Do the Alaskan Bush People get paid? We asked! Read our interview with the Brown family.
In the Season 2 premiere of Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People, “Breaking Free” (Jan. 2), a series of emergencies keep the Brown family stuck in Ketchikan.
The town of Ketchikan, Alaska, is hell on Earth. It reeks of concrete. There are stairs that move up and down by themselves through some kind of sorcery. There is a box that makes a humming noise and fries food within its unholy bowels. If the Brown family does not leave this place, they will die from exposure to comfort and convenience.
Living in this godforsaken land for nine months in an 800 square foot apartment, the Browns have done odd jobs to collect enough money to purchase a seafaring vessel. And then, sweet, sweet FREEDOM! All the trees you could ever want to climb! More fish than you can punch in five lifetimes!
“My role in the family is just to be as extreme and awesome as possible,” Bear says. “Be as extreme and awesome as possible” sounds like the life goals of your average 10-year-old boy in 1991.
Season 2 Recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Wild Times | Episode 9 | Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12 | Episode 13 | Episode 14 | SHARK WEEK! | Episode 15 | Episode 16 | Lost Footage | The Wild Year
Billy scouts for a cheap boat that will carry the family far from the cesspool that is Ketchikan. But instead of one boat that can transport the whole family, he ends up with three boats: two fishing boats and one little skiff that Used Boat Guy throws in to sweeten the deal. He doesn’t care. Used Boat Guy just wants to get his nagging harpy of a wife off of his back.
Seriously, if you’re the Greater Ketchikan Convention and Visitors Bureau, you’ve got to be pissed about the Browns ragging on your town on national cable TV. If this boat thing doesn’t work out, Billy says, “We’re going to be stuck in Ketchikan for another year, and that’s going to kill us.” The Browns would rather live on 29 acres of land with Earth’s highest concentration of grizzly bears than to spend another day in Ketchikan … more like Ketchican’t, amiright?
Noah and Matt rummage through a junkyard for supplies to take along. Noah is very good with technology. He can judge the quality of a clock radio simply by smelling it. He once made an “arm radio” using a plastic soda bottle, and made headphones from Christmas ornaments. He also discovered that wearing multiple pairs of eyeglasses allows for increased magnification and protection. Noah will be blind in less than a year.
The Browns have added a new member to the clan this season. Meet
Cousin Oliver Mr. Cupcake, a sweet pooch that probably has no idea what he’s getting into with this family.
Billy must decide which of his male offspring will command the second vessel, The Osprey. Serious and responsible Bam gets the commission, because Billy knows the rest of his sons are all hopeless screwups.
They’re all thrilled to be leaving Stinktown, and they pack up their stuff. Bear demonstrates his space-saving “punch-packing” technique, because this kid’s solution to every problem he encounters is to punch it. Can’t open that jar of pickles? PUNCH IT! Can’t find a parking spot? PUNCH IT! The computer network of your major multinational media conglomerate got hacked? Oh, you’d better believe you should PUNCH IT!
BUT WAIT! The Browns encounter yet another dental emergency that threatens to derail their plans! Ami’s got some swelling in her mouth. A visit to the dentist reveals that a half-dozen of her “remaining teeth” are infected and need to be yanked. Surgery would be expensive and would postpone their escape to the safety of Grizzly Bear Island, but Ami insists that they leave. She chooses the temporary relief of antibiotics. She’d rather take her chances with infected teeth than stay one more day in wretched, abysmal Ketchikan.
So finally, the Browns cast off for journey northward through dangerous narrow straits to the island of … Chichagof? There is no way in hell I can type Chichagof on a regular basis, so I hereby decree, in accordance with the Treaty of Autocorrect, that the Island of Chichagof shall henceforth be known as the Island of Chicago.
The waters are treacherous and full of dangers. The Browns encounter their old nemeses: Floating logs called “deadheads,” which have just been drifting aimlessly since Jerry Garcia died.
Matt has an awkward sleep pattern. He admits it and he won’t apologize for it, so screw you, SOCIETY! He’s going to sleep on the roof of the boat.
It’s revealed that Noah left behind a very fetching, very blue-eyed lass back in Ketchikan. “I’m more of the old-fashioned, 15th-century style of person when it comes to like, dating and things,” Noah says. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
It wouldn’t be an episode of Alaskan Bush People without some Poseidon Adventure-style high jinks on the high seas, so the Brown family’s flagship, The Lorcan, blows its main engine and takes on a little trickle of water. Bam, Captain of The Osprey, wants to try to repair the engine at sea. Billy wants to get to a port as soon as possible. So, it’s mutiny, then? No. Bam relents, and Billy brings The Lorcan to dock in a town of 12 permanent residents who will want to boot the Browns out as soon as possible.