Did I Watch “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”? You Betcha!

Sarah Palin's Alaska Premiered Nov. 14, 2010, on TLC
Sarah Palin's Alaska Premiered Nov. 14, 2010, on TLC

Sunday night was the much-anticipated premier of the eight-week series, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” on TLC. Of course I watched and so did 4.96 million other viewers. Back in the 2008 presidential election cycle, I attended a Sarah Palin rally (I have the autographs to prove it) and although I’m not a political supporter, I’m fascinated with her rise to stardom.

C’mon. Admit it. You find her fascinating, too. Although she’s a politician, she’s also an entertainer thrown into the spotlight. Gotta hand it to her, she’s been able to handle a lot that’s been dished.

Gov. Sarah Palin
Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) Campaigning in Tampa, Oct. 2008

What did I think of the show? Here are my five takeaways from watching TLC’s “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”:

Travel Show or Ideology?

This wasn’t quite the travel show I anticipated but the first episode gave me a nice taste of the Last Frontier. I’m hoping to visit the state next summer and I can honestly say, this show has gotten me excited. In fact, while watching I ordered the vacation guide to Anchorage. Will I be able to afford to do what the Palins did? Probably not, but I’ll make do. Maybe the Palins will invite me on a fishing trip, LOL!

Or, is this show building up Sarah Palin’s political power for a run for office? Maybe. But seriously, who wants to be in politics these days? Palin has a pretty good gig doing what she’s doing now.

Positive Economic Impact for Alaska’s Tourism
Whether you like her or not, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” is terrific publicity for the state. It’s the type of exposure most tourism destinations can’t afford to buy. Palin is being paid a reported $2 million for the series (according to The Daily Beast) so it’s a win-win for Palin and the State of Alaska. The show will have a positive economic impact on Alaska tourism. I’d be curious to find out from the state tourism office if there was a bump in the request for visitor guides on Sunday. In addition to the imported economic source (visitors from outside the state) let’s hope Palin will be spending some of that $2 million within her own state to support her local economy.

It’s About Family, Right?
Who’s watching Trig? Palin kept an eagle eye on Willow’s male friend but I noticed Trig, the Palin’s youngest son, was almost absent. So where was he? Did anyone notice he was peering out the window when Palin, her husband Todd, youngest daughter and niece were standing outside waiting to go fishing? Yes, he was in the window then he wasn’t, as if someone snapped him away.

I appreciate how the show did not follow family members into bedrooms. It was almost as if the production crew had boundaries and found this simply refreshing. Is this the result of Palin protecting her family.

Unfortunately, I found life for the Palins is not that exciting. After all, they aren’t the Kardashians, thank goodness. Nope, the first episode portrayed the family as pretty normal and pretty average, with the exception they get to fly to for weekend fun and mom does occasional television interviews from the home TV studio. Perhaps “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” is a reason politicians should not have reality (or unscripted) television shows.

Yikes! for the Creepy Author Dude
I do feel sorry for the Palins. Who wants to live next door to a creepy, peeping tom-like stalker? Yeah, I know he’s writing a book and I’ve heard about him for months and thought, “What’s the big deal?” Seeing him on the show (with his face blurred out) watching what the Palins were doing was a bit disconcerting. The family seems to make light of it, sometimes, but I now understand what the big deal is. The show’s portraying him as someone trying to watch the family’s every mood and who wants that?

What’s the title of this guy’s book anyway? “My Year Stalking Sarah Palin”? And what will this guy write about that requires him to live next door to them?

“On such and such a day, the Palins returns from the grocery store with items in plastic bags, since so-and-so forget the reusable bags.”

Oh, the horror! The shock! *yawn*

So those are my takeaways. Did you watch the show? What did you think?

Will I watch the next episode? You betcha!



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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