« Previous Post | Show Tracker Home | Next Post »

Decoding 'Sarah Palin's Alaska': Cuteness overload

Halfway through Sunday night’s episode of “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” I already suspected the producers were trying to erode viewer resistance by packing the maximum amount of cuteness into one hour. Finally, we got a satisfying dose of 2-year-old Trig grinning, giggling and dancing adorably, plus a glimpse of Bristol’s little towhead, Tripp; several amusing Piper interviews (“Mom is horrible as a waitress. I wouldn’t tip her because she spends too much time talking”); and an actual grizzled old prospector named “Bones,” who came complete with a bouncy companion spaniel.

And all that was before the puppies.

“They’re not playing fair!” I whined to my husband after watching. “There were Husky puppies! Two sets of Husky puppies!”

Husband: “Did she kill and eat them?”

Ah, yes, this is still Sarah Palin we’re talking about. And as always, she has some lessons for America.

Hard work and service are important. In small doses. For money.

Once again demonstrating her overpowering Alaskan work ethic by interrupting people’s actual work day to play “Let’s Make Believe I’m Not a Millionaire” for the cameras, Sarah dons a costumey waitress uniform and puts in a shift at a “legendary” local restaurant. Or, well, part of a shift. Actually, she says, “we had a few extra minutes.”

But, hey, who’s counting? What’s important is that in those few minutes, Piper “saw what hard work was all about and tolerance for other people and what it means, truly, to be of service for other people.”

Psst, Sarah? I’m with you on the “hard work” part, but “tolerance” and “being of service” in the sense you’re talking about mean respecting and helping your fellow human beings because it’s the right thing to do. Waiting tables means providing service because you get paid to do so, and being tolerant because you make less than minimum wage and need the tips. You actually just taught Piper about capitalism, not giving back to the community.

Climate change is awesome!

“Glaciers have carved the valleys in which we are right now,” says Sarah, as the camera offers us yet another breathtaking aerial view of frozen landscape. “So it was neat to show Piper what this chunk of ice looks like right now and explain to her that centuries from now it’s gonna look completely different.”

Here’s even better news for Piper: It could be decades, not centuries. You might just get to see that glacier disappear in your lifetime, kiddo. Won’t that be a hoot?

Gender essentialism is basically the same thing as feminism.

Palin has made it clear she considers herself a feminist, and, boy, can you ever see why in this episode.

After explaining that Trig is too little to join her for whitewater rafting, for instance, she says, “Luckily, Todd volunteered to play Mr. Mom.” Ha-ha-ha! The feminists I hang out with just call that  “being a father,” but for Palin, that would have meant forfeiting a golden opportunity to make a joke that was officially played out by 1983. (That’s why they call us bloggers “humorless,” I guess.)

Later, when her mushing instructor explains that females are the alpha dogs, she says, “That’s 'cause females are more intelligent.” Ha-ha, right on, sister! I mean, sure, joking about gender differences among dogs isn’t exactly like challenging sexism in the human population. And sure, female social justice activists have been fighting for decades to dispel the myth that they think they’re superior to men, so it’s kind of a bummer when a self-identified feminist puts forth that strawman, even in jest. But never mind all that -- how 'bout those stupid male dogs, LOL? Girl power!

Aw, maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh. Worn down by all the extra cuteness this week (there was a puppy on a giant hamster wheel, I am not even kidding!), I can almost feel a twinge of sympathy for Palin when she says, “It’s nice to get the heck away from idiots and bloggers who do not like our family. Yes, it’s good to be out here in the real Alaska.” But then I remember she brought a camera crew out there precisely so she could eventually share the whole experience with idiots and bloggers like me. And since she has such tremendous respect for working people, I know she’ll understand when I say, sorry, but I’m just doing my job.

-- Kate Harding

 Photo credit: TLC

Comments () | Archives (21)

Unbelievable - you left wingers are consistent. Funny that what wasn't mentioned was Sarah did say she was a waitress while she was going to college. Can the woman do anything right to you left-wingers?? Can you see Hillary doing any of these things? She wouldn't know what a gun was if it umped up and bit her but that' ok because she's a left wing liberal like you.
All of her segments are showing the beauty of Alaska and its ruggedness. It is the last frontier.
The way you people treat her I wouldn't blame her if she stays in Alaska and enjoys the serenity and the beauty of it.

Jeesh, cranky much? Perhaps you should trade shows with someone who can actually be impartial and review the show for real...not just use their "blog" as an excuse to snark on Palin every 2 seconds. I'd like to hear more details about the beautiful state of Alaska she's showing and not just the catty remarks about her.

Funny commentary! Of course, I happen to be of the same mindset. I've seen Alaska, it's gorgeous. I just don't need her show to show me what it's like up there in paradise, because I know what kind of money it takes to do the things she does with her family, and I know the kind of time it takes away from my real job, here in real America. The kids are cute, and like too many kids on tv today, they don't seem to know what the word respect means, but they learn those things from their parents, don't they?

I like how the kids look at SP as if they are seeing her for the first time, as if they are watching a play that stars their mother and she is doing a really bad acting job.

In Sarah's world does children not wearing seat belts fall into the same category as children having the right to be obese - because gosh darn it, we're not going to let the government and that Michele Obama tell us what do to! After the humiliating work ethic building experience at the restaurant, there sat Piper (who has become a disrespectful child diva, a SP mini-me with her chunky highlights and bump-it in last week's episode - and she used to be so naturally cute!) sulking in the middle of the back seat, NO seat belt, so that if God forbid there was an accident she would fly like buckshot through the front windshield.

