If I could only watch one show a week on tv, it would be The Last Alaskans.
This show is such a beautiful, emotional, heartfelt show.
There are so many awful “reality” shows on tv these days. Most are (very) fake and that includes many other shows set up here in the north. I can’t watch those Alaskan Bush People (which is hideously awful (and fake – they live in a hotel, not a remote cabin)), nor Alaska: The Last Frontier with the Kilcher familly (where the camera crew strive to hide the power poles, roads, and neighbours).
This one doesn’t have that feel of being overly manipulated for tv. It is just a touching documentary showing real people in a beautiful scene. The show is based in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, which is in the top northeast corner of Alaska, and which isn’t accessible by roads. In 1980, new human occupation was banned in the Refuge to preserve the area and its wildlife. The new regulation grandfathered in the current residents who live in remote cabins. Their land use permits will be revoked upon the death of their last child, in order to guarantee no human presence left in 100 years. [I know there are actual communities in the refuge though, and I’m not sure they are ever directly mentioned in the show, although perhaps because they are all on the edges of the Refuge.]
Here’s a map of where the Refuge is relative to where I live:
The people on the show live remotely, and the show watches them hunt, build and repair their cabins, travel by boat, interact with their dogs, and love their families. There are four families featured, Heimo and Edna Korth and their daughters, Ray and Cindy Lewis and their daughters, Bob Harte and his ex-wife and daughter, and Tyler and Ashley Selden and their dog team.
As a direct opposite of most shows, this one is calm. And yet still mesmerizing.
The second season has already aired in the US, but it is just half way through in Canada. It airs on the Discovery channel on Tuesday nights, 7pm Pacific / 10pm Eastern .
I also recommend…
Also worth watching is Life Below Zero on the National Geographic channel. A similar show, it follows around people who live in Alaska who are subsistence hunters. I enjoy this show too, although it doesn’t make me weep at times like The Last Alaskans.
I also look forward to Alone on the History channel each week, where people are left to their own resources on Vancouver Island and the person who lives there the longest wins the “game”. I find I always root for the happy cheerful people. The negative grumps have me cheering for the hungry bears and cougars.
Of course, you should also watch every show that is filmed where I live: Gold Rush, Yukon Gold, Klondike Trappers, and several more in the works.
And just because I know you are curious, today is June 7. The sun rose at 4:00am here today, and it won’t set until 12:33am tomorrow. I haven’t seen darkness in weeks (months?). I love it 😀