‘Alaskan Bush People’ Season Premiere: ‘Bull By the Horns’ (RECAP)


In the Alaskan Bush People Season 9ish premiere “Bull By the Horns” (March 3), the Wolfpack’s quest for complete freedom takes a big step forward with livestock, including a risky 2,000-pound longhorn bull. Noah and his new wife Rhain Alisha arrive to start making their new life on the mountain with a monumental announcement.

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Northern Bushington. Brown Star Ranch. Autumn.

Bear senses the presence of cougars, and not the experienced, adventurous kind you’d swipe right for. I’m sure teeny Bear would be a mere morsel for even the hungriest of orphaned mountain lion kittens.

Elsewhere, Birdy sleeps with chicks.

The Browns’ mountain property is “the furthest the Wolfpack has ever lived from civilization,” according to Asa, Our Dear Geographically Challenged Narrator. I don’t know if Loomis, Wash., counts as civilization, but it’s really close to the Browns’ land.

Despite all their efforts raising cute goats and chicks, the Browns’ “supplies have dwindled.” It’s fortunate that the Walmart in Omak is only an hour’s drive south.

Last I checked, Walmart didn’t sell Longhorn steers, which is what Billy really wants to accomplish his lifelong dream of self-sustainability. Billy and Mother Ami visit a ranch, where they find this simply gorgeous Longhorn bull.

They name the bull Brutus. I like the name, and Brutus is instantly my favorite character on this show. I am rooting for Brutus to pull a Julius Caesar on Billy. I can’t imagine what Billy bartered or what deal he brokered to purchase Brutus, but little details like that shouldn’t distract us from how really bad this show is.

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While Billy is procuring cattle, Bam is involved in a livestock project of his own. Since his beehives met with an unfortunate fate last season, Bam has moved on to raising waterfowl.

Bam calls one of his geese “Gossage.” I find it odd Bam would even know who Baseball Hall of Famer Rich “Goose” Gossage is. Perhaps Billy was a fan of his mustache.

Bam built a mobile coop for his ducks and geese, so they have a safe place from predators. And if Bam has to haul ass out of there with his birds in the middle of the night, he can just hook up the trailer to one of the Browns’ many SUVs.

Bam wants his livestock to be as comfortable as possible. “They should enjoy their life up until the point I kill and eat them,” he says. Whatever. Don’t you have a boat that needs fixing?

What’s that awful sound you hear? It’s Noah singing one of his original songs while driving.

That other awful sound you hear is Noah’s new bride, Rhain Alisha, sitting next to him. Noah’s driving Rhain Alisha to Brown Star Ranch so she can move in to the TV show set that they’ll pretend to live in for a couple weeks out of the year. They stop to kiss when the car crosses a bridge. BRIDGE KISS! They’re disgusting.

Birdy and Rainy wash their clothes while gossiping about “Noah’s girl” and how they feel about this intrusion into their insular society of weirdos. Birdy has a lot of issues with She Who Will Not Be Named, and I wonder how much is true and how much is just manufactured conflict to develop Unnecessary Drama.

Birdy has serious attachment issues. Stage 5 clinger. Remember that conversation she had with Rainy last season about them sharing a bed while their future husbands slept in separate rooms? Birdy says she has a special attachment to Noah, who is pictured below during his days as a Hanson groupie.

Noah is one of Birdy’s favorite brothers. Easily in the top five.

Noah and She Who Will Not Be Named get some help from Gabe in setting up their “little piece of paradise.” She Who Will Not Be Named lends a hand, displaying proficiency with tools and some carpenters’ butt crack to boot.

Then Noah picks She Who Will Not Be Named up and carries her into the tent for what I can imagine will be some wild, uninhibited Filthy Shades of Gross action. Even Gabe seems disturbed. Achievement unlocked.

Two minutes later…

Ha! Fooled you! I bet you thought there was sex happening in that tent, but it’s just Noah exercising. He wants to melt away that flab so he can look attractive for She Who Will Not Be Named. See, she’s trying to change him already! “I want to be a beast-ah, since only a beast-ah can protect this family,” Noah says. He claims to have invented some intense pushups in which “you go all the way down and then you throw yourself up.”

The scene where Noah throws up after this workout will be part of this season’s Lost Footage. You’ll notice in the above photo that Noah has himself a smart watch. He invented and built this wearable tech with leftover components from his arm-band cassette player. Seriously, no one at Park Slope thought, “Hey, maybe you should take off this piece of damning evidence that you don’t live in the Bush?” Amateurs.

