Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People recap: Rise of Browntown

Ryan Berenz

Do the Alaskan Bush People get paid? We asked! Read our interview with the Brown family.

In Season 2, Episode 10 of Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People, “Rise of Browntown,” the Brown family moves into their new home, while Matt builds a house for himself out of tires.

Alaskan Bush People Season 1 Recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | The Wild Life

Season 2 Recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2Episode 3 | Episode 4Episode 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

“If we’re going to continue the Brown way of life, we’re going to need to bring more people out here. We’re hoping that the family’s going to grow,” Billy says. You just don’t see a lot of “Congrats On Bringing More People Out Here” gifts at baby showers.

Noah apparently hand-built Billy’s bed, and they’re going to move it to the upstairs of their cabin. They’re rigging up a pulley system to make it look more complicated. I’m curious to see what this bed looks like. I’m expecting some lavish, ornate, full king-sized chestnut canopy bed. Instead, they haul out what looks like a pallet that was made from wood reclaimed from that whole lumber-raft business. And like hell does that thing weigh 2,000 pounds. The Browns finally get the bed upstairs because of PHYSICS! or something.

Billy and Ami claim the bedroom upstairs. Rainy and Birdy will share a room. Gabe’s going to sleep in the corner somewhere. Bear is going to sleep under the stairs because it’s EXXXTREME! Plus, a DVD of the 1991 Wes Craven movie The People Under the Stairs finally made its way up to Alaska and Bear misinterpreted what that movie was all about. Noah Da Vinci will have his own studio space. Bam is going to take over the trapper shack, so he can have a place to bring some poor, desperate lady. Bam’s place will hence be called the Trap Her Shack.

And then there’s Matt. Billy and Ami want him to have a place that’s not made of Saran Wrap, and he should act like a grown-ass man and get a real house. Matt says his plastic-wrap shack was never intended to be permanent, but merely a temporary place where he could die from exposure and/or suffocation in a few days. Plus, the tight seal from the Saran Wrap would keep Matt’s corpse fresh days longer than the other leading brand.

It’s laundry day in Browntown, and the Browns wash their clothes in a creek, because people in the bush are not privy to the Ancient Chinese Secret.

Birdy uses a “tea-bagging” washing technique, which means exactly what she intends and has no other meaning and definitely not one that is sexual innuendo. Billy wonders if Noah can engineer some clothes-drying device, because the family’s run out of quarters for the laundromat next to the Icy Strait Lodge. A few of the boys take the “hour-long” boat ride into Hoonah to scour the junkyard for supplies and maybe the partially decomposed body of Matt’s friend Crazy Kenny. Matt spots a pile of tires and has an epiphany. He will build his home out of tires!

I get super creeped out when Ami and Billy have their talks about grandbabies and expanding Browntown because they don’t sound like parents who want their children to be happy and have families of their own. They sound like people who are trying to create new followers for some cult.

“I love the smell of rubber in the morning,” Matt says.


Matt, Gabe and Noah are bringing tires to the dock, and acting like 10-year-olds. Where are the Skaflestads when you need them? Matt gets into two tires and tries to roll down the dock. It does not go well. And so is born Michelin Matt.


Matt would really be in a lot of pain if it weren’t for all that meth he smoked at the junkyard.

When the boys get back to Brownton Abbey, Michelin Matt continues this colossal waste of time and energy while Noah works on building the clothes incinerator. Matt has no plan for his tire house. He has tires of all different sizes. I’ll bet he didn’t even research the proper load index or speed rating of those tires. Dumbass.

It’s time for Billy and Ami to spring the matchmaker thing on the boys. “It’s a little bit out there, a little offensive,” Noah says. Besides, Noah still pines for Minnie from Ketchikan. Gabe just likes to let things happen naturally, because that’s what worked so well for him so far. “The matchmaker seems a little forced,” Gabe says. YA THINK? “It sounds a bit like you’re pimping me out,” Bam says.

