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Forced to watch “Escaping Alaska”


Darling wife lived and worked in Alaska for a time. It’s a wild, wonderful place, she says, and the native peoples are interesting. That’s why she’s forcing me to watch “Escaping Alaska” on The Learning Channel. It’s allegedly a short-season “reality” show about a group of “young” Alaskan aboriginals (both coastal and inland tribes) who go to San Diego to seek their fortunes. (I say “young” because some appear to be in their teens, yet at least one is 30ish.) It’s basically the Inuit version of “Breaking Amish” and is scripted the same way, with artificial scenarios and conflicts. It’s important to remember that the cast are actors, first and foremost, and the entire idea of “escaping” to California without their families’ knowledge and wearing parkas and “traditional” native dress on the streets of San Diego is ludicrous at best.

That said, being forced to watch it, I enjoy the character of Tamara (the round-faced one) the best. She seems to be the most “real” of the group, and speaks with the typical native cadence, whereas the others are linguistically indistinguishable from Californians. The show’s producers actually have the gall to caption everything she says, when I find her perfectly understandable.

Darling wife enjoys watching the contrived scenarios and conflict. I roll my eyes at least twenty times an episode. Then again, it’s marginally better than 99 percent of the crap that’s on television. There are worse ways of spending an hour. I could be forced to watch “Grey’s Anatomy.” Or “Breaking Bad.”

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