Since Alaskan Bush People took a hiatus, fans (and show haters) have been wondering what would come next for the Brown family. Well, we know that two of the Bush People stars were ordered to serve a 30-day jail sentence and pay back thousands of dollars.
No doubt, this turn of events would cause a new season some delay. Word from the Discovery Channel is there will be one new season some time this year. If you can’t wait, or if you are simply looking for a new show to watch that isn’t Alaskan Bush People, you may want to consider WGN’s Outsiders.
Unlike Alaskan Bush People and similar shows, there’s no need to argue realism. Outsiders, which stars David Morse and Ryan Hurst, is purely fictional. However, that doesn’t diminish the emotional and social impact of the series.
At its heart, Outsiders is a show about a close-knit family called the Farrell clan, a group that’s survived in the wilderness of the Kentucky for about 200 years. Despite this, the people below their mountainous home view them as “outsiders,” and do not see them as the legal residents of their land.
That’s proving to be problematic for the Farrells, as an effort begins to evict them from their home at the behest of a powerful coal company.
Those who are familiar with the story of the story of the Alaskan Bush People know this family was supposedly removed from their home by the government. The Alaskan bush seemingly offered an opportunity for the Brown family to start anew, living life in much the same way as you see on Outsiders.
A key difference between the Alaskan Bush People and Outsiders is that you spend a good deal of time rooting for the Bush People cast. The Discovery Channel reality TV series does a good job of presenting the Browns as sympathetic people who seem to face terrible odds and outcomes at every turn. On the Outsiders, there are multiple sympathetic parties, but there are also villains.
Big Foster, played by Morse, is a frustratingly power-hungry sociopathic manchild who does more to put his people in danger than demonstrate leadership qualities. He’s pretty much the Scar in this story. There is drama that’s engaging, and that you won’t find in Alaskan Bush People. There’s also a bit more romance.
Although episodes of Alaskan Bush People dealt with mother Amy Brown eagerly trying to find brides for her five sons, we never really got the sense that a viable romance was on the horizon. With Outsiders, sparks do fly quite a bit.
There’s lead character Asa’s romantic connection to former love G’Win, and the love triangle that is completed by rival Lil Foster. There’s also the “forbidden love” connection between young Hasil and a townie named Sally Ann. As with everything else in Outsiders, love is complicated, and romance may come at high costs.
Reasons you might not like Outsiders? One big “eww” moment comes with the realization that there’s definitely an inbreeding problem. For instance, the story’s main love triangle involves what amounts to “kissing cousins.” All the more reason to cheer for the Hasil/Sally Ann couple as this interracial pairing promises to fresh water into the shrinking Farrell gene pool.
There’s also the fact that certain events occur that make it hard for one to suspend disbelief. It’s hard to reveal what those moments are without spoiling Outsiders. I will say that when those moments occur, they might take you outside of the show for a bit.
That aside, I’d say that Alaskan Bush People fans can appreciate the fight to preserve an older, non-traditional way of life. They probably can also root for a family trying to keep their home as greedy modern individuals actively encroach for the purpose of money.
The first season is ongoing, and there are several episodes to binge-watch before catching up. Outsiders may prove more addictive to Alaskan Bush People fans than expected, and if survival, wilderness-type shows are your thing, this is a fictional drama you should consider watching!
[Image via OutsidersWGN/YouTube]