‘Alaskan Bush People’: ‘Family First’ (RECAP)


On the Alaskan Bush People episode “Family First” (September 23), Barn construction is all hands on deck, but the family confronts Bam when he chooses to pay more attention to his own projects.

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Prepare for a whole new season with this list of memorable moments.

If you love to hate on Alaskan Bush People, then “Family First” is a cornucopia of blessings.

The best part is that we get no Mother Ami, no Bear and barely any Billy. Win, win and WIN!

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Rainy and Birdy play with their dolls, Kelly and Sarah, who are often used to reenact scenes from the Brown family. Billy’s character speaks with the rhotacization of Elmer Fudd, and the rest of the family sounds like they’re Bill Swerski’s Superfans.

Because he wants to get as far away from this nonsense as possible, Bam has a 10-acre parcel of land 1.5 miles from the family’s teepees. Here, Bam whiles away the hours chopping felled trees and making mulch. The best part of it is he doesn’t have to listen to Kelly and Sarah.

Noah has other ways of finding restfulness, and to my delight, it is through Bush Tai Chi. Tai chi is all about the flow of water, air and flab. And since Noah’s gallbladder surgery left him with a dinted [sic] diaphragm, Bush Tai Chi is the perfect therapy for un-dinting it.

The rest of the family blows off steam by doing a howling contest. [DIGRESSION! I literally give the finger to the screen anytime anyone howls on this show. And I mean that literally, not in the incorrect Brown family Bush English sense.]

Gabe suggests that the loser of the contest has to lick a rock. The loser, of course, is Gabe. Gabe really seems to enjoy losing. “Here’s to all the howling monkeys, wolves and wannabes of the world,” he toasts before taking a liberal lick of the muddy rock’s underside.

Everybody’s being a bunch of whiny whining whiners about Bam coming in late and not pulling his share of work on Billy’s Colossal Dream Barn. Hey, what’s the point of being in management if you can’t make your own hours and have everyone else do your work for you? Bam has earned the right to slack off and make a little extra mulch for himself on the side.

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Gabe, who just hours ago was licking mud off rocks, comes into Bam’s yard to tell him what’s what. Bam definitely doesn’t need this agitation. He’s got a garden, a mobile chicken coop and a ferry boat to think about. Away with you, Gabe!

Since Mother Ami and her Magic Bowl are on the way to California, and there’s no more smoked mystery meat left to eat, Birdy says she’s going to go out and finally bag a turkey. It just so happens that today is the last day of turkey hunting season (the Browns always obey all fishing and hunting regulations).

Birdy realizes that the key to a successful hunt lies not in stealth or marksmanship, but in the quantity and quality of mud smeared over the body.

Birdy (or probably someone else) eventually shoots a bird, and I’m sure she used #4 shot or smaller and will report her hunting activity for each turkey tag acquired by calling toll free 1-877-945-3492 or online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/wa/Hunterreport. It’s a good thing Birdy shot it when she did, because her mud mask was starting to look like clown makeup.

Back at the Colossal Barn construction site, there is fowl play of a different kind transpiring. Matt, who last week stepped off the Road to Insanity, has gotten fully back on course.

It seems that in his desperate loneliness, Matt befriended this chicken. The chicken, taking pity on poor Matt, agrees to hang out with him and pretend to be his girlfriend.

You’re probably wondering how this show could possibly sink any lower. But you just wait, my friends. You just wait…

Watching the Browns fake arguing about fake building stuff is incredibly dull. The producers think Matt hasn’t injured himself in a while, so they have him pretend to twist an ankle or something. It doesn’t matter. It’s just an excuse to show Matt Bush Welding together a shovel and a handsaw to make a crutch.

We’ll let Gabe describe the Colossal Clusterf*** that is the Colossal Barn build.

Birdy pays a visit to Noah in his laboratory. She comes bearing gifts of turkey parts.

“For most people, getting a gift of turkey guts and a severed head wouldn’t be a thoughtful gift, but if it’s me you’re giving them to, it’s just awesome,” Noah says. “I just like to collect animal parts. I just like to put them up and examine them, throw them in some formalgahyde [sic] and just let them sit on my shelf. Of course, a whole interest in dissection — being able to look at it, study it, think about it, name it, talk to them.”

It is fortunate that this is all being preserved. It will make for damning evidence at Noah’s trial some day.

Being the kind of guy who is genuinely considerate of others’ opinions, Noah converted an old microwave into a suggestion box and installed it just outside his tent. The suggestion box is empty, but I have many big, smelly, steamy suggestions for what might go in that suggestion box.

Noah then talks about how all the new responsibilities Birdy has taken on lately has changed her personality. Maybe it might also have something to do with Birdy not liking Noah’s fiancée, Rhain, who still has not been seen or discussed on the show this season.

Not enough people have ragged on Bam this episode, so it’s time for Rainy to take her turn. She basically tells Bam that everyone values his respect for danger more than they’re willing to admit, and they all need him around to keep them from killing themselves. Rainy gives Bam the self-satisfied Rainy Face.

Then Bam gives Rainy the smug Bam Face.

And it just goes on like this for 20 minutes.

Ladies, I hope YOU’RE READY TO GET HORNY! The interstitial segment is a scene of pure, unbridled eroticism! Noah and Bam are busy assembling trusses when Bam asks Noah why he always wears his hair up. And then, AWWWWW YEAH! IT’S ON, BABY!

The hair comes down, and the SHIRT COMES UNBUTTONED!

You may pick your tongues off the floor now, gals.

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While we’ve all lost our appetites, the Browns are hungry after a long day of bickering and B.S. They roast the turkey on a spit over the fire and talk about how fortunate they are to be all together and to not have their show canceled yet. Bam says they’re lucky to have people that love them unconditionally, “no matter how horrible you may behave.” Yeah, we’re looking at you, Noah.

The Browns really hack away at the turkey, mutilating it in every way possible. Then Matt starts sticking his hands and pliers in it, and the whole meal goes to hell in a handbasket.

Because no episode is complete without Billy’s Bush Dream spiel, he spews some circular chop logic nonsense “about fighting for the dream is making the dream.”

And I wish I could wake up to realize this whole damn series is just a really bad dream. Next week, Matt’s brain is literally cooking within his skull, while his chicken friend patiently waits to eat whatever oozes out.

And Matt has regressed to his dipsomaniacal ways. Bam told Matt that installing that fully stocked wet bar in his teepee was a bad idea, but did he listen? No.

Next week is already the season finale. Thank the Good Lord.

Alaskan Bush People, Sundays, 9/8c, Discovery Channel