In the season preview episode “Browntown Bound” (Dec. 28), the Browns look back at one of the toughest years the family has had in the wilderness of Alaska, with grit and perseverance their only path to survival.
Welcome to 2017, friends! I declare this the Year of the Cow!
I wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall in that ABP production meeting when they were discussing what new storylines and characters to add this season. “I KNOW! LET’S ADD A COW!” said someone who probably makes more money than we do. People who follow ABP offseason trades and free-agent signings have known for months about Sabrina, the Magic Bush Cow, and where she really came from.
While we wait for the Jan. 4 premiere of Alaskan Bush People Season Whatever, Discovery gives us “Browntown Bound,” a patronizing, sanitized preview episode featuring lots of Lost Footage from last season and sneak peeks of terrible things we’re going to see over the next several weeks.
The episode opens with Bam instructing Rainy on how to shoot guns without blasting her foot off. He also informs her about danger, and the importance of respecting it.
We find Bear doing EXXXXTREME! Bear things that no respectable, fully evolved human would do. Bear is out there collecting slime, flowers and other random Bush stuff to make his terrible Bush Shampoo, because Bear must maintain the sheen of his lustrous locks at all times in case he encounters a potential lady to frighten off.
Scent of the Bush! Alert the good people at Herbal Essences. Bear says that the store-bought shampoo is made out of flowers and plants, anyway, so this Bush Shampoo is just a natural alternative. My shampoo contains Methylchloroisothiazolinone, so who the hell am I to argue with Bear’s Bush Cosmetology?
“Winter is merciless in the harsh wilderness of Alaska,” Asa, Our Dear Narrator, informs us. Whew! Good thing the Browns aren’t anywhere near Alaska in winter.
LOST FOOTAGE! Hey, remember when the Brown kids built that barge out of oil drums to haul that Suzuki Samurai that hasn’t run in a long time but was still urgently needed for some guy’s business in Hoonah? Well, we finally get to see the edited scene in which Billy and Bam talk about building the barge. Because if there’s anything less exciting than watching the Browns built stuff, it’s watching the Browns talk about building stuff.
MORE LOST FOOTAGE! Upon completing the barge, the Browns took some time to christen it. Ami asks if it’s customary to name a barge. Matt dubs it the “Dragon Samurai,” as in “it’s draggin’ a Samurai.” HA! I hope Matt didn’t give up these awesome puns when he gave up the booze! I’d like to hear Bear’s thoughts on this matter.
Agreed! Billy then explains how the Browns give names to their various tools and implements. The claw hammer is George. Bam’s ax is Otis. The green shovel is Sid. The volleyball is Wilson.
That Samurai Dragon episode was a particularly important turning point for Rainy’s character, as she was given the difficult task of sitting in a car and doing nothing. But Rainy not only accomplished sitting in a car and doing nothing, but she exceeded all expectations for sitting in a car and doing nothing. I wonder what Bear has to say about this?
Jeez, Rainy just sat in a car and did nothing. It’s not like Rainy defeated Goldfinger and saved Pussy Galore, though that might be in next season’s Lost Footage.
MORE LOST FOOTAGE! Noah’s night vision helmet was one of the lamest, least practical pieces of Bushcraft we’ve seen on this show, and that’s saying a lot. “Instead of being prey, you become the predator,” Noah says of this monstrous headgear. We then get to see Noah in the yard at night, wearing this ridiculous helmet and lashing a whip at cats in the dark. You know, I’d love to watch a whole season filmed by Noah’s Predator Helmet Cam. That would be funny, funny stuff.
MORE LOST FOOTAGE! “We need to get something going about money,” Billy tells Bam.
While the Bush can provide a lot of things, the Browns still need money to buy things like fuel, Patagonia jackets and trips to Hawaii. For most people, money is earned through work. For Billy, money is earned through other people’s work. Bam does some research on his computer and tells Billy about these Permanent Fund Dividend payments that people get for living in Alaska for most of the year. “I’m just tickled to death about this idea!” Billy tells Bam. “But Dad,” replies Bam. “We haven’t really lived in Alaska very much the past few years.” “So? We’re so removed from mainstream America that we can go six months without seeing another person,” Billy says. “Surely no one would know whether or not we lived in Alaska.” “I don’t know, Dad,” Bam protests. “That sounds dishonest and it’s probably illegal. I wouldn’t want us to be in a long, drawn-out legal battle with the state of Alaska and end up doing 30 days on ankle monitors in Juneau.” “Dadgumit, Bam!” Billy fumes. “There’s no money and we’re out of mayonnaise! Just do as I say before I have another seizure.” And the rest, as they say, is history.
Last season, the Browns took a job from Mayor Kenny Skaflestad cleaning up a “beach” that some old ladies were complaining about. It’s on this beach that Gabe finds his rotted, decaying biohazard shack, and conceives of the dangerous and wasteful idea of towing it all the way to Brownton Abbey. Gabe says the shack is “really cool and really historical.” Oh, yes, that shack is really historical. It’s so historical, people have been wanting to turn it into a B&B for years. They should just tow the damn thing straight to the Smithsonian. Again, we have to sit through the whole fake business of them getting the shack on the barge and towing it across the shores of Brownton Abbey with the Integrity. Then comes Lost Footage of Billy standing around telling us how wonderful they are, because there’s never enough self-aggrandizement on this show.
And then there’s Twila, Billy’s long-lost daughter from his first marriage, whom the family had no contact with for 30 years.
We get to see a little Lost Footage fishing excursion that Twila went on with the Browns. Twila spends most of the journey about to retch as Birdy kisses fish and Matt eats more raw fish eyes than he can chew.
Matt spits out the gross, half-chewed fish eye into the water, but at least he owns up to being a Bush Wuss.
We get a nice flashback to Season 1, when the Browns were building their cabin up in the Copper River Valley. Remember how cold it was? Remember how nice all the Chitina folks were to come and finish the cabin while Billy slept off his Billy Brown Syndrome?
If this lady knew then what she knows now, I guarantee she would’ve let them freeze. The good people of Chitina built this cabin that the Browns abandoned soon after, claiming that they were run out of town by angry locals with guns. I dream of the day when Chitina and Ketchikan unite in the spirit of VENGEANCE!
How do the Browns repay the kindness of their fellow Bush People? They honor the Bush Code and pay it forward by doing lots of fake favors for people, like when they delivered and then installed tires on some lady’s tractor. The old tires were heavy and filled with fluid … just like Noah’s butt!
And the tires leaked this brown viscous oily stuff everywhere … just like Noah’s butt!
There’s a Lost Footage scene involving Ami, Birdy and Cupcake. I’m just going to let this quote from Birdy tell you all you need to know: “For a long time, I thought that this was just the norm, you know, every little girl makes yarn out of their dog’s hair with their mother.”
The interstitial segment has Bear running around the woods shaking “Spider Trees” that do whatever a Spider Tree does. Bear likes to watch the effect of hundreds of spiders gliding through the air and spinning webs to cling to the tree. I dream of the day when all those spiders unite in the spirit of VENGEANCE!
The episode wraps up as most episodes do, with Billy espousing the merits of Faith in the Bush, Faith in the Family, Bush in the Faith, Bush in the Family, Family in the Faith and Family in the Bush.