Discovery Channel Alaskan Bush People recap: Ballad of Billy Brown

Go Here For All Of Your Hole-Digging Alaskan Bush People Needs!

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

What did Discovery intend to do by using this Alaskan Bush People as a lead-in to Racing Extinction? It’s a weird juxtaposition of the insipid trash Discovery has churned out lately and the enlightening, important prestige documentaries it used to air regularly. Was it purely a ratings move to boost Racing Extinction? Was it an effort to remind viewers that there’s stuff on Discovery that won’t make us dumber?

This special episode, “Ballad of Billy Brown,” is more like “This Is Your Life, Billy Brown” or “The Idiot’s Guide to Alaskan Bush People.”

We see the Browns out doing Brown stuff the Brown Way. Carving stuff. Digging stuff. Being EXXXTREME! Matt goes out fishing for crabs, the Fast Food of the Bush. Matt’s very meticulous when it comes to Alaska’s crab-fishing regulations. Only males of a certain size can be kept. It would be nice if the Browns were as concerned about, you know, lots of other laws. BTW, this just in (from 2013): ‘Alaskan Bush People’ Star Matt Brown Arrested For DUI Following Wild Night Of Partying & Sex

It’s a special day, though. Some of Billy’s old friends from Texas made the long journey up to Brownton Abbey. Bill and Margaret Fuller get a tour of the Browns’ “fairy land.” Bill brought a bunch of old photos from Billy’s youth. How Bill acquired these photos and why they look brand new is none of our business.

We get a rehash of the seminal event in Billy’s life that led him up to the Alaskan bush — the death of his parents and sister in a plane crash when he was 16. It’s a sad story, one of the few things on this show that isn’t fabricated and one of the few things I won’t snark about.

It was so nice of the Fullers to come up all this way and spend 10 minutes being a plot device. Now GTFO.

The Brown kids want to do something nice for Billy after this major bummer the Fullers brought down on him. They want to take Billy on a surprise trip to do his favorite thing that we are only now just learning about: prospectin’! Yes, Billy has gold fever!


Everyone keeps saying that all of this celebration is for Billy’s birthday. Well, according to this story about the Browns’ latest court appearance, Billy turned 63 on Thursday, Dec. 3. (Yesterday!) Doesn’t quite look like December out in Brownton Abbey, does it?

On the Integrity, everyone marvels at how little Rainy has grown! Must be the eye makeup.

Matt says that Billy caught gold fever up in Haines — Matt’s pronunciation makes it sound like “anus” — when Billy hung out with some logger dude named Delbert Bart, who has one of the great prospecting names of all time.

The family sets up a camp and reminisces about how the Browns started their annoying howling B.S. It involved the family setting up a camp when they discovered they were surrounded by howling wolves. Matt (of course!) gets the idea to howl back at the wolves. This somehow prevents the dingoes from eating the babies. Stupid wolves.

The Browns go panning for gold. It’s boring as hell. By this point I’ve stopped paying attention to the show and am just working on PhotoShops.


We get a little cameo appearance from Cowboy Dean, one of the more underutilized characters on this show. As the Brown kids pan for gold, Noah sits this one out and decides to meditate and “elevate his thinking higher.” Noah’s Bush Shaolin Monk act is just as big a waste of time as all this panning for gold.

“Bush Martha Stewart” Ami’s going to do some Bush Baking. She’s making a “miracle cake” that does not take eggs. It uses the chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda to make the cake rise. Later, she’s going to use the same reaction for a fun volcano science project.

Billy and Ami share a story about eating beaver. “If you look at a beaver and smell the beaver and get close to the beaver, that’s what they taste like. It’s a beaver,” Billy says. Billy then gives us TMI about his trip to the Bush Bathroom the next day. Somehow, all the iron and protein in beaver meat made his excrement “glow.” I would try to research that but I’m terrified of the Google results.

Matt and the boys are going to light torches for the festivities. They’re using old T-shirts, deer fat and kerosene. This reminds them of that one time the boys fought off a bear by igniting a bunch of gas. The fire spooked the bear, who is “not used to that sort of EXXXTREMENESS.” They’re setting up the torches around a campfire and the whole scene looks like a Survivor Tribal Council. I hope they vote Noah out.

Nothing like wrapping up a terrible episode with a bunch of complete jackassery. The Brown kids wasted valuable wood constructing a stage for a Bush Talent Show. It goes pretty much like you’d expect. Noah is Professor Dark, an illusionist. Gabe does Sean Connery, because Gabe is a one-trick pony. Bear throws knives into a flaming log, because it’s EXXXXTREME! Bam does Bush Shakespeare. Rainy tells jokes that most 3-year-olds would enjoy. Rainy and Birdy sing a duet.

The Good Lord gave Billy the best fake birthday ever and the best gift ever: another delay in his court case.


