TV Review: Sarah Palin’s Alaska

Story by Haley Zblewski


TLC advertises Sarah Palin’s Alaska as a nature show – just something meant to show the beauty of Alaska.

With this premise, I was expecting something more along the lines of shows you find on the Travel Channel. In reality, it’s more of a reality show in which a family occasionally hops into an RV and goes camping.

One thing that Palin’s supporters have said about the show is that just because she’s a former governor doesn’t mean it’s going to be political. And it certainly doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t have a television show. And they’re right in that; I mean, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura has his own reality show, but you don’t see people complaining about that. Why shouldn’t Palin?

On the other hand, Jesse Ventura’s show is just a group of people chasing UFOs or Bigfoot or whatever it is they investigate. There is no underhanded political agenda. Ventura is (I’m assuming) probably not running for president in 2012, while Palin probably/maybe is.

The possibility of her holding any sort of office ever again made me skeptical enough, but while watching I was waiting for something that would make me forget that this was Sarah Palin, our almost vice president. I wanted to be able to think of her as just Sarah, a mom with occasional outdoorswoman tendencies.

But it just didn’t happen. Even after the third episode, she was still Sarah Palin.

There were moments where it could have happened, but those moments were ruined with a nod towards her political career, or just dull commentary.

To say that this show is completely without politics is impossible. Throughout the first few episodes, Palin revisited some of her not-so-great moments with quips like “You can see Russia from here – almost.”

After a confrontation with their neighbor (a writer), the Palins put up a 15-foot fence around their yard. Palin says that a similar action should be taken along the U.S.-Mexican border. Am I really supposed to believe this is not a political show?

She even works out in tube socks embroidered with red, white and blue elephants.

Political analogies aside, there is some exploration of Alaska.

In the second episode, Palin takes her daughter Bristol on a commercial halibut fishing trip to get her away from the paparazzi. During the trip, there are no quips about liberals, and it’s actually pretty educational. The women seem a little out of place, which is quite endearing, but it’s maybe a little dull if you aren’t into fishing.

Taking it as a reality show about a family, at times, the show reaches a Full House-esque sort of comedy, with some heartwarming family moments and cute kid humor.

Palin’s daughters bicker and hit each other in the RV throughout the trips they take, acting the way sisters do. In the first episode, Palin’s daughter insists on calling her “Sarah” to get a reaction out of her mother. These are the sort of moments I wish she wouldn’t interrupt with jokes about the left.

The show is not what I was expecting, and it could be a little more entertaining, but it was more than tolerable.