A lot of people take a real guilty pleasure in watching some of the "reality" tv shows on these days. I'll be honest when I say that I am not one of those people. However, I've learned a thing or two about the Alaskan Bush People, and–wow–are they an interesting family. I'm not sure if it's because of the things that are actually true about them, or the things that are so clearly fake.
I'm pretty sure everyone knows by now that the Brown family of Alaskan Bush People is a little more well-off and a bit more technologically savvy than they try to make themselves out to be. But there are some really interesting things to know about them in spite of that. Things like how they didn't even build their own cabin. They also stage relationship stuff for the boys on the show, just to give some sort of love angle for the show.
But then there are some interesting truths as well. Bear really can catch fish with his bare hands (and so can Snow). There really are some serious medical issues in the family from arthritis and seizures to Ami's battle with cancer. Scroll on down to discover some weird and interesting truths and falsehoods about the Alaskan Bush People.
16 Fake - They're Not From Alaska
This is something they really forgot to mention when talking about how they're Alaskan natives who have spent all their lives in the northern wilderness. Aside from the fact that they are hardly in the wilderness (they're a short stroll from a pizza place), they're actually not from Alaska. They're originally from Texas and Billy comes from an incredible amount of wealth. There was even some legal trouble with regards to poaching and tax manipulation due to where they actually lived and where they pretended to live. Either way, they live in a swanky place in California now, due to Ami's failing health. This fact about where they're from makes every scene where they talk about being from Alaska complete bullsh*t.
15 Real - They've Moved To Cali Because Of Ami's Cancer
The Alaskan bush people have moved to Southern California. Why? Because Ami has some very serious medical issues. It turns out that she has lung cancer. Stage four lung cancer at that. Her doctors had given her a 3% chance to make it out alive. Amazingly, considering that most of the year she has been in treatment, she is still kicking and recently there was a Christmas episode of the show that aired to let everyone know that she is still alive and in good spirits. I find it a little gross though that they would capitalize this way on someone's painful journey toward death. I mean, I guess we're all on our way there, but she's got less time and more pain than most people who sit and watch the show. In spite of how gross it seems to be, this medical issue is very serious and true.
14 Fake - The Bush People Didn't Build Their Own Cabin
This is just hilarious. These bush people are supposed to be very savvy when it comes to living out in the wilderness and building what they need to adapt to their surroundings. However, it turns out that they didn't actually build the cabin we see them working on in the show. Realistically, whenever the camera is capturing the Brown family doing one seemingly simple task (and using four people to do it), there is a whole crew of workers out of frame who were actually building the damned thing. So, if you ever find yourself going through reruns of this show for some silly reason, take a look at how much the family actually does during the "build" and then remind yourself that they didn't actually put the thing together in the first place.
13 Real - Bam Bam Is Actually Really Into Art
It's kind of nice to see that one of the guys who tried to act all "manly" on the show is allowed to show his artistic side without criticism. I mean, there's plenty to criticize with each and every one of these characters, no doubt. But, the fact that you can actually watch as Bam Bam can draw some interesting charcoal art. The finished product is actually much better than what you see in this shot, but you can tell that he actually drew the thing himself. Often times there would be some interesting cuts, body doubles, and a whole lot of movie magic to produce the art. But here, Bam Bam is the actual artist. I don't know if he's honest about leaving images like this all over the woods, but he at least did produce this lone wolf.
12 Fake - Sabrina The Cow Doesn't Belong To The Browns
This is so incredibly silly I don't even know what to make of it. So, the Brown's have a cow...except they don't actually own the cow. Sabrina the cow actually belonged to dairy farmer Han Wolfisberg. “After moving to Alaska, Sabrina would stay with the Brown family for a month, while video footage was shot, before being adopted by an Alaskan local to live out the remainder of her life," the farmer said. He sent his daughter Jan along with Sabrina the cow all the way from Washington in order for the bush people to have a "family cow". Sabrina only stayed during filming for a month, and then was adopted by a local farmer nearby. I guess that's a good thing, in case they decide to bring Sabrina back for another episode.
11 Real - Bear Can Actually Catch Fish With His Hands
Alright, this is actually pretty awesome. I don't sit and watch this show, but while researching this article I did watch a few short clips of the show to get a better idea of the characters and what they actually do. Well, this segment is pretty hard to fake. It could be done, but given the camera angles they use, I'm pretty confident when I say that Bear Brown can actually catch salmon with his bare hands. And he's pretty damn good at it. Snowbird Brown is also pretty fantastic with pulling Salmon out of the drink. Their older brother Bam Bam tried to help them, but he is apparently a bit of a clutz. I think it would have been better if he did up a charcoal drawing of his siblings catching fish with their hands. He would have been more useful that way.
10 Fake - Neighbours Never Shot At Them...Just Fireworks
There was a segment in an episode of Alaskan Bush People where the Browns swore that their neighbors were firing shots towards them in order to intimidate and get the Browns away from their property. The first question that comes to my mind is: wait they have neighbors who live that close? Yup, they don't really live in the deep wilderness at all. And regarding the "shots fired" at the Brown's, the real issue was that their crazy neighbor was firing fireworks at a helicopter overhead of his property because it was shaking his house. That's pretty nutty, and I would think would be good for ratings. It would be a hilarious story for the show, but they kept the idea that the neighbor was firing warning shots at them; giving some sense of danger rather than hilarity.
