probably get some vehicles or other things as product placement. In the end, it is just entertainment.
    Reality TV and Rap music are the bastard step children of Producers to cheap to pay for script writers or actual talent.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Lisowski View Post
    Reality shows are cheap to produce and these people are getting paid and probably get some vehicles or other things as product placement. In the end, it is just entertainment.
    I assume the vehicles aren't product placement since the vehicles are almost never shown. Even when the vehicles were shown in this season you never saw the entire vehicle.

    Most of the cast are millionaires and could afford any new vehicle they wanted. The show just tries to portray them as needing to live off the land to be able to eat.

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    But to add to what was said is that the show accurately portrays a Swiss family that homesteaded in Alaska in 1940 to escape the Nazis. A family that enjoys living the Alaska life, hunting, fishing, exploring and often putting themselves in danger as they do what they love. A family that is continuing to document their life as they did when they started way back when Yule Kiltcher's 16 mm movie camera was rolling. The show is largely unscripted, unlike so much of the rest of "reality" shows. Sure they probably come up with situations for the sake of the show. But who can fault someone for blowing up things when you can afford it? I believe the show portrays them as wanting to live off the land, not needing to live off the land. Frankly I prefer to watch shows produced in the far north using folks whose first choice in life is not being an actor to those shows produced in Hollywood using folks whose life choice is acting.
    NOW you tell me...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Anderson View Post
    But to add to what was said is that the show accurately portrays a Swiss family that homesteaded in Alaska in 1940 to escape the Nazis. A family that enjoys living the Alaska life, hunting, fishing, exploring and often putting themselves in danger as they do what they love. A family that is continuing to document their life as they did when they started way back when Yule Kiltcher's 16 mm movie camera was rolling. The show is largely unscripted, unlike so much of the rest of "reality" shows. Sure they probably come up with situations for the sake of the show. But who can fault someone for blowing up things when you can afford it? I believe the show portrays them as wanting to live off the land, not needing to live off the land. Frankly I prefer to watch shows produced in the far north using folks whose first choice in life is not being an actor to those shows produced in Hollywood using folks whose life choice is acting.
    Since I quit cable tv, YouTube has quenched my thirst for viewing off grid far north living. Currently I'm following a guy that lives and works in Churchill, Manitoba (polar bear country) and uses his snow machine to tend to his cabin and trap line about 60 kilometers away. My wife finds it dull, I find him very resourceful and knowledgeable about his craft. Not sayin' I'm enamored with trapping, but his self made videos do portray a lifestyle some dream about. He's always fixing up and improving his cabin and also has a tent frame on the line he uses sometimes. True North Living is his channel if you care to give him a look. He's certainly not an actor, and there is no scripted drama in his videos, but just a taste of what far north trapping entails.
    Last edited by Jon Grider; 01-18-2021 at 11:05 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Anderson View Post
    But to add to what was said is that the show accurately portrays a Swiss family that homesteaded in Alaska in 1940 to escape the Nazis. A family that enjoys living the Alaska life, hunting, fishing, exploring and often putting themselves in danger as they do what they love. A family that is continuing to document their life as they did when they started way back when Yule Kiltcher's 16 mm movie camera was rolling. The show is largely unscripted, unlike so much of the rest of "reality" shows. Sure they probably come up with situations for the sake of the show. But who can fault someone for blowing up things when you can afford it? I believe the show portrays them as wanting to live off the land, not needing to live off the land. Frankly I prefer to watch shows produced in the far north using folks whose first choice in life is not being an actor to those shows produced in Hollywood using folks whose life choice is acting.
    I just watched the first two to three minutes of last nights episode. The narrator stated that they needed to do something to survive. The producers do their best to create a picture of families who need to hunt and fish to survive and always show them repairing old junk. The truth is that Otto and Atz are both multi-millionaires and they live 10 or 11 miles from town. They could easily afford to buy all their food and they will definitely survive if they don’t fish and hunt.

    Jane was saying last night that she needs 400 pounds of fish to survive over the winter. No, she wants 400 pounds of fish. She could easily afford to buy fish.

    in previous seasons the producers have been careful not to show the new(er) vehicles, new appliances, and so on the families have. This stuff is no different than what most middle class families own, but they portray them as not owning the same stuff as modern families.

  13. #13
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    We've been watching this show since the beginning and fully realize the license TV producers take to make things interesting. I know the Kilchers have money, take expensive guided fishing and hunting trips, live near town, have modern amenities, and can afford heavy equipment, hired helicopters, and nice shops. I'm glad for them. They really make no pretense about those things. They try and honor the homestead tradition passed down through the family and made a successful TV show about it. We overlook the staged aspects of the show and enjoy the scenery and the adventures for the entertainment they are.

    Just like most other Alaskans, they try and take advantage of subsistence hunting and fishing opportunities to supplement what they get from the grocery store. I certainly can't fault them for that and agree they probably don't need wild harvested edibles, but having lived for many years in Alaska, I can say that my pantry was always full of canned home grown garden produce and wild picked berry jam and my freezer was always full of salmon, caribou, moose, crab and shrimp....and I did my best to make sure it stayed that way. We didn't need it, but it sure did improve our quality of life.

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    Years ago when what I guess was an early if not the first reality show was aired my wife and I got a good laugh at the “reality” aspect. Don’t recall the name but there were people supposedly isolated on an island or something. I think we may have watched a couple of minutes before rolling our eyes at the “reality” concept. Despite the proliferation of such I can safely say we have not spent a single minute viewing one. Television just gets stupider and stupider.
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  15. #15
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    There is nothing wrong with hunting and fishing to eat versus buying at the grocery store. My beef is the narrator constantly stating they need to kill an animal or catch a fish to survive. They'll survive just fine if they don't kill that animal or catch that fish. They can easily afford to go to the grocery store for food.

    There are certainly parts of Alaska where buying food is less of an option because the closest grocery store is several hours of travel and no roads.

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