We get a preview of the rest of this season. Billy has to go to Seattle for his seizures. We know he’s in Seattle for quite a while because he’s been phoning in his court case and media appearances from there. Bam rams the Integrity into a dock. The boys damn near kill themselves and sink The Skiff. More young aspiring actresses are trucked into Brownton Abbey to produce grandbabies. The film crew stages a bear attack inside their cabin.

And still more f***ing howling.



  1. Yes we’re grabbing at straws this season. Tough to build on a story that was fake in the first place. Like where do you go from here?

    • The lack of writing and storylines in this show is amazing. Can’t they make up some crap better than this? It is all made up so you might as well make it entertaining. In about two weeks it wouldn’t surprise me if it were an hour long sock puppet show. I have watched two episodes in over a year and feel like I have missed nothing.

  2. In the realm of reality tv shows, I would much rather watch goofy rednecks then bitchy lazy women from Orange County, Atlanta or any other city, or Shore.
    And the Kardashians?…what s shame people actually pay attention, wanna talk about trash?

    • Poor Kardashian’s, what did they ever do to the population to be the go to show for ABP for the argument of “Well at least ABP isn’t the Kardashian’s”. It’s like saying I would rather be rushed to the hospital for pneumonia than horrible food poisoning. How about not getting sick at all and skip the hospital. Wouldn’t it be better to just watch something actually good than to just watch the lesser of two evils. Did ISIS break into your house and put a gun to your head and say “you either watch the Kardashians or ABP or we are going to execute you”? Wow, it is just such an illogical argument. One thing we can say for the Kardashians though… they aren’t in negotiations right now with the state of Alaska for how much jail time they are going to do for stealing public money, committing theft, fraud and fishing and wildlife violations along with a DUI.

  3. He’s got gold fever. They say it over and over. Like alpine hunt. Buzz words by producers perhaps? Buzz words. How appropriate.
    Where does whiz kid Noah get off? Wearing a top hat, cane?
    I like the extent of bullshit they think we all just don’t catch.
    Then the howling. Such a crock of shit. Bear in a tree like a 10 year old. Bam. Constant d bag. Such entertaining. I can’t stop watching. It like a train wreck.
    Yet, soon it will be over.
    Ps. I think the howling responses will be happening a lot to the brown boys in the penitentiary.
    That was too much. Sorry. Not sorry.

    • Larry. Rednecks are typically southerners like me. They are bush bums. Different animal all together. Smell like cat piss and weed according to other sites. Don’t know what you’d call that? Filthy ass bums? Actors?

  4. One other thing: Apparently Ami thinks she is an oven expert — but clearly she is not. When preparing the vinegar/soda chocolate cake she said it had to be baked with the heat going all around the pan via her method (cake pan in a covered kettle over the fire)—which she said doesn’t happen in regular “ranges.” Hello? I’m pretty sure there is heat throughout my entire oven—and everyone else’s ovens, too. I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I put a cake in my oven, the top, sides, and bottom all bake!! And—get this—the same thing happens with all other items I bake in there! 😉

    • She said it does happen in a regular over, that is hwy she did it that way to get the heat around it. She said it would not happen just cooking it over a fire….

  5. Are you kidding me? Who would watch this crap? Nothing but a bunch of toothless rednecks with no lives.

    C’mon people…….get real, get a life and start watching some quality tv, not this junk.

  6. Ryan, your synopses are a HOOT! And, David, I love your Alaska perspective.

    I am wondering how, on the trip to the undisclosed location for Billy’s birthday/gold panning, they managed to transfer the following on The Skiff from the Integrity: 9 people, 9 sleeping bags, a huge tarp, ropes, enough new lumber to build a stage, material for stage curtains, cooking gear, food, cake mix with vinegar and baking soda, tools to build the stage etc., deer fat, clothes, gold pans, and who knows what else? Lewis & Clark, and the Corps of Discovery took less gear on their expedition.

    Noah claims to be studying preserved deer hearts, a dead bat, and some spiders—but to what end? There is no discernible scientific inquiry going on there. Further, at the end of last season, Noah proclaimed he was working on something amazing that would practically change the world—well, Noah, we are still waiting…

    The root cellar from last week’s show: I saw Ami store one bowl of potatoes in there. Yep, that will get them through the winter.

    Again, from last week: Bear running down the hill from the deer “hunt,” falling and tripping while carrying his gun. Can we say stupid beyond belief? That was so incompetent and dangerous I am surprised TLC showed it. Dumb, dumb, dumb. (Note: During the alleged hunt at the top of the hill, Bird was covered in camouflage make-up to the point it looked like she was going into combat while Gabe had none…his face was pristine and sparkling in the sunshine.)

    The “Talent Show” for Billy’s “birthday”: Amazingly, embarrassingly bad.

    Ah-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! (Wolf howl) 🙂

      • Perhaps Noah used his magic skills to expand and contract The Skiff but was able, through prestidigitation, to cloak his machinations—much like the Romulan cloaking device.

    • You do have an eye for detail. ABP is like one of those puzzles where you try to find all 20 mistakes in the picture. If you look close enough you will find lots of them.