9 Real - Bear Almost Dropped A Massive Piece Of Metal Onto His Brother
If you've ever watched the episode where Bear and one of his brothers are working on building a wind turbine in order to add to their power supply, then you'll know already that Bear almost kills his brother in one seemingly passing moment on the show. They don't make anything big of it, but as Bear is shimmying up the frame of the turbine with a massive pulley on his back, he accidentally drops the big piece of steel and it comes crashing down towards his brother. I believe it's his brother Noah he almost kills. If it wasn't for a crossbeam in the frame, it's likely that Noah would have been at least knocked unconscious and left with a fractured skull. Given the size of the thing though, I think death would have been likely. It's crazy that they didn't make a bigger deal of it.
8 Fake - Noah's Date Is An Actress
Do you remember that time where Noah had a date named Karynna? Well, if you don't recall, or don't watch the show because you rightly think it's stupid, then let me inform you about it. Trying to add a love connection for Noah in the show, Karynna wasn't asked out by the cast member. She was hired by the producers. Karynna Kaufmann is an actor who was brought on specifically to be the love interest for Noah. Obviously, it didn't quite work out, but that was meant to be the way of it. After all, she was only in the relationship because she was getting paid to fake it. It's a good thing that they never actually really lived in that cabin and that they typically live at the nearby hotel. Otherwise, things might get a little more awkward for poor Karynna.
7 Real - Ami Has Arthritis And Billy Has Seizures
Before Ami was diagnosed with cancer, she was already discussing with Billy the idea of leaving the Alaskan wilderness to be closer to a hospital. Ami has some pretty painful arthritis, and she is right to assume that as they get older, they should be closer to medical attention. Billy has a more serious condition, which viewers discovered in one episode where Billy collapses and almost loses consciousness and feeling in his toes. Apparently, he is prone to seizures. And this is actually a legit medical issue he has. It wasn't just "reality" tv bullsh*t. Given that he was losing feeling as well, I wonder if he hasn't been having mini-strokes. Either way, now the Brown family will be much closer to medical attention, sadly because of Ami's cancer.
6 Fake - Producers Tricked A Girl Into A Date Phone Call
This is just pathetic. The lengths producers will go to in order to add that romantic angle to boost ratings is just sad. The producers on the show hired a woman who ran an Alaskan dating site to wrangle in a girl on the pretence that she would be a part of an Alaskan dating show. Roped in by this, the poor girl was subjected to some phone conversations with Gabe 'Bear' Brown. After some time, the girl was no longer contacted and she eventually found out that her conversation had nothing to do with a dating show. How did she find out? Because the phone conversation was edited to suit the show and appeared on Alaskan Bush People without this girl's permission. There was obviously a damn decent amount of outrage over this.
5 Real - Matt Almost Blew Himself Up!
As most of the family traveled to California to deal with the very serious issue of Ami Brown's lung cancer, eldest son Matt decided to stay at the "homestead". It seems to be that while he was out there, he let his bad habits get the best of him and he might have got a little drunk. During that time out there all alone in the Alaskan "wilderness", the bears were apparently getting a little too friendly. So, what did Matt do in order to ward the bears off? He took a refrigerator, put a mason jar, some black powder, and a cannon fuse in it, and...well...BOOM! He split his head open and thankfully crew were close at hand to get him help. Nine staples later and a visit to rehab and Matt is still around.
4 Fake - The Browns Are All Over Social Media!
So, here's the thing...the Alaskan bush people love to talk about how little they know about technology. They don't even really know how to use an iPhone. They don't know anything about "Brangelina". They don't even know who Kim Kardashian is. However, they have their own YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts. They don't want to show this off in a show based on the idea that they're living off the land in the middle of nowhere with no reception and no modern tech. However, the kids have a pretty prominent presence online. It could have something to do with the fact that they are a very short journey from civilization and the fact that they basically live in a hotel during the filming of the show. I'm sure they have WiFi.
3 Real - Ami Brown Scared Away Bear's Date
This is pretty hilarious. At a nearby cabin (because these guys don't live very far away from civilization at all) Bear finds himself smitten with a girl. They go on a "date" which I'm pretty sure just means he met her, chatted with her for a bit, then assumed that meant it was a date...then for their second "date" Bear insists that the girl come to meet his mommy. Now, the "dating" thing was sort of set up, but the conversation that followed with Ami Brown was definitely not. She instantly went in on the girl about making sure she wanted a family because Bear needed to get married and start having kids so that Mommy Brown could have grandkids. Boy, oh boy, did that ever scare the sh*t out of the poor girl. Let's just say that she didn't find her way on to another episode.
2 Fake - The Browns Don't Actually Live In That Cabin
This is perhaps one of the most pathetic pieces of fakery on the entire show. It basically makes the entire premise of the show fake. The cabin that everyone "lives in" on the show...yeah, they don't actually live in it at all. They're there when the cameras are rolling, sure. But the reality of the situation is that they tend to spend most of their off-camera time at a nearby hotel. They are so well known to be there by the locals that they even know some of the Brown boys try their hand at picking ladies up at the bar there whenever they can. Of course, this is the sort of thing you might expect when the "reality" show is based off a book in the first place. So, every time they talk about staying in that cabin...every one of those scenes is bullsh*t.
1 Real - Snow Keeps The Family Together Now
This is perhaps one of the saddest parts of the Brown family. Snowbird Brown is now basically the mother figure in the family. With Ami going through her painful battle with lung cancer, Snow has picked up a lot of the slack and spends a lot of time keeping the family together and functioning. In the shot above, for those of you who don't know, she is the one standing in the back with the red toque. Snow is often in the background and has always worked to show that she can handle her own on the show and in the family, but it's pretty clear no that she is stronger than most of the family, including her muscle-bound big brothers. It's pretty sad that this is the way that the family finally sees how strong she is.