Discovery Channel Alaskan Bush People recap: Dock-u-Drama

Ryan Berenz

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.


After whatever the hell that was last week, the saga of Brownton Abbey resumes with “Dock-u-Drama,” a delightfully punned title. In the TV business, we’ve seen shows promoted a multitude of ways by adding “docu” to them. We’ve seen “docudrama,” “docuseries” and even something called a “docusoap.” The networks and producers wanted to get away from “reality” shows, since there is so little reality in them and the word was getting negative connotations. (I wonder why.) Calling these things “documentaries” makes them sound a little too highfalutin and authentic for the average viewer. I mean, it’s not like Sir David Attenborough would narrate Bear punching some poor salmon’s skull in. (Come to think of it, that would be AWESOME!)

Noah is trying to bring the Industrial Revolution to Brownton Abbey. He’s now making advances in indoor plumbing. He’s trying to tap the creek with long lengths of tubes and get some way to deliver it to the kitchen faucet. Commence eye rolling. Like every one of Noah’s “inventions,” it sounds like it might work in principle for the two seconds we get to see it functioning onscreen.

You’ll remember that the Bush Fates of Rock, Paper and Scissors put Matt in charge of the Integrity and this hauling job that he’s going to do with Bam, Gabe and Bear, and without the additional moveable ballast weight of Billy. [DIGRESSION! A friend in high school invited me on his family’s boat that was competing in a yacht race. I knew nothing about yachting, so my official function on the vessel was “moveable ballast.”] Ami says the boys will probably miss their parents’ “reassurance” most of all. Whatever. The cargo for the hauling job is a washing machine, dryer and rug for some dude in Gustavus. Matt wants the job to go smoothly because, “This is our name on the line.” Yes. It would be unfortunate if the Brown family name were tarnished in any way.

Noah, Rainy and Birdy go scouting for water from the creek. The salmon are spawning earlier than usual, and there are fish in the creek that could use some of Bear’s Bush Euthanasia. “You definitely don’t want to drink water that has dead or dying fish in it,” Professor Noah explains. Birdy “ate” the water and determined that it is not edible … er, potable. Noah says that with his water system in place, they’ll never have to make this run again. I call B.S. on this for about a million reasons, but here’s the biggest: What happens when it freezes? Oh, right. The Browns will be in Texas.

It’s been a week since Billy’s latest seizure.


Billy and Ami are in the kitchen discussing their anxieties about letting their grown-ass sons go out on their grown-ass boat by their grown-ass selves. Billy says docking the Integrity is like parallel parking a freight train. The Browns have a poor track record of docking boats, even the small ones:


Then Ami says this:

Out on the sea, things are going well until Bam is thrown for a loop by the sad little dock in Gustavus. (You’ll recall that Gustavus was the place where the Browns shoveled the chicken feces out of the van.) Bam’s at the wheel and is trying to cram the boat between the dock and a piling and it makes no damn sense to me why he would even attempt this at all. The Integrity trades some paint with the dock, but despite the claim that it “took a chunk” out of the hull, it’s mostly just a superficial scuff mark. Matt will not have to go down with the ship, alas.

The boys instead decide to dock the Integrity on a “state float.” I’ve never been on the waters of Alaska, but I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to dock there because there is a sign in plain English on it that reads: “Property of the State of Alaska NO TRESPASSING AS 11.46.330.” There are exclusions in cases of emergency, but docking your boat there because you’re a dumbass and you’re late to deliver some appliances does not constitute an emergency. Then they try towing the Integrity with The Skiff. You ever hear the saying about a monkey and football? This scene is THAT. “There is no way that that skiff is ever going to move the Integrity,” Bam says.


The Skiff saves their asses yet again and hauls the appliances and the rug to shore, where customer Kyle has been impatiently waiting. Everyone in SE Alaska is named Kenny or Kyle, like it’s freakin’ South Park. Matt and Gabe start telling Kyle just how awful and incompetent they are at their jobs, which is an unconventional business practice, even out in the Bush. I’d love to see the revenue vs. expenses sheet on this hauling job. I figure it’s four men working five or six hours and about five hours of fuel burned. “OK, Kyle. Your total comes to $3,500.”

