There are certainly some elements of Alaska: The Last Frontier that are faked and some that are genuine, but usually with shows such as this it’s a matter of opinion until the truth has been revealed and the reality of it is laid bare. Too many reality shows suffer from a lack of realism, which is ironic really because the majority of them are trying to show what real life is like in one location or another. The problem however lies in the presence of the cameras and the production crew in the lives of those that are being put on display. Few people ever act as they do in real life when they know that someone is watching, no matter their outlook on life and what it means to be real. When you know that you have audience the natural human response is to either hide away or play to the crowd in order to get them on your side. Few are the times when those on reality TV act in the same manner they might when the cameras aren’t rolling.
There’s a few reasons why people might think that the show is fake.
The Kilcher’s don’t live entirely off the land.
A lot of times on the show people were made to believe that if the Kilcher’s didn’t hunt or provide for themselves in some way that they would starve. This is kind of ridiculous since they’re home is just a short drive from the town of Homer, where there’s plenty of variety when it comes to purchasing goods and groceries. They won’t starve and they won’t do without no matter how isolated the show wants to make them look. They’re not too far removed from any another consumer no matter how they’re depicted on the show and to be honest it seems a little insulting to say that they’re even close to being ‘on their own’ as the feel of the show seems to want people to believe. This is one of the breakdowns that tends to lose viewers since making a family look like they’re desperately surviving in the frontier when they choose to live off the land instead of always going into the store is just ludicrous.
The show still feels the need to ‘salt’ the environment now and again.
The infamous pheasant incident is a good example as the Kilcher’s hunted and killed a pheasant and then brought it home and ate it that same night. This seemed so amazing to the production team however that they asked if the Kilcher’s could do it again. Anyone that’s ever been hunting knows that unless you can find a pheasant it’s kind of a hard thing to reproduce on a whim. So the show went and bought a raw chicken that they could be shown putting in the oven and a rotisserie chicken that they could be shown eating later on. Plus if you watch another clip you can see a bear munching on a perfectly filleted salmon carcass. A bear’s claws might be nice and sharp but they’re hardly worried about presentation when they go to eat. This idea of salting the working environment is a big red flag when it comes to reality shows and just how fake they can be.
The Kilchers’ net worth is insane.
They get paid for the episodes but not all that much. Of course given how much their property is worth and how much they make they don’t really need all that much. Their net worth has been seen to be as much as $4 million and they’ve been seen as a very well-to-do family that make more than enough for all of them to live on and have a comfortable life. The idea of them being isolated and having to scrimp and save everything they can to get through each and every winter is the show’s idea for the most part as the Kilcher’s just go on living their lives the way they’ve been doing for generations. If anything it’s kind of a sad commentary for the show, not for the family, that things have to be played up this much to gain the kind of ratings that they want. The family isn’t to blame for the misinformation really as they’re just playing a part and getting paid. They were likely just as happy to go on living their regular lives without this kind of interference but someone decided it would be a good idea to show them to the wider world.
Reality TV has become kind of a running joke since it was first introduced and has struggled to keep any relevance despite a huge fan base. The worst part is that many fans still believe that a lot of what they see is real, but thankfully a lot of us have seen beyond the curtain and know how to perform simple research that can give us at least a glimmer of truth.