Noah’s got his clothes-burning barrel ready to test. Bear’s awesomeness is called upon to light the fire under it. But it’s not nearly EXXXXTREME enough until you get inside the thing yourself and feel the metal searing your flesh. They throw a bunch of clothes in there, spin it a few times, and pull out a steaming shirt and say “Wow, look at that!” Bear throws on his scalding-hot and probably still very wet sweatshirt and runs off to resume his awesomeness duties.

Michelin Matt’s Steel-Belted Radial Deathtrap is coming along nicely. Soon it will be big enough to collapse.

Susie, the matchmaker of AlaskaMen magazine fame, arrives at the camp and Ami immediately starts in with the grandbabies business. “I will try to pick girls that will fit into the family group,” Susie says, already realizing she’s just going to resort to the Russian mail-order thing again. The boys groom themselves, even though visiting with the matchmaker IS NOT A DATE. “I like a girl, too, that when I howl, would howl back. That’s awesome. I love to howl,” Bear tells Susie, who finds it funny and cute because she hasn’t suffered through hour after hour of this kid’s stale schtick like I have. If you go to Susie’s Facebook page, you’ll find this and similar vomit-inducing stuff:


“You have to show your kids that they have to work for everything. Nobody’s going to give you something in this world. You have to work for it,” Billy says. Oy. I’ll let our commenters from Alaska handle that one.

The boys have to go to Hoonah to pick up mail from Susie, and they hang out at Misty Bay Lodge to see who got paired up with what. Bear and Gabe get matches, and they’re attractive ladies who are interested in being on the TV. Gabe phones his gal Christine and makes an ass of himself. Christine giggles and finds Gabe cute, because that’s what the script says. Then it’s Bear’s turn to pretend he doesn’t know how to use a phone. Bear calls Sara. “Hey, this is Bear. Is this Sara?” Long pause while Sara rethinks this thing she’s gotten herself into. “Yes,” she says. Sara works at a sewing embroidery shop. “Do you ever embroider any, like, trees or anything?” Bear asks. “Ah … no,” Sara replies. “Just thought I’d check,” Bear says. Sara does not hang up. She’ll regret that.

Michelin Matt’s Galvanized Rubber Hut of All-Weather Traction looks like someone from a Destination America lifestyle series got a hold of it. Could Queer Eye for the Bush Guy be in the works?

Sitting around the dining room table, Ami won’t shut up about the grandbabies. Matt tells Ami that Bear and Gabe talked to girls on the phone today, which if Rosemary’s Baby has taught us anything, it means that both Sara and Christine will be mysteriously impregnated overnight.

[Update: Smilin’ Susie Carter takes time out from pimpin’ the Brown boys to pimpin’ her mag.]


  1. I love these recaps! Like so many other posters, I am laughing so hard I cry! The one thing I would like to state is that I don’t think Alaska is being harmed but rather the Discovery Channel is tarnishing their own selves. The show is totally scripted by Discovery. The writing is so utterly insulting to anyone’s intelligence that it’s a complete farce. I watch because I can’t believe what I hear and the ridiculous situations/stories Discovery creates! The State of Alaska is absolutely beautiful and my breath is taken away every time I see the scenery. That alone is worth watching. I have a feeling that after January, 2016, Alaskan Bush People will no longer be on the air as it appears that it will be proven that they don’t actually reside in the state unless they are filiming their “bush life”.

  2. I’ve no interest in listening to Billy Scammin Brown pull out the god card. The whole family is trying to make Discovery viewers believe that chronic homelessness, dental neglect & avoiding child support is some noble qwest for freedom. I hate ignorance and these con artists are a huge waste of time.Shame on Discovery Channel.

  3. David: Your last post was so insightful. Loved it.

    The religion thing has not surprised me in the least. It is transparent…..anyone with a solid religious base can see right through those people. Anyone can wear a cross, or sport a tat…….or throw around the “God” word, i.e…..”they just need a little God in their hearts”. Proof is in the pudding as my mother always used to say. Actions speak louder than words and their actions amount to didly squat. Their lifestyle speaks volumes. The people that they have needlessly hurt speaks volumes. Sixty three indictments against the state of Alaska speaks volumes. And on and on it goes.

