Near the small city of Hoonah, a town where the population is never over a thousand, on the Chichagof Island located in the state of Alaska, lives a family whose life has been documented over the last 5 years. The Browns are a family of nine, the mom and dad are Billy and Ami. The couple has 7 children, 5 sons, and 2 daughters namely Matt, Bam Bam, Bear, Gabe, Noah, Birdy, and Rainy. They are the main characters in this reality TV show presented by the Discovery Channel titled Alaskan Bush People. The show follows the everyday activities and adventures of the members of the Brown family living in Alaska.
Alaskan Bush People has been on the air for 5 years now, having had its first episode shown in 2014. At the moment, they just finished their eighth season with 5 episodes. The Browns have been on television for 5 years and 75 episodes now, not very long in some reality TV show standards, but still very impressive for regular folk like them, or so they say. This article uncovers secrets and things about the show Alaskan Bush People that make us scratch our heads in disbelief and confusion. Something’s wrong, people say, and we will uncover some of them now.
25 The Show's Title
TV shows often have a different name when they get released or picked up by a network, it is normal in the TV world. Sometimes the name change happens after it gets picked up, some examples might be that they have changed the whole story of the show, the crowd reception, and the overall success. Friends were originally called Friends Like Us, and thankfully, just Friends later on. Even the show The Big Bang Theory had a different, and kind of silly name before. It was called Lenny, Penny, and Kenny, but they changed it to the great title that it is now. Alaskan Bush People had a different name when it was being marketed, it was packaged as The Alaskan Wilderness Family, says Looper.
24 Remote Location, Really?
There are a few topics in this article that you will be reading about that tries to disprove the whole premise of the show. Alaskan Bush People is a reality TV show about a family living remotely in present-day America. Very compelling, right? But are they really located in a remote place? According to Wikipedia, one of the location is Chichagof Island, although sparsely populated, is not really as remote as the show leads us to believe. The tourism on the island is healthy, with zip line and adventure parks, even different kind of tours, nature and wildlife, even ATV tours.
23 Billy is Also a Writer
How can someone who was supposedly living remotely with possessions scarce of pen and writing paper be an accomplished author? Let’s ask Billy Brown. The man actually wrote and published some books in his writing career. Is this an alternate universe where Billy is a writer or is this one of the things wrong about the show that they kept from us. His pen name is Billy Bryan Brown and his books, One Wave at a Time and The Lost Years, can be purchased at Amazon.
22 Book Adaptation or Autobiography?
Now that we learned that Billy Brown also goes by the name Billy Bryan Brown, we looked at his books and got interested in his novel One Wave at a Time. According to Goodreads, the tagline and synopsis of the novel say that it’s a true story and that it is a story of a boy that was orphaned at the young age of 16 and was forced to survive off of the wilderness of Alaska. The synopsis goes on to say that the boy grew up to be a husband and a father. Sound familiar?
21 Rich Even Before the Successful Show
It must have been really hard for Billy adjusting to life in the wilderness from the life he had before. Billy did not grow up in an environment of cabins in the middle of nowhere. He was actually born into a rich family, his father was a successful businessman and Billy’s gifts were boats, cars, and all luxurious items, says Looper. His parents died in a tragic accident back in 1969 and left him alone at a tender age of 16. Sounds familiar again?
20 The Start of the Show
The very first season of Alaskan Bush People tells the story of the Browns moving out of their house because of the dangers they face in their own home. This is part of the perils a family faces when they live in the wilderness: big bears, starvation, and gunfire. The whole family had to get help from local police to get things sorted out. They were under the impression that their house was under heavy fire. As it turns out, the gunfire was just firecrackers, says Looper.
19 Nice Living Quarters
Can the Brown family really live in a remote location in the middle of the wild? It’s a question that’s really hard to answer, but watching the show, we see that they are trying their best. So it really is a hard hit for the fans when rumors started spreading that the family actually spends time in their cabin only to shoot scenes. They were rumored to have been spotted staying in a hotel in the nearby town of Hoonah. The hotel’s name is the Icy Strait Lodge, and it’s not that bad, check out their website.