At least the Browns have a job on the return trip. They have to bring a wood sculpture of a bear back to Hoonah for the Misty Bay Lodge. Billy’s probably trying to use the sculpture to barter his way out of his bar tab. The guy who makes the carvings is … Stevie Wonder!  You’d think a gray-haired Alaskan wood carver hippie dude would be entertaining, but he’s tragically underutilized in this episode. The Brown boys go to pick up the sculpture, but Stevie Wonder says it won’t be done until tomorrow. This means the Browns will have to piss away an extra day in Gustavus. Signed, Sealed & Delivered, my ass.


Stevie Wonder then mentions something about a friend with a problem tree and tells the Brown boys that they could make themselves useful by cutting it down. I have no idea what Stevie Wonder offers in exchange for this, but the Brown boys are up to it.

Let’s add another really stupid boring Alaskan Bush People cliche to the list: The overly dramatic felling of trees. No more of this, for the love of the Good Lord. I do not want to see footage of Browns cutting down trees unless said cutting of trees causes injury, death and/or severe or hilarious property damage.

Gabe cuts down the tree just fine, and the only thing worth seeing in this scene is the shadow of the drone camera that took the shot.

Back at Brownton Abbey, Noah is boasting about being a paranoid doomsday prepper: “I’m just all ready for a post-apocalyptic world, aren’t I?” Noah attaches a soup ladle to the faucet to divert the water into the sink, as if he’ll ever be able to generate enough water pressure to spray anything. Noah got two 100-gallon water tanks free from some guy who was looking to dispose of them. There’s a pointless scene involving Noah and Birdy arguing about how to carry the tanks. Noah wants to carry them on his back. Birdy suggests that she help lift them. I suggest they fill the tanks with water and force Rainy to carry them.

The Brown boys have another small job in Gustavus delivering and assembling a picnic table for a lodge. (Researching on The Google tells me it’s the Glacier Bay Country Inn.) There, the boys discover two young ladies — Madeline and Josie — scoping out these weirdos struggling to put together the table. Bear wastes no time making an ass of himself and runs right up to them. He says there are advantages to, like, an EXXXXTREME entrance. Gabe decides to go the awkward route again. “If you want, you can watch us put the tables together.” That’s our Gabey!

Madeline is from Arizona. Josie is kicked to the curb. My guess is that Madeline is from the Phoenix area, attends ASU and probably came up to Alaska to work in hospitality for the summer. Bear is in awe that there are like, literally, no trees where she’s from. It’s like a different planet. I suggest Bear go down there and try to climb a cactus.


The interstitial finds Matt trying to heat up some water for tea by holding a propane torch to a plastic water bottle. Matt rotates the bottle over the flame, which keeps the bottle from melting while it heats the water. This sounds so completely asinine that AWW HELL YEAH I’M TOTALLY GOING TO TRY THIS TONIGHT AFTER A FEW BEERS!! “It’s like you’ve broken time and space and physics itself,” Matt says after pouring several cups of sugar into his tea.

Back in Gustavus, Bear starts climbing around the rafters of the gazebo at the lodge and throwing big-ass logs onto the fire. He invites Madeline to visit Brownton Abbey and have the Brown grandbaby seed implanted in her. She accepts. I’m sure traveling five hours to hang out with this missing link she just met is high on her list of priorities. She’ll get right on that.

As ridiculous as this episode was, it was still pretty good in relative terms. We can call it “Bush Good.” Very little Billy and Ami. Hardly any howling. Lots of The Skiff. Stevie Wonder.

I just called to say I love you.


  1. I like how they bear proof, a few boards across the windows bam actually used a sawhorse in front of the door lol. there wasn’t a nail board (board with nails sticking out of it ) up anywhere not on the deck on the windows or on the door.

  2. Did anyone notice the washing machines weighed nothing? Normally those things weigh a ton…

    Another nice part when Noah was picking up two buckets “full” of water.. and you could clearly see there was nothing inside.

    Just my observations..

  3. I felt compelled to comment as I find this blog hilarious! I sometimes nearly hyper-ventilate from laughing, reading it with friends. The whole ABP is so cornball that it can’t be taken seriously. You’d think Discovery Channel would spend more money vetting the potential characters/stars of these reality shows, but no controversy, no viewers! I don’t have to feel to guilty about watching as the skiff is my favorite character, and, unless the Browns have figured out how to register it for PFD funds, does not profit from the show. I can only hope and pray that the Browns have signed on for three more years! Blog on, Mr. Berenz!