    The ABP sees the five Brown boys as the “golden” egg…….and that is why we see the demo shift. They are being played like a fiddle. It is all about the ratings and I agree with you in that I think there has been a decline…..and we will see it more and more as the time gets closer and closer to trial. ABP has filed for and received permission to film that trial. Not hard to see where their moral compass is. It does not exist. The more dirty laundry that gets aired the better, and believe me there is enough dirty laundry there to keep the Jerry Springers in business for 10 life times.

    It is a sad state of affairs. If Billy Brown had any sense he would tell DC to pound sand and refuse to allow them to film that trial. That family has enough problems without adding that mayhem to it. I would formally request from the judge that it be a closed trial, as well, with no one in the court room except the jury and the legal teams. It will be nothing short of a three ring circus, and barrels down to one thing. Ratings………and ratings equals money.

    Sherlock here……signing off for now.

    • That is a bit of a head scratcher to want to film the trial. Of course that only means they will film it but not necessarily show it on TV. So I suppose it does give them options. Plus they probably won’t be the only ones filming and covering the trial so maybe it is smart to get in front of things and do it yourself. Possibly a way to squeeze the last drops of money out of ABP.
      The most interesting part of the trial for me is exactly what they are charged with. Yes it is a trial about stealing money from the state of Alaska and the lies that led to it. It is what they lied about that it at the heart of the whole thing. They are charged with not living in the state of Alaska for the required 180 days for a calendar year. So in essence the trial is about whether the Browns even lived in Alaska. There is little to no evidence that this family lived for over 30 years in the wilds of Alaska like they claimed. The time they lived in Alaska seems to all be in towns in southeast Alaska. This trial is even questioning whether they lived in Alaska at all for long stretches, let alone in the wild. Supposedly this family was so isolated for so many decades that they developed their own dialects. Obviously it is all a big crock. It just might be inconvenient if a trial in a courtroom proves to the world that you are lying. Plus if they are sentenced to jail time that might be a wee bit hard to go on with the story. It is just a fascinating jumble.

  4. Ryan, you simply crack me up ! Case in point…..”ignore the rabble rousers who cite “facts” and “evidence” in an attempt to besmirch these tight knit, hard working, strong principled, clean cut, sincere people of God and Nature”. For a minute there I thought I was reading about a re-run of the Jim and Tammy Bakker show.

    Yes, we are a bunch of hateful and cynical heathens alright. That’s why we are the most popular and sought after discussion group on the net (over 11,000 members), boasting members who are well known journalists….not to overlook the entire ABP production crew itself. But oh contrare……they never post(not under their real names anyway)…..they just “watch” (monitor)…..intent on catching every word we say. It is a known fact that many a show has been “refurbished” due to the information found in our group and things that we have talked about. We should be listed in the credits !

    Internet porn? That’s a good one, Ryan. Who needs that when you have the ridiculous goings on of the ABP episodes. There is enough comedic material there to put Hugh Hefner out of business.

    Sherlock here……signing off for now.

  5. Diane: Ryan’s recap was “lackluster” ?????? You cannot comment on material that just isn’t there to comment on. His rebound was absolutely up to par. You seemed to be right on as far as the undercurrent of what this family is really all about though, and are reacting, in kind, to the REAL travesty of it all.

    Sherlock here…….signing off for now.

    • Sherry I agree about the material not being there.From what I have read around the net ABP is recycling the same crap from the first season;dental issues, Ami’s house, Matt’s fetish with plastic & rubber, the trips to the dump, & of course the perpetual search for women stupid enough to live & procreate in Brown Town. If Ami wants grandbabies perhaps the Brown Clown should raid an orphanage for some teenagers like Ami herself when she married Billy Brown. Girls who are dumb enough to fall for their brand of bush living-perpetual poverty, ignorance and toothlessness.

