Palin Takes on Bears and Liberals in New Show

TLC/Gilles Mingasson

Tamar McCollom

Since her national public debut as John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential election, Sarah Palin has become quite the controversial figure. We might not all agree with her politics, but even her harshest critics have to concede that Palin is rarely dull.

From her daughter’s teenage pregnancy to her fixation with Alaska’s close proximity to Russia, Palin would appear to be a prime candidate for a reality show. Thus, the debut of Palin’s brand spanking new television show Sarah Palin’s Alaska, should come as no surprise.

At first, Sarah Palin’s Alaska appears to be merely an hour-long commercial to boost Alaskan tourism. The general formula isn’t hard to decipher. Watch Palin take on a typical Alaskan adventure, pan the luscious landscape for an inordinate amount of time, top it off with a random Alaskan fun fact, and repeat.

The woman literally spends the entirety of each hour-long episode on commercial fishing boats beating halibut with a billy club or trying to catch salmon in the company of a grizzly bear. If it wasn’t so absurd, it would actually be quite impressive.

The underlying purpose of the show is likely a political ploy to get ahead in the 2012 election. When Palin isn’t wearing her GOP elephant socks or explaining how building a fence to keep out her looky-loo neighbor is akin to her homeland security agenda, she is showing her strength and determination in the face of supposed adversity.

The hero archetype is set up beautifully when Palin finds herself struggling to climb Ruth’s Glacier. Despite her paralyzing fear of heights, Palin manages to climb her way out of a difficult patch to reach her goal, of course showing her perseverance, strong will, and dedication. Her critics will have no trouble seeing how ridiculous the entire situation was, but her supporters no doubt will eat it up.

However, more important than the politics is the publicity for the entire Palin family on their terms.
Sarah isn’t just a dimwitted political one hit wonder. She’s a female Jacques Cousteau, if you will, charging through the Alaskan tundra, searching for adventure, while maintaining a beautiful All-American family and her perfectly manicured prom hair.

Bristol is no longer just an unwed teenage mother with baby daddy issues. She’s just your average girl next door, trying desperately to escape from the evil “gotcha media” that ridiculed her mercilessly.

My personal favorite is Palin’s misguided depiction of her husband Todd. Palin attempts to portray Todd as the Hillary to her Bill, when he seems incapable of stringing more than five words together at a time.

Palin even briefly remarks on Todd’s perpetual silence. “He’s very quiet, but still waters run deep. When he talks, he’s talkin’ to say somethin’. He’s not just yappin’ his jaw.”

Sarah Palin’s Alaska ultimately does exactly what it was intended to do. She drums up support from her loyal conservative base and holds onto her precious 15 minutes of fame just a little bit longer.

Liberals, on the other hand, are handed the perfect opportunity to condemn Palin as a publicity whore and poke fun at her signature Alaskan twang.

It’s a win-win.