  4. I’ve been following the Brown’s legal problems, and must admit to being disappointed to discover how prevalent their offenses are; they really can’t claim “financial need” for all of that. As for the show, I still enjoy it, and look forward to new episodes, but I WOULD like to hear explanations of things like the plumbing AND the court proceedings. I really don’t care if the show is “real” or just a re-enactment of what life WAS LIKE or “would have been like” if they had the lad when they needed it, got the boat when they needed it, etc. And if their brand of surviving in SE Alaska, as they build up their utopia bothers people, I think they should just NOT WATCH … but the recaps can really raise a giggle. DISCOVERY just skips too many details. ….. I like the magical upper balcony that appears and disappears between scenes ….. STILL, it’s fun, easy escapist TV. I hope it sticks around for a little while. ….. I want to see if they can marry of a son!!

  5. Anyone else notice how Gabe apparently felled that large tree without having completed cutting out a notch on the other side? There were a bunch of unfinished notch cuts and a wedge was never completely cut out and removed before making the felling cut. I am not a tree expert, just a homeowner that is barely familiar with using a chainsaw, but that looks like that felling operation could have gone way wrong cutting like that.

  6. BTW Ryan, lost in all the fun, I enjoy all of your recaps but I thought this week was one of your best. Great job even from a Nazi King Tut dumbass. 🙂

  7. Awesome article and exxxxtremely well written. I am howling with glee!! Pardon me while I guzzle some brown town koolaid made especially by Billy the Moocher! Yum.
    Your take is 100% on this fake bush family. Hope you write a piece on their conviction for PFD fraud!!

  8. The Brown boys are grown men trying to make it out in the. However I am very confuse as to whether they truly live life in the bush or do they reside elsewhere. Help me out here.

    • They didn’t even live in Alaska from 2009-2013. This is from them in their own words. They live in a hotel during the time they are filming this TV show. They have resided in Texas and Colorado for a number of years. They have lived in Alaska off and on but in towns and not the bush. Hope that helps

    • Matt admitted in a recent interview they still have a house in Texas and live mostly in town in Hoonah during filming.

  9. What a hateful article and who the hell made you king tut to decide what is mondan and what is worth watching. The idea behind the show is showin how a family that works together stays together. Nothing wrong with that and the boys are making moves Dumbass. Your hateful message about this family is nothing more then someone trying to cancel a family show which there isn’t anymore and the beauty and hardships of Alaska. The Browns just like the rest of us have had god days and plenty of bad ones. However this article which is a Nazi columnist should be fired and go report wilder beast in Nigeria. Like really leave them alone. We all forgive and we all or most love the series. Great show and Discovery has them signed for another three years. Now go eat those apples and leave Alaskan people to the way they want to live. Maybe some in Texas and some in Alaska. As a viewer I don’t give a flying f—

    • It is called satirical comedy and it is well written and funny. Sorry anything YOU don’t like is not acceptable for anybody else to enjoy. I don’t recall myself or the author tracking you down because you like ABP and yelling and screaming at you. But thanks for stopping by something that has been going for 3 ABP season and telling us how we should think.
      You obviously are either one of the Brown family or know zero about the back story. As you write this the Brown family is negotiating with the state of Alaska for the amount of jail time and the punishment they will serve for stealing close to $21,000 in state funds along with fraud charges for lying about it. Goes well with their recent fishing violations and Matt’s DUI in 2013. So save us the rah rah rah these are wonderful people. I have never been accused of stealing $21,000, had fishing violations, a DUI, or any of the other Browns legal troubles so I guess my bad days are different then theirs.
      BTW… you want Alaskans to live the way they want to live. Unlike the Browns I am a lifelong Alaskan. I like ever other Alaskan are not happy that the Browns stole money from all of us. The money they stole came straight out of all of our checks that were sent to us on October 1st of this year. Sorry but you aren’t going to find many Alaskans that care much for the Browns. Guess that what’s happens when people steal from you.
      Please provide your sources on the ABP 3 year contract with Discovery. You seem to be the only person who knows anything about that.

    • Do like the show and for those people who’s bashing the show, why don’t you just turn the channel and not watch it? The show is something I enjoyed watching this not those ridiculous show like Afraid and Naked.

