The trailer for TLC's “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” is out, and it looks like a show that will fit in great with many of the other productions of Discovery Channel affiliates. It features the outdoors, bad weather, scary animals, and lots of roaring machines. Think of it as “Deadliest Catch” with a little politics thrown in, or maybe “Man vs. Wild” plus antigovernment rhetoric.
Fortunately there is no dancing. Daughter Bristol Palin is currently on “Dancing with the Stars,” and Mama Grizzly Palin has supported her and all, but American politics has not yet progressed to the point where the ability to tango is considered an asset for potential presidential candidates.
Let’s run through the clip, shall we? It starts with Palin herself hauling a pack up a snow slope somewhere up there in the big empty, exclaiming “Oh Gosh! We are somewhere people dream about!”
Then the word “Family” pops on the screen, and there are quick cuts of what is presumably the Palin family home, which looks big. Is it expensive to heat cathedral ceilings up there in Wasilla? Maybe that’s why she’s got another book coming out.
Then Palin says “This is just flippin’ fun,” and there are more quick cuts of her in a floatplane, and her in a kayak, and her leaping on Todd with teeth bared ... Scratch that last one. It was an actual bear in that shot, instead of a Mama Grizzly.
(We predict that “flippin’ fun” could become a Palin catchphrase as memorable as “you betcha',” by the way.)
It ends with Palin complaining about how she’d rather be out doing all the stuff she is doing in the trailer as opposed to sitting in a stuffy political office somewhere. The word “free” figures in there somewhere. Then we see the ex-Alaska governor in a long shot, mushing a dog sled across the pristine snow.
Family, fun, and freedom – is this a trailer, or a cleverly-disguised political ad? It would function well as either. Though in the short run it is surely meant as nothing more than an audience-building effort for the eight-week “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” series, which starts on November 14 on TLC.
In the past, some environmental groups, such as Friends of the Earth, have complained that Palin should not be hosting a nature show, given her view that humans are not necessarily to blame for climate change, among other things.
But Discovery’s “American Loggers” uses way more carbon-based fuel products than Palin’s series ever could. Also it features the cutting down of trees. The new Palin trailer doesn’t even have a chain saw in it.
If the series does well, is it possible that TLC might consider other shows that depict political figures in their native habitat?