18 Pizza, Anyone?
Kids and teenagers really love pizza, it’s a dish that’s easy to eat with your hands without the need for any kind of utensil. They’re delicious, filling, and can be bought anywhere in the United States. Yes, even from the remote places of the Alaska Panhandle. There is a Pizza Hut in Hoonah, Alaska, that town near where the Browns are camped out. Could the Brown kids be chowing down on these triangle-shaped delights instead of the catch of the day, asks Babygaga?
17 Moving Out
For at least 5 years, the Browns have been living off the grid without easy and immediate access to things that the modern man has at his fingertips. But all this could change due to the state of Ami and Billy, health-wise. Billy’s seizures are getting frequent, and one post-seizure scare was caught in an episode, check out MSN’s preview of the said episode. Oh, and Amy, she is just a walking petri dish of ailments and complications. The family might be forced to move out again, in an area that’s not so remote, hopefully, a stone’s throw away from a hospital ER.
16 Fans of the Show
Fame really tends to bite back at celebrities, especially those celebrities that got famous from reality TV shows. Alaskan Bush People is no different, non-fans are actual Alaskans that have expressed their thoughts about the show openly and rather negatively. They are not fans of how the Browns portray life in that remote area in Alaska. They feel the show lacks authenticity (including their accent), says Popculture, in other words, local Alaskans featured with the Brown family. That’s the job, you really can’t please everybody.
15 The Colorful Nicknames
Bob’s full first name has always been Robert, and William’s nickname has always been Bill. These are regular and the most common nicknames out there. What nicknames would the other names be, we wonder. Sometimes it depends, there is really no formula to nicknames other than the usual Bobs and Bills. But calling Joshua, Bam Bam, and making Solomon’s nickname Bear is too animated and too “wild”, don’t you think? But Rain’s nickname is better, it’s much shorter than Merry Christmas Kathryn Raindrop, says Screenrant.
14 The Girlfriend
This may be the most persuasive item in this article. Remember Karynna Kauffman? She was Noah Brown’s date back in Season 5. Karynna is a pretty girl, a brunette with intelligent eyes. She may be a little out of Noah’s league, that’s what everyone watching the episode was thinking, but we were all still rooting for Noah. It may all be just for show, as the powers of the Internet clears the air again with an IMDB profile of the said girl.
13 The Family Cow
There are plenty of animals featured in the reality show Alaskan Bush People, but none of them were as memorable as Sabrina, the family pet darling and domesticated cow. The hoofed animal is charming, check out this Discovery video of the Brown kids spending time with Sabrina. Rumors all over the web spread that the cow was another actor like Noah’s girlfriend, the whole family even had to be trained on how to care for such an animal by the owner’s daughter.
12 This is How Bush People Vacation
The real-life characters featured in the show Alaskan Bush People have been fascinating to watch in each of their 8 seasons. This is largely due to the way of life fans are seeing them live every episode of the show. But what we didn’t know is that bush people really know how to vacation. According to Inquisitr, the Browns had a good vacation in Hawaii, at the same time avoiding Ami’s mother, and were also seen on social media braving the wild city of Las Vegas.
11 Exploding Appliances
A flying refrigerator launched itself inside the Browns’ cabin and almost crushed and killed Matt Brown, says The Travel. A few inches to the left or right would have been really fatal for him, but this accident is really not a laughing matter. The fridge’s door flew and caught him square on the head leaving him with a scar to remember the accident by and some stitches. Whether it’s because of an improvised bear deterrent mixture is gone wrong or a silly storing problem, we’re glad Matt is safe and okay now.
10 What Really Happened with their Cabin
Backstories are important for TV shows, even for reality TV, die-hard fans and show critics never let up and have a magnifying glass in front of their TV screens. Every boom mic is caught and every continuity detail is noticed. The story and the consistency of it are also caught most of the time, one such catch in the show Alaskan Bush People is about Billy’s old cabin and what really happened with it. According to NickiSwift, he said the house was taken or burned down because it was on public land according to the government. But in the 2nd season, he dials it down and just explains that the cabin burned down while he was out.