      • Material not being there? Wow are you being kind. I have always been amazed how absolutely little is done in any episode. I think on the famous saran wrap house episode that Matt built, the only thing that happened was Billy left to go to the hospistal with the women (Which absolutely zero was ever shown. Like Billy clinging to life wouldn’t have been this crapfest’s biggest story line ever. So obviously that storyline never happened.). Other than that I think that was episode where the boys built a raft and brought about 3 boards home (or maybe they built a tree fort). Again I might be getting my episodes confused and there is no way I am bothering to research it. Point being, episode after episode virtually nothing happens. They fill the dead space with their super stupid and truly tiresome antics.
        I was a watcher of this show (boy I hope that doesn’t go on my resume or tombstone), but I haven’t watched any of the new episodes on the DVR. It is looking less and less likely that I will. Hard to even waste the time on a show that is pretty pathetic at its core, but nothing even happens. This show just seems like it is now just filler and using up pre-existing film. So if a at one time hate watcher like me is falling off and not bothering to watch (and it sounds like I am not alone) then that can’t bode well for the ABP. Their shtick just has gotten old. In looking at the rating for APB in the last episode the headline is ABP wins the night. But they had a 1.0 rating in the 18-49 age group beating out Family Guy reruns that were a .7. Also the rating were down 10% from the previous week. If my memory serves me correctly those number are down 33-40% from ABP all time highs. So I think are favorite first family of Alaska (sorry Sarah Palin) is gliding back to earth. This show never felt like it had a lot of legs to it. Not sure even Discovery wasn’t a bit surprised by the initial good ratings. After that it really lacks any plot track, and sort of has a make it up as we go kind of feel to it. They got their trial pushed back to early next year so that opened up the window to let this thing play out. Think about the whole dating angle for the boys. Even if they all found wives and got married where are they going to go with it? Are we then supposed to watch Ami get her grandchildren? Nobody will really care as grandchildren are born by the millions all over the USA each year. The Alaska storyline drew people in, and then their overall weirdness somehow kept them for a while. Even the most hard core fan can only listen to bear howl for so long. I think it is time to put the tray tables up and put your seats in the upright position as ABP comes in for a landing. I have been wrong about this show before but feels like another couple months of episodes for Discovery to fill out their Friday night lineup with decent ratings and call it a day.
        This show has managed to soil Alaska way worse than any oil spill ever could.

        • It’s pretty clear that Discovery shifted the target demo for ABP considerably in Season 2B. Here’s a story from earlier this spring about how DC is going after more women and families:

          So while many of the ABP old-timers have stopped watching (David is their spokesman), there’s a whole new set of people just now discovering this wholesome, loving, God-fearing, pioneering TV family (This is their spokesperson). Birdy, Rainy and Ami barely appeared in Season 1, but they’re all over the place in Season 2. The Browns are also a lot more keen on Jesus in Season 2. And then there’s the dating/matchmaker stuff. And the whole grandbabies thing, well…

          A lot of this demo shift is for ratings, but it also has the insidious intent of shielding the Browns and the show from criticism. In this “interview” with Billy, he thinks his critics just “need a little God in their hearts.”

          So just ignore the rabble-rousers who cite “facts” and “evidence” in an attempt to besmirch these tight-knit, hard-working, strong-principled, clean-cut, sincere people of God and Nature. You are just a bunch of hateful, cynical heathens who spew venom online from your parents’ basements in between viewings of Internet porn. Shame on you!

          (Can anyone recommend any good Internet porn?)