  7. I didn’t watch this one as it looked like it was going to just be story telling. Sounds like I wasn’t far off. Also I kind of thought it was going to be a “we are real” episode in disguise as Billy can tell tall tales about how everything happened… according to him of course. Basically another boring episode of Browntown. Seems like this show is really resting on its laurels (as low as those are). At least the Chitna days and the travelling to Chicago Bears Island they did stuff, faked building camp and shelter and scrapped by. Now, NOTHING really happens. Small storyline here, something small there. But at least trying to build shelter was a developing plot. Its has gotten so bad that they have turned Noah into a mad professor sitting in a bush lab doing pretty pointless stuff. Every few episodes we have to do the starving angle with the deer hunt. They really need to throw some of that Discovery money around and hire some real writers for some storylines. I thought this show was going to end in an epic explosion with fines, jail time and a cancelled show going out high in the ratings. This show is just going to bore people to death, even their fanatical fans. I did notice they aren’t winning Wednesday nights anymore and ratings that were a 1.4 in the 18-49 category are down to .9. They are losing out to reruns of Big Bang theory and Family guy now. This is no longer a swashbuckling adventure travelling around Alaska for a home. It has turned into watching people garden.
    As far as their trial goes I understand it even a bit more now and how it is probably going to turn out. The judge withdrew many of the charges against them, but they can all be re-filed. The case against them is a decent one, but it involves a lot of testimony and bridging facts together to make the case. So if it goes to a jury it is possible they could get off with the right jury based on reasonable doubt, or they could spend decades in prison. They have admitted they lied and stole money, but withdrew that after the judge through it back to the prosecution. So I can understand more now why both sides want to settle on a plea. The state saves money on a full blown trial and they avoid getting the wrong jury that lets them off scott free. The Browns avoid going to trial on a lot of felonies and possibly go to prison for a long time. Again, the case against them is a decent one, but the right lawyer might be able to try to poke holes in it enough to sway at least one juror. The Browns admitted what they did when they thought they were going to get a slap on the wrist. So we will see. I think they settle on a plea where the Browns plead guilty and do a small amount of time in jail. Heck, Matts sex drugs and rock & roll in Juneau looks a lot more fun then the trial that will probably never happen. I think the damage from the trial didn’t work out for the Browns. Seems like it kind of blew more holes in their story and the rating have slumped rather then got higher. If the rating going down a ways from here the Browns won’t be worth it to Discovery for all the baggage they bring with them. It has been a good ratings show for them, but a bit of a reputation black eye. I am sure if things go south at trial or rating keep going down they will drop them in a heartbeat.

    • This episode seemed like half-assed damage-control PR infotainment. Billy’s had such a hard life. Surely he’s suffered enough. He’s such a devoted father. The next seizure could be his last, and you wouldn’t want to separate him from his family. Besides, dealing with all the mean people on the Internet should be sufficient punishment. Their brand has really suffered.

      I sense the Browns are going to beat the rap on account of Bush Lawyerin’.

      This whole season seems like it was rushed to air, like the producers were prepping for jail time, an extended stay in Seattle, Discovery’s new content strategy kicking in, exposed phoniness sinking the ratings, or all of the above.

      Matty Tire Hut hitting the big city three sheets to the wind, getting some strange and plowing down motorcycles with an ’86 Volvo in a Wal-Mart parking lot at 4am is classic. Now THAT would be entertaining TV. I WOULD WATCH THAT AND RECAP THE BEJESUS OUT OF IT!

      • Agreed on all accounts. It’s like they were playing poker with the show, and thought they better cash in early and get as many episodes as they could on the air to keep the advertiser dollars rolling in with good ratings and a decent lead in show before the trial crud hit the fan. Problem was they might have done as much or more damage with poor episode storylines as the trial itself. I don’t think the legal headlines helped though. It played out poorly and I will bet when I was reading headlines the comments and Facebook postings for those articles were 30/40-1 of negative posts to positive (all stats are guesses by me and no scientific). The luster seems lost and you can’t lose your casual fans because there are enough delusional superfans.
        The trial will never happen and I think there will be some sort of plea. So haters won’t get their 40 felonies and fans won’t get their not guilty plea. It will just sputter out in nothiness and confusion, yet certainly won’t help the Brown image to have to admit to anything.
        Wouldn’t the Matt scene in a Wal-Mart parking lot talking about sex with a random girl, while drunk, in somebody else’s car after fleeing a hit and run be must see TV? Now there is a rating bonanza. Wrapping saran wrap around 4 trees and calling it a house… MEH.

    • I WISH we got to see them garden…

      Ami is sick 3 days and wants to go out ands see how the 2 month old garden looks because she has never seen it before.

        • Billy is an epileptic from the sounds of it . I’m no doctor but my son has epilepsy and his seizures are fully under control with medication . Not a single seizure in 8 years where he used to have them weekly.

Comments are closed.

About Ryan Berenz 2106 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