9 Bush People Behind Bars
Aside from their supposed daily lives right in the heart of the wilderness of Alaska, some members of the Brown family have also frequented an entirely different, but equally treacherous, kind of wilderness. According to Screenrant, Billy and his son Bam Bam served a stint behind bars, proving their survival instincts are adaptable and flexible. They were charged and found guilty for falsification, 60 counts of it, by the Permanent Fund Dividend Division of Alaska. The father and son reality TV stars spent a month in jail and were fined by the government.
8 Not Alaskan at All
If you’ve been watching the reality TV show Alaskan Bush People and are under the belief that the Browns are longtime residents of the state of Alaska and has been living remotely for years, even decades, you are mistaken. As mentioned by Ranker as well and we’ve also learned how pampered Billy’s childhood was in Texas, Ami Brown also spent her childhood in the lone star state. Before Alaska, they lived in California and also Colorado, and are really not Alaskan at all. If they're not Alaskan and they're not really bush people, then what are they?
7 Bush People in Rehab
People drink in happy and joyous moments and then some drink too much. They try to drink their problems away, they dull their feelings to get through the day, some with big problems they have to face again tomorrow. Bush people seem to have a life that seems simple enough to not have them drink their problems away. There may be days where the hunt will be fruitless, but that won’t get them boozing the night away. Just recently, Matt openly admitted to his personal problem and struggles and has chosen to seek professional help, says Looper.
6 Ami's Health
Billy’s seizures and Ami’s arthritis are issues enough for the family and the possible season extensions of the Discovery Channel reality show. Ami’s health seems to be failing with the news we learned of last season. She was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer some time back and it was sad and scary news, not just for the show Alaskan Bush People and its avid viewers, but also for her entire family, says Country living. We can’t imagine what she must be going through, but this story has a surprising and happy ending as you will learn later on in this article, so keep reading.
5 Bush People Wi-fi
Hoonah’s wi-fi connectivity, and perhaps the whole of the Alaska Panhandle, is pretty impressive. According to The Travel, the Brown kids have been posting photos and even uploading videos on social media, but wait, how do they do that? Maybe they don’t just set up traps for animals, but also wi-fi boosters all over the “remote” location they inhabit. Gabe’s posts on YouTube are pretty famous and revelatory of the family’s supposed predicament, and Rain’s Instagram account has been getting more followers every day she checks them in remote Alaska.
4 Billy's Background
Billy Brown has a daughter from an earlier marriage and her name was Twila. The reality show Alaskan Bush People featured, in one of its episodes, the reuniting of father and long-lost daughter. In the show, Billy claims to have not seen his daughter for a long time. But reports circulated that says otherwise. According to NickiSwift, they’ve been in contact and even her stepbrothers and stepsisters know her. Is this another one of those exaggerated bottle rockets not gunfire moments in reality TV?
3 Ami's Background
It’s a lot of years now, that we will round it off to 40 years, that’s how long Ami and Billy has been married. And with that union, they have 7 children to show for. They’ve been through a lot together, living remotely or not, and it is admirable. But Ami, in her inspiring character on TV, is a woman that is the definition of strength. She was just a teenager when she got married to Billy. They tied the knot in 1979, while Billy was 26-years old, she was only 15 back then, according to Ranker.
2 Relationship with the In-laws
Having been married to a guy 11 years older than her, Ami’s family had some reservations of course. What parent could just let their teenage daughter get married without having some sense of assurance about the safety and well-being of their dear daughter? Ami’s mom only wanted her to stay in school and finish, but Billy whisked her off to remote Alaska and the wilderness as her teacher, and the world her classroom. It’s been a rocky relationship with Billy’s in-laws after that, says NickiSwift.
1 What Will Happen Next Season?
The Alaskan Bush People reality show was supposed to be a one-season documentary, but the surprising reception and compelling story led the Discovery Channel to extend the show to a surprising ninth season. Fans will be overjoyed to find out that Ami seemed to be over her cancer ordeal and is reportedly healthy enough to get through a ninth season. The new season will feature her battle with cancer and Matt’s rehab story, says thehollywoodgossip. However, the new season most surely will not be set in Alaska anymore.
References: University Fox, TV Insider, Looper, The Hollywood gossip, IHeart