          • You know, it kind of all makes sense now. I didn’t even realize the changes to make this show more appealing to women. Now that I think about it when I somehow end up on one of those articles about the show, the comments are 90% women. Never even really thought about it. The biggest thing the pops out to me is the continual angle of trying to find the boys girlfriends/wives. Not to be sexist but the dating angle is completely a female thing (Hello Bachelor/Bachelorette). Even the girls getting a lot more face time on camera makes sense.
            Also the religion thing is not surprising. When facing negative things in life there is nothing like dropping the god card to hide behind. If you don’t believe then you are a heathen. That is a tired old trick.
            I am still not convinced that this show has legs. Bringing in new viewers in any way you can is a great idea, but often hard to do. Especially in an existing show versus a new show. Kind of hard to reinvent yourself part way through. Some shows do start slow and build momentum rather than start off on a high note. Just really hard to see ABP changing the slow ratings slide it is experiencing. If they can do it more power to them. There is no doubt their ratings are down.
            Then there is the really tired subject of their trial. They have managed to push it back twice now. The second time the reason was the lawyer was not going to be available during that time. There is no way the State of Alaska is going to let this go on indefinitely. Can’t even imagine them getting it pushed back any further. So at some point it will happen. I just don’t see it being a positive in any way for the ABP. Alaska has a pretty good record on winning these cases because they only go after strong ones they know they can win because of strong evidence. They don’t waste time on weak ones. So if they are found guilty I would assume it is game over. Even if they win, all of the bad publicity while the trial goes on can’t help either even if they win. They say any publicity is good, but I don’t think any trial will help. So basically I am sure we all agree that it is smart of them to push it back. Just can’t do it forever. I think the trial is to the ABP what a rumbling volcano is to people living on an island. Nothing good is going to come from it. You can only hope for the best. Also it is almost mind boggling to me that it seems like 90% of their fans don’t believe the ABP are charged with anything or poo poo the charges like it is some miss-understanding. Even though all you have to do is just a slight bit of research, they will not believe no matter what. Think that is going to change once the trial is in the headlines.
            I will admit that I am completely fascinated by this show. Obviously not the quality of the show which is terrible. More by the fact that they can, and are, pulling this big fat lie off. But lets take a step back and keep things a bit in perspective with the ABP. Their highest ever rating were about 1.4 in the 18-49 age group when Gold Rush was the lead in. Now they are at a 1.0 on a very weak Friday night on TV with not much for competition. I mean Family Guy reruns are pulling in 70% of their audience. To further put this in perspective their all time high is a 1.4 while American Idol in season 2 topped out at a 25.67. So this is hardly a runaway hit.
            I am still standing by my prediction that they will go on through the summer but will die out come fall. The trial has them painted in a corner all by itself. Then this thing just isn’t built to last. I bet they would do better if they just flew out 50 girls and we went full on Bachelor/Survivor mode. We will see. I have been wrong before. Never overestimate the intelligence level of the TV viewer is the lesson I suppose. Will be interesting and I am along for the whole ride.

  6. I think ABP stole the clothes cooker idea from Kramer on Seinfeld. First saran wrap, now rubber tires. I think Matt is subliminally trying to tell us something, like he has a rubber suit and ball gag fetish. As always Ryan your recap is very entertaining, although you’re definitely experiencing ABP burnout. Your commentary is a bit lackluster. I am so sorry you are being forced to watch and write about this bunch of misfit con artists. You did come up with a few gems that made me laugh out loud. Thank you for that. I do not watch the show, I automatically change the channel. The Brown Clowns are too ignorant for me. I refuse to watch Billy spin his bullshit. This whole family disgusts me. Ironically, I liked them once, until I saw through the con. The manufactured drama, the push to present their family values, knowing full well that Billy never worked a hard day in his life.You don’t get a beer gut from hard work. There is a dark underbelly to this family that creeps me out. The Duggars come to mind.

  7. Did you see the light bulb on the ceiling of the tire house? It got in the shot for a second, and if you blinked, you missed it. So where did the electricity come from?

  8. Ramona: Thank you for clarifying that for me. It gets a bit confusing !

    The word is now “out”. Your daughters picture and what REALLY happened with those matchmaker phone calls has been posted on the ABP discussion group site.
    I cannot remember who had posted it but it was there by early this afternoon and everyone was “buzzing” about it.

    This is why DC and “entourage” dislikes us so much. We are constantly blowing their cover. Best wishes to you and your family, Ramona.

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About Ryan Berenz 2107 Articles
Some things I like (in no particular order): Sports, Star Wars, LEGO, beer, 'The Simpsons' Seasons 1-13, my family and the few friends who are not embarrassed to be seen with me. Why yes, I am very interested in how much you like 'Alaskan Bush People.' #LynxForLife