      • One can enjoy a show and still have fun with the content when the content is absurd or questionable. Commenting on absurdities or things that don’t add up doesn’t make the person commenting a “basher” or “hater.” For example, questioning whether Noah’s “creek-to-sink, hose-and-tank” system is workable is a scientific inquiry—not bashing. Similarly, discussing the issue of the legal wrangling over the state funds is a legitimate topic as the Browns are public figures who have put their lives out there for public consumption. Further, I do not understand why people get so excited and/or upset about others’ comments one way or the other, such that name-calling or swearing becomes the response. I just do not see any reason for the vitriol when a civilized “back and forth” is so much more pleasant and respectful for all concerned. And, BTW, these remarks are directed at no one person here or anywhere else—they are just my general thoughts apropos to any blog on the internet.

      • Actually Mel my wife will have Naked and Afraid on occasionally and that show was so much better than I thought it would be. Those people go through really tough survival situations. Much worse things than Naked and Afraid. So use to the Kardashians being used

  10. “this missing link”- I’ll be laughing about that all night! I can’t which Brown boy is the biggest idiot!

  11. Ok, so what if noah is a little more simple than he believes, what if none of them have been to school and learned everything it takes to live life in this increasingly hostile world, so what if the parents worry about the grown boys doing something on their own. Why would anyone care? No one is forced to watch and if people would watch without judging everything they do or say and instead look at how much of an actual family they are, how much they love each other and truly enjoy helping one another, then maybe people would see the true message here. Their life needs are met simply, by each other. They can depend on each other for everything. They protect each other, love each other. Damn! For once, can people stop looking for something to make fun of and to criticize!? What would we see if we followed your family around? This family is just that…family. I love this show and so does alot of other people. Stop pooping on the parade!

      • Right a world where everyone is on welfare dumping trash in the state forest would be great!

      • Can’t wait for another fake visit to Browntown, and more slick Bear dating lines.

        My drinking game words for next week are: Grandbabies, Tree climbing or climb a tree, and of course X-treme!

    • It is just amazing that grown adults think they can believe what they watch on TV. Hate to break it to you but Shrek wasn’t real. Good news is Shrek is far more real than the ABP. Why on earth people take the Browns and hold them up to the holy light to represent all that is good in people and family is pretty hilarious and completely delusional all at the same time. I am very sorry if I am missing the true message of this show when it is clouded by theft and fraud of public funds against the citizens of Alaska, hunting and fishing violations in the state of Alaska, DUI in Juneau Alaska, thefts in Texas of horses almost 40 years ago, bevy of people from Texas to Alaska saying they have been ripped off by this family and a show that doesn’t stretch the truth but out and out lies about their background and everything they show you on television while the whole time trying to claim it is real so they can make more money. I for one could care less if you like the show and think the Browns are the greatest people to walk the earth. But to come on a site and tell us these liars and criminals (they admitted to theft and fraud) are really truly great people, and we shouldn’t say anything bad because you watched a television show and can’t tell the difference between make believe is really going out on a limb. If you threw darts at a television schedule you couldn’t possibly hit a show that is any worse of what a good family should act like.
      As I wrote this I am thinking that ABP and Donald Trump fans are really close to the same profile. You keep liking them all the while the story gets worse and worse while you try to defend them. They keep edging to that line of where you have to question how far down you want to go with them.

      • Your a complete moron. I guess you like it without Vaseline when the etablishment steals 20 trillion and you say shit about Trump who by the way is the only candidate who has a business and isn’t bought nor does he need to be. He isn’t a repub or a democrat bec he love people and he loves America. Go back under your rock and get a brain so you can get brain fucked by Muslim Obama. In other world’s fuck right off

        • Wow, I was able to offend an ABP and Trump fan. Told you they were the same people. I am backed by court records of the Browns and you call me a moron and… well… you have no argument at all except you want to scream and shout and insult people. Yawn, good luck with that.

          • You know, David, it’s policy to edit or delete obscene insults directed at other commenters, but I think I’m going to leave mark’s as is. Anyone who starts a comment with “Your a complete moron” and ends it with “In other world’s fuck right off” shouldn’t have his ideas filtered.

          • I agree with you ryan; but marks first post directed at you was way out of line. I mean a nazi come on they were the ones who burned books and controlled all that was written in the press. We fought ww2 so we could have sites like this one where everyone is able to speak there mind. I notice that you and David don’t stoop to profanity and name calling to get your point across and that you also back what you say up with facts that anyone can also look up.
            Using profanity is just the mark of someone with no real interesting things to say.

