Get Past the "Why" and Alaska Becomes an Engaging Show
You can't help but be nagged by a couple of questions when watching Alaska: The Last Frontier (Discovery Channel, 10pm): Is there a Walmart behind the cameraman? And, Why in God's name...?
Alaska starts off slow, to introduce the Kilcher family. They're a multigenerational family living on the Southern coast of Alaska, apparently, in a very isolated section of the state. The family, for the most part, lives off the land and is far removed from people.
Those nagging questions pop up because, despite being isolated, the Kilchers (and their neighbors) seem to have everything most Americans have (decent clothes, appliances and, this didn't come from Walmart, an education).
The other nagging question: Why, why, why? is all about, Why live in a place where your survival depends on whether or not you have a successful hunt? And, why live in a place where a doctor is too far away to put your shoulder back in its socket?
Still, despite all that - and it takes about 15 minutes to get past those "whys?," Alaska eventually sinks in. It's helped loads by the beauty of Alaska - the show is visually fun to watch.
Then, ultimately, the Kilchers themselves slowly reveal their personalities. Although one of the wives looks like she'd rather be anywhere but Alaska, most of the family (Atz, Atz Lee, Otto, Elvin but not daughter Jewel, the singer) seemingly love their lives - the hardships of farming and hunting and, well, killing the family pet (despite its good taste).
As it turns out, the Kilchers (and Alaska: The Last Frontier) are engaging and leave you wanting to know more, though it seems likely those "whys" may never be fully explained.