Fans have waited so long for the return of “Edge of Alaska” on Discovery Channel. When the season ended, the future of McCarthy, Alaska, was up in the air, and the situation between Neal and Jeremy was very tense. The season premiere on Friday night was not quite what was expected.
The show centered on a pack of wolves that was terrorizing the town, killing dogs and discouraging the new tourist business that had sprung up in McCarthy. Apparently, a lot has happened between the two seasons of filming the dark, but interesting reality TV show. The electrification of the town evidently worked out well for Neal, and several thousands of tourists had poured in. But, the recent wolf attacks have hurt Neal’s profits.
Neal and Jeremy were not at each other’s throats like viewers’ have come to expect (and enjoy.) They seemed to somehow meet on the common ground of their shared losses; both had lost beloved dogs to wolf attacks. This brings us to a very bizarre and disturbing part of Friday’s show.
Jeremy’s 9-year-old son Bjorn found one of their dogs dead and bloody from a wolf attack. He had the son feel the neck where the dog’s neck had been broken. From this point, the show takes a strange turn. Perhaps there is something lost in the translation here. Perhaps this is a culture gap, but the scenes involving the family’s dog’s death were just very distasteful and inappropriate.
The family burned the dog and had a cremation ceremony. Burning is the only option in this circumstance, but having small children, ages 4 and 9, stand by and watch their father torch their pet is just odd in any culture. Before he lit him up, they spoke words of comfort to him. (It is a good thing we don’t have “smellivision” yet.) Jeremy seemed to want to impress his boys with a “Circle of Life” kind of experience to widen their understanding, but can you just imagine the stench as the family pet is cooked on the open flames?
The fireside conversation was probably the strangest thing of all. The boys’ mother requested that she be buried under the nearby tree. The dad wanted his son to pull him out in the yard and feed him to the chickens. Mom made some distasteful remark about the chickens pecking his body. It was just too gross, and it makes you wonder if these people have any idea how to raise a child.
As a reality TV writer, once again I find myself writing about how much viewers hate when the dogs are hurt or killed. Most recently, there have been several shows where dogs were lost, hurt or found dead. Tonight’s episode was the most graphic and prolonged scene of any of the shows thus far. Producers, we don’t want to see it! By the way, there is a very helpful website called “Does the Doggy Die?” You can check out movies to see if you can stand to watch them or not.
What do you think about the season premiere of “Edge of Alaska?” Were you particularly disturbed by the weird segment about the death and burning of the dog? Do you ever feel that Jeremy should treat his son Bjorn in a more age-appropriate manner?