          • Well I never get offended by expletives personally so it never bothers me much. Figured there was probably some board rules somewhere against things like that. I just don’t go down that road or even suggest people go away. Not my place and all are welcome. More the merrier. I have noticed that in the last few weeks after the legal stuff has hit the headlines the bashing of the Browns has gotten much worse (totally understandable and I mean all around the internet not just here), and the defense of the Browns has gotten a lot more hostile. Kind of like fans feel backed into a corner. Think it was three weeks ago when I was villain number one and think we neared 100 comments. You know it is a good week when I am told to get the $#%^ off the internet. Good times.
            Now correct me if I am wrong but I don’t think I have ever seen you take the brunt of anybody for you recaps. Think I have been around almost from the beginning of the Browns and I hadn’t seen anybody go off on your writing like that. Generally I am the whipping boy for any angry defense of the Browns. I’m telling you Brown fans are becoming a vicious bunch.

          • David: He obviously must be a member of the Brown family, he doesn’t know when it is appropriate to use your/you’re.

          • Ya that was like 3 weeks ago you got bum rushed by every brown fan on the Internet.
            I still don’t get why so many Brown fans come to this site to ask them questions or praise their survival skills and then get offended by what they read here. All I can guess is that they don’t understand what saterical humor is all about.

          • No kidding Jack. That week was pretty crazy. I wondered what the heck was going on with the ABP fans that week. Normally a few people take some offense to me and yell a bit, but I had no idea where all the people were coming from. That week really sapped me out a bit. I finally just wished a Happy Thanksgiving to all my new fans and called it a day. Was curious if it was going to continue into the following weeks but it seemed to all calm down. No way I could do that week in and week out. I think the satirical humor part is completely lost on them.

        • Mark, you are the complete moron. Of course you are a Trump voter. You don’t seem to get that and call others names instead.

          Trump roudly wrote off $3.9 billion in bad debts in bankruptcy court for others to pay, he is the ultimate welfare Queen.

  12. Its a Chanukah miracle!

    They take 1 log to the Bush sawmill and get enough wood to last 8 winters! They can build a stage, a chicken coupe, a treehouse, finishes up the boy’s cabins, make counters and have more than enough to build a giant catapult!

    • One of the yearly task that many Alaskans do is chop and spilt wood to heat their homes during the long winters. That and stack it by their house. I don’t ever recall the Browns doing any of those tasks. That would really be a chore they should be doing a lot of. Maybe they have showed it but I never saw it.

    • I don’t think they can show every minute details., that would take a year for one episode, which I don’t mind watching.

  13. Of course stream water would barely go into the small hose at all, it would never in a billion years go through a long hose and fill up a water tank, notice they never showed any of that. The tanks would need to be elevated to provide pressure for the sink, so the water would actually run back into the stream. Then there is that whole water freezes thing.

    Noah seemed really proud explaining how rocks would hold the hose down though, that man is a genius.

  14. That trickle of apparently unfiltered, untreated cold water into Ami’s sink was exxxtremely awesome. The water pressure rates right up there with the bush shower made from the PVC pipe. I noticed Discovery was very careful not to show us how far the creek was from the house or the supposed entire setup from the creek to the water tanks. And just where does the waste water go from the sink?

  15. You madew my day! I’m still laughing, let us know how heating water in a plastic bottle turns out.

  16. Always look forward to this column after the weekly episode. Spot on and laugh out loud funny as always. My main thought after this episode – did anyone else notice how the house is now wired for electricity? Outlets and everything! When did that happen?? I can only imagine the hilarity that would ensue with the Brown Boys trying to figure out how to wire a home.

  17. Maybe Bear should try to climb a Saguaro. The part about no trees in Arizona peeved me. There are forests of large trees in AZ, Ponderosa pines for instance (they can be a couple hundred feet tall). A tree by definition is “a woody plant with a single erect stem, growing to a height of 10 feet or more.” Anywho, I guess my studies in Plant Science got the best of me, sorry for the rant!

  18. Love the cactus suggestion! If Bear has lived in Texas, hasn’t he seen a dry, hot state? Also, he asked about big cities with tall buildings! Was he not with Billy in Seattle during the court proceedings? I’m sure this dude has seen big cities.

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About Ryan Berenz 2103 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