Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin stars as the outdoor heroine in her own reality television show premiering this Sunday. TLC’s Sarah Palin’s Alaska documents her (and her family’s) love for the beautiful and rugged outdoors.
Although the show may be strategically and indirectly not related to any future political agenda, Rachel D’Oro from The Associated Press says, “Palin’s outdoorsy image against the stunning scenery often plays nicely with her familiar political message.”
The self-proclaimed “Mama Grizzly,” says, “I love watching these mama bears.” She tells the TLC camera regarding a family fishing scene near a bear and two cubs that, ”They’ve got a nature, yeah, that humankind could learn from. She’s trying to show her cubs, ‘Nobody’s gonna do it for ya. You get out there and do it yourself, guys.’”
D’Oro translates, “stop relying on government.”
Yet, looking beyond any political symbolisms or propaganda that the show may emit, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee is simply enjoying the outdoors. Among mountains, forests and lakes, Palin is filmed fishing, hunting, dog-sledding, rock climbing, kayaking, and white-water rafting.
“What all this suggests is that she’s crafting her lifestyle and her biography as typifying a person who’s independent, rugged, resilient, in touch with nature and has learned life lessons that she can bring into governance if she moves back into governance,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a University of Pennsylvania communications professor who studies political rhetoric.
“It also could be life lessons to get to lead a better life in the rugged frontiers,” Jamieson said to The Associated Press. “They have to have that duo message or this will read as if it’s a political ad.”
Without suggestion however, the Palin family is definitely seizing the opportunity for popularity and fame. The Palin’s have embraced a relationship with pop culture since Palin’s daughter Bristol became a contestant on Dancing With The Stars, and currently with this eight-part nature series.
It is not definitive yet if this series will support a possible 2012 election for the politician. If not for political ambition, perhaps welcoming cameras into Palin’s Alaskan life is for her checkbook. Palin was reportedly seeking as much as $1.5 million per episode in pitching the show earlier this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Palin is also not hesitant to express how comparisons between the wild and work affect her life. “I’d rather be doing this than in some stuffy old political office… I’d rather be out here being free.” She adds in a promo, ”A poor day of fishing beats even a great day at work.”
For the governor who resigned prematurely in July 2009, she’s no quitter… Climbing a steep