Alaskan Bush People

Common Sense Media says

Loving family lives in rustic conditions; some arguing.

Age(i)

2
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5
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7
8
9
10
11
12
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14
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Themes include rural culture, survival, and trouble with the government. 

Positive role models

The Browns are naturalists; beliefs include respecting the land and living freely in the wild.

Violence

Rifles, crossbows, knives, and other weapons are used for hunting, protection, entertainment; animal attacks described. Shootings audible. Images of the characters' cabin being burned and their boat underwater. 

Sex

The Brown brothers go to town looking for potential wives. Men are sometimes shirtless.

Language

"Piss," "damn"; "s--t," "f--k" bleeped. 

Consumerism

Chevrolets and iPhones briefly visible. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The Browns don't drink alcohol; locals drink beer, hard liquor. Smoking occasionally visible. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the controversial reality series Alaskan Bush People is an adult-targeted show featuring a large, close-knit naturalist family trying to build a life in the outskirts of Alaska. There's lots of swearing ("s--t," "f--k" bleeped), some arguing, and references to tensions between them and the U.S. government. Weapons are used to hunt, fish, protect, and have fun. It's a bit much for tweens, but teens should be able to handle it. 

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

ALASKAN BUSH PEOPLE features a large family rebuilding their lives in a remote and rugged area of Copper River Valley, Alaska. After the government allegedly burned down the Brown family's one-room family cabin to remove them from the remote public land it was built on, author Billy Brown; his wife, Ami; and their seven children are relocating to an even more isolated area hundreds of miles north to continue their way of life. With the help of their kids -- Matt, Bam Bam, Gabe, Bear, Noah, Snowbird, and Rainy -- who range in age from 11 to 31, they work as quickly as they can to build a new cabin in the unfamiliar territory before winter begins. They face lots of challenges, thanks to the unfamiliar terrain, extreme cold, limited daylight hours, and wild animals. They also must try to find ways to barter with people living in the few small settlements in the area for necessary supplies and, on occasion, medical care. It's not easy, and the unexpected twists and turns they face often force them to start over. But it's a life that allows them to enjoy living out in the wilderness on their own terms.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Alaskan Bush People highlights how a family that has chosen to live on the remote outskirts of society is happy to work hard and live without modern conveniences to enjoy the freedom that comes with the lifestyle. They also showcase the skills they have to survive in the wild, including fishing with their bare hands, tracking and living among wild animals, building shelter without machinery, and using and reusing the little they have to meet their needs. Later episodes also feature them living on the water.

The show has faced its share of controversy, including allegedly creating narratives about the family being forced off their lands and the arrest of some cast members for stealing and fraud. Some viewers also may question how this isolation has affected their children (all of whom were raised in the bush) and their understanding of larger society, despite the Browns' claim that they're not ignorant of what is truly important in the greater world. Their life won't appeal to everyone, but it's certainly interesting. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the reasons people choose to live outside of mainstream society or in remote locations. What are the benefits of living this way? Drawbacks?

  • Do you think the way the family really lives its everyday life is being portrayed realistically here? Could you or your family live the way they do and be happy? 

TV details

Cast:Billy Brown, Ami Brown, Matt Brown
Networks:Animal Planet, Discovery Channel
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Science and nature
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Alaskan Bush People was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Educator and Parent Written bywhatsrealygoingon May 15, 2014
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

how to change a tire

I just happened to turn on an episode today where they blew out a tire and were stranded on the side of the road I Noticed the helicopter crew and a camera crew me I say what's really going on those guys can't go get a tire for real you know.. or am I the only one that notices things like this and these type of showsthere are so many of them in situations similar to this where you know help is just a step away so are they really stranded I think not is it reality or fake reality you make a decision
Parent Written byCandi Rueda June 7, 2014
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Interesting Show

I really enjoy this series. I admire the Brown family for their tenacity. They stick together no matter what obstacles stand in their way. They are honest, wholesome (Matt's favorite movie is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers), they don't cuss, hardly ever argue and work hard no matter how cold it is to fulfill any deals they strike for the supplies they need. They never disrespect their parents, or each other. I see all of the negative comments saying how fake this show is, but I don't agree. They work too well together to be anything but real. I am sad that filming had to stop due to threats and being shot at. I hope production will resume when the Browns settle on their new land.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byActionJeno June 23, 2014
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Family Raised W/O Marketing and The Modern Consumer Culture

Great story of a Family that to most of us looks as if The Browns lost all and have moved to start over. Through hard work, experience that is shared, and family team efforts it truly looks as if they haven't lost everything because they have each other. Over and Over again the family shows that material goods, unless it can truly do something to help everyone in the family, isn't important. What is important is the family support and identifying each members strengths and encouragement along with praise helps all the Browns children by having strong self esteem, a knack to share knowledge to each other and encouraging values. Being in the "Bush" does require a direct connection with the food supply. Often meals are caught and killed but honestly with everyway to hunt and fish the family is concerned with a clean and quick kill so that suffering is minimized, most important is that they show that all killing is to support the family and nothing is wasted. If your concerned about children seeing that and questions being asked, look in your Frig and then think how much your family wastes. Now that hamburger that was tossed out because your family member didn't feel like it, just hope that Cow was put down as quickly. Its a good time to explain how bacon started as a pig and burgers a cow, more important is to show that to waste is harvest to an animal before its necessary. All in All the Browns continue to have life dump its Mud all over them, not once but three times in one year. They Brush it Off, Hug each other and Keep Going. Showing everyone whats important. Family
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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