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Leave it to Billy to bring a large and potentially dangerous animal into Brown Star Ranch without having built a damn thing to contain it. This sets up Fake Urgency, as now Billy has to put his kids to work around the clock modifying a barn and constructing a corral for Brutus. We’re told many, many times how Brutus could just go bonkers and destroy everything, and you can’t believe how much I want for this to happen.

Billy’s Grand Vision can’t be achieved by a single Longhorn bull, because a single Longhorn bull can’t reproduce itself (though Noah is working on this problem).

Billy has to get a bunch of Longhorn cows in there for Brutus to impregnate so they can have calves and Brown Star Ranch can flourish. So get ready for lots and lots of hot bovine sex this season!

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Gabe is aroused by all of this talk of, you know, doin’ it. He comes to Billy for advice on taking his relationship to the next level.

WHAT? Gabe’s in a relationship? Oh, yeah. One of the things this show neglected to tell you about was that Gabe got himself a lady friend while the family was exiled in California. Raquell is Rainy’s BFF and Gabe took a shine to her.

[SPOILER ALERT! It’s already come out that Gabe and Raquell got married in January, so there’s one more subplot you can completely ignore.]

Gabe comes to Billy first, because when you want advice about relationships, you should go to a guy who abandoned his first wife and their two daughters, then married a 15-year-old girl that he lured away from her parents. He knows EVERYTHING about women.

Billy, as always, is completely useless. Gabe decides to seek advice elsewhere. “So I’m going to go to the best well-spoken person that I know, which is Noah,” Gabe says.

Gabe wants to learn all Noah’s secrets of seduction! Bad poetry! Bad songs! Bad penmanship! Tai chi!

Noah tells Gabe that he should write a foppishly-worded letter to Raquell. Gabe produces this mess. Is “how’re” a word? It is now!

Noah has no more time for these frivolities. He needs to consult his smart watch to see how many calories he burned off during sex.

Then Noah has to poach some of Bam’s livestock. He says She Who Will Not Be Named is going to prepare a feast of “duck gumbo,” and she’s going to invite the whole family over to see if she can win over the in-laws’ hearts by going through their stomachs.

Poor Bam. People are always mooching his stuff. Like when they stole all his red cedar lumber to barter for a stupid wind turbine. His family takes pleasure in stickin’ it to him. He should just pack up his geese and high-tail it out of Losertown.

She Who Will Not Be Named is busy preparing the stew, using ingredients that came out of Mother Ami’s Magic Bowl. There’s a jar of okra and some kind of legume, and aluminum cans with the labels torn off. Are we led to believe that Noah or She Who Will Not Be Named slaughtered, gutted and plucked the duck before plunging the carcass into the boiling pot? Like hell they did.

Anyway, her dinner party is a total bust. Only Bear and Rainy bothered to show up. They hoped Birdy would show up so she and She Who Will Not Be Named could get to know each other a little better and maybe find out what kinds of psychological issues they have in common.

At this point, I’m sure all of this tension between Birdy and She Who Will Not Be Named is manufactured so that they can have a heartwarming reconciliation in the season finale. But for now, let the awkwardness fly!

Not awkward enough for ya? How about when Noah and She Who Will Not Be Named pay Billy and Mother Ami a visit in the trailer for a big announcement that everyone already knows about. Brutus isn’t the only one about to breed.

Billy and Mother Ami are shocked, confused and horrified. They’re going through all five stages of grief in a matter of seconds.

And then it hits them that Mother Ami is going to be Granny Ami. They flash celebratory gang signs. I haven’t seen them this excited since they went to that ZZ Top show.

“Ugh, I guess I have to be nice to Noah’s girl now,” Mother Ami must be thinking. “Remember when we kept her off the show and didn’t have to pay her? I miss those days,” Billy probably said as soon as Noah and his wife left the room.

[SPOILER ALERT! They already had the kid. Noah’s girl was already four or five months pregnant when this scene supposedly took place.]

After a hard day of fake Bush living, there’s nothing quite like rolling a few games down at the Bush Bowl-A-Rama bowling “rink.”

Followed by a cool soak in the tub with your brothers and sisters.

I can’t believe how much nonsense they packed into one single episode. You can always count on Billy to add more.

Yeah, Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.

Regrettably, there’s a lot more B.S. to come this season. We’ve been through only one episode, but my ass feels like it’s been kicked for a full eight.

We’ll get to watch the Browns go on a canned bison hunt, and we’ll get to see Noah invent something that already exists.

Dude, it’s been done.

Alaskan Bush People, Sundays, 10/9c, Discovery Channel