Sunday, November 8, 2020

Don't become Sue Aikens


Let me start off by revealing that I do not watch very much TV.

For a while, I enjoyed Life Below Zero. LBZ is a "reality" TV show where video crews are embedded with Subsistence families in Northern Alaska. Each episode bounced between two or three families as they prepared for, or experience winter.

After watching a few seasons it became clear that the video crews were influencing the families to lesser or greater degrees.

One of the families, the Hailstones, appeared to be less jacked-around than most of the others. I really liked the segments with the Hailstones.

The people who lived alone appeared to be most vulnerable to being jacked-around with the one pictured above, Sue Aikens, being the most manipulated.

I understand one must sometimes do things that makes OSHA uncomfortable, but Aikens did stupid-dangerous things so often it had to be provoked.

Another person who did some stupid stuff was a gentleman named Glenn Villeneuva. He swam across a river filled with snow-melt in a section where the current was strong and he swam from inside of a bend to the outside of the bend.

As far as I can tell, he did not have any reason to cross that river, much less cross it at such a danger place and time. Provoked?

So I ask my readers to not let the video-journalists provoke you into doing stupid stuff.

That includes sharing your intentions or what you would "like" to see happen.

Don't be Sue Aikens. She got a busted shoulder and the video crew got bonuses.


  1. Good point...'influencers' come from 'many' places.

  2. I believe She Aikens sued the network over the episode in question.

    She also figured in an episode in Sarah Palin's Alaska.

    1. There were a butt-load of episodes where she did stupid stuff. Climbing on loose barrels to change a light bulb. Brewing up her own aspirin. Snowshoes.

      For whatever reasons, she seemed particularly easy to influence and goad.

  3. I think the best advice is still "Stay away from crowds".

  4. Reality tv has nothing to do with reality. Haven't had tv/cable in the house in nigh on twenty years. Don't miss it. Wish I could get my folks to pull the plug, I think they would be happier.

  5. Glenn has spoken out in interviews about how he wanted to take his segments away from "mostly fake dangers of life in Alaska" and to "Alaska human and archaeological interest stories" the producers nodded, said they'd think about it and then ghosted him. No call, no letter, didn't show up on filming date, just dropped off the radar and moved on.

  6. There was another one, called '100 Days in the Wild,' where one episode was all about one guy flipping his canoe.

    Yes, he flipped his canoe. On the wake from the camera boat.

    These shows get tiring. I don't mind it if they just report and follow, but when the show pushes the story? Nope.

    It's the reason I still watch 'Deadliest Catch' and stopped watching all the gold-mining shows.


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