The worst was seeing that poor kid, Happy, already obese at a young age and in a national population of kids of which 1/3rd will develop the serious and debilitating disease, diabetes. Yet SP, jumped at the opportunity to insult Michelle Obama as she stuffed Happy with s'mores to make her point.

Aside from the show I have had a big question about Sarah Palin that no one seems to address: she talks as she ran against President Obama for the position president. In fact, she seems to believe this. There is never a mention that she ran on a ticket with McCain. It is the most curious thing - because in real reality, I imagine that Sarah Palin is no more than an annoying whining gnat that on a few occasions has flown past President Obama's ear.

You can laugh but Palin, just another Alaskan Socialist in Denial, living in a state where you get paid to just be there, a tax haven where elders pay no property tax and get a fishing license for life whatever their income,etc. etc., will have folks from the lower 48 heading up the Al Can next spring to get their own little piece of heaven for the working class. Her TV program will draw them in droves.

Too bad President Obama can't do to her what he did to that fly during a tv interview.

Just doing your job? LOL! Being a snarky bitch is a job? Well congratulations! You're a success!

I was interested in the fact that Alaska has a "Click it or Ticket" campaign for seatbelt use - yet the Palins are shown breaking lots of rules for proper seatbelt use - including little Piper - in the front seat - with her shoulder strap behind her back.

I just can't seem to take Sarah Palin seriously AND I can't sit through an episode because of the sound of her voice and speech pattern so a big THANK YOU for the recap. Love it!

Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Why don't you jealous women not watch her show. She is Not bothered by your articles, comments or posts. She is a happy lady with a wonderful husband and family. She loves her state and doesn't seem to be worried about her ratings. Personally I don't see why she doesn't just live out of the spotlight forever but she is a tough lady who has a purpose driven life. If you don't like her watch another show like the Kathy Griffin Show. Now she is someone who makes money the hard way, making fun of successful people just for a cheap laugh. Ha ha!

"...she brought a camera crew out there precisely so she could eventually share the whole experience with idiots and bloggers like me."

You're completely wrong about this Kate. The camera crew is there to show real America the Palins are nothing like what the "idiots and bloggers like (you)" portray them to be.

The way you people treat her I wouldn't blame her if she stays in Alaska and enjoys the serenity and the beauty of it.

Posted by: Srecal | December 20, 2010 at 10:55 AM

..........................................If only!

@Srecal - I actually don't particularly have an opinion on Sarah Palin either way. I think there's a lot of junk out there about her, and a lot of truth, and she's neither the messiah or the devil. So this isn't coming from a raging leftist who thinks that Palin can do nothing right. I actually think she seems like a nice person, but politically, I'm not so sure.

Check your facts before you throw things around since that seems to be your problem with what others do in regards to Palin. Hillary worked on a slime line in Alaska one summer during college, so, yes, I can see her doing these things.

Final point - most "left wingers" want Palin to stay in Alaska, so I'm not sure telling them that the way she is treated will drive her to do that is a particularly convincing argument that they shouldn't.

Yah, Kate.

Capitalism. Pays your salary, even in a failing business model like the LAT in a failing looter state like California, where the Looter Class that rules the state has chased all the Producers out to places like Texas, Utah, and, well....Alaska?

Bitter much, Kate?

It's fun and rather disturbing to watch all you Liberals and media elitist having uncontrollable convulsions over all things Sarah Palin. It's Palin Derangement Syndrome in all its Glory. Love It!!! Don't worry however my poor misguided and tormented friends it will soon be over!!! According to the Mayan calendar the world for you liberals will end in 2012 with just two words "President Palin" Ha,Ha,Ha

Having endured Harding's weeks of poo-pooing on Palin, I'm surprised that Ms. Gutless Wonder didn't call out Palin for calling Harding's fellow liberals "jerks" because Palin chose not to abort Trig when she learned that he had Down Syndrome.

Would Harding (no relation to Tanya, I hope!) have given Palin any props for going the Planned Parenthood route? Or would she have denounced Palin as a "baby killer'?

Palin will never be president. She to immature and hot headed to lead America!

If elected in 2012, Sarah Palin will focus on getting the click it or ticket law changed. My guessing is that all the Palin kids have large life insurance policies and that Sarah would say whether or not a parent wants their kids to be overweight or wear seatbelts is none of the government's business. It is wrong to kill your babies with abortion; but whether or not you let your kids die because they are not wearing a seatbeltl should be up to the parent?

The question is whether Sarah Palin will be ready for the second year of her reality show: Sarah Palin's Arizona. This house is not for Bristol--you don't buy a house before you have been accepted in a college. The realtor said he spent all the time showing homes to TODD PALIN.

Would all of you just stop for a moment and consider this---if you have an overweight child, does that mean you NEVER allow them a dessert or a s'more around a campfire? Read the sugar content in some of your granola bars and vitamin waters! Also, just because Palin loves her state, knows how to hunt and fish, shoots a gun (good for her!) and enjoys a challenge, you people want to label her a freak! My kid has been in a car without a seat belt, also most "school buses" don't even have seat belts. Find some different reasons to hate her. The ones that I am hearing are just insecure, jealous, ridiculos rantings from people that are completely ok with the Michelle Obamas of the world. Personally, if my grandaughters need a role model----it would be Palin any day.

1 2 | »


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: