In other words, I watched a long gone, but not forgotten, reality show that aired on Fox in June on a DVD that had "Looking for Love" scribbled on it. And let me tell you, it was everything. Bachelorettes in Alaska" is like a time capsule for So in case you were too busy a listening to Nelly's "Hot in Herre," b spending all your time writing in your LiveJournal on your brand-new iMac or c catching up in the Enron scandal, let me fill you in on what was happening on TV.
Everyone was trying to get over the all-too-real images that had dominated the news in by diving deep into reality TV. Kelly Clarkson had just entered our lives thanks to the first season of "American Idol," ABC debuted a brand-new show called "The Bachelor" and the Osbourne family opened their doors to MTV cameras, paving the way for all future shows about weird, rich LA families see also: Every channel was starting to get into the non-scripted world, but no one had figured out where the line was between entertainment and exploitation examples: The premise of "Bachelorettes in Alaska" is pretty simple.
Five big-city women with very late-'90s haircuts travel to the Last Frontier for their "last chance" at love with Alaska's overwhelming population of manly, eligible bachelors.
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Each woman selects one man to be her "Man on Ice. Every episode, new men are introduced who participate in stupid competitions ax throwing, wood chopping, etc. Then the women go on a super Alaska-y date with the new guys and decide if they have a connection.
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Finally, through a painfully awkward elimination ceremony at Proposal Point aka Alyeska Resort , the men plead their case on one knee and women decide who they will keep as their "Man on Ice. If this sounds feminist, like the women have all the power in this situation, don't worry -- Fox gave each woman a "dowry" that has money deposited into it based on whether the men propose to the women, or if they win silly competitions.
The things reality TV get so wrong about life in Alaska
When they aren't on forced dates, the cast hangs out in Cooper Landing drinking constantly. Which typically leads to some late-night bedroom action, all caught on their bedroom cameras and aired on network television. But because the people who were on reality TV in hadn't been watching reality TV their entire lives, they say and do stupid things without instinctively knowing the consequences. For example, after hooking up, one woman says, "I have done things that I vowed I would never do as far as physical intimacy is concerned.
6 things reality TV gets wrong about Alaska
The worst part is my parents thinking I'm disrespecting myself. My favorite storyline revolved around a guy named Tim. Tim decided the best thing to wear to Proposal Point in the middle of winter was a Seinfeld-esque puffy shirt under a button-down leather vest with denim cargo pants. With their cringe-worthy tropes, manufactured drama, and cheap camera tricks, reality shows would have you believe that Alaska is filled with kooks and that every day is a struggle for survival. Between our abundant natural resources and the expensive food prices up north, most Alaskans embrace the subsistence lifestyle.
2. We take calculated risks, not stupid ones.
They might make a nice addition to our winter freezers, but we can still rely on the grocery store, food pantry, or if all else fails, the generosity of neighbors to help us out. Reality shows love to highlight the inherent dangers Alaskans face to maintain their livelihoods.
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Commercial fishing, mining, or working on the slope carry serious risks, which is why people who work in these fields are no-nonsense when it comes to safety precautions. While reality producers have been known to prod their stars into performing stupid stunts for cheap thrills, real Alaskans avoid unnecessary risks, because we know they come with life-threatening consequences. Perhaps this mentality is what has lead so many reality shows into legal trouble for everything from hunting violations to PFD fraud. Most Alaskan reality shows are filmed in close proximity to small towns.
But through optical illusions and camera tricks, shooting locations are made to appear in the middle of nowhere. Some shows are truly set in the middle of nowhere, but often the feeling of isolation is based more on clever editing than reality.
Local news matters.
Like all reality television, Alaskan-based shows are powered by tropes and controversial characters. Reality shows would have you believe that Alaska is inhabited by shady outlaws, wild-western types, and trigger-happy rednecks with quasi-southern accents. The public may be familiar with these overblown caricatures about Alaskans, but thanks to reality shows, they get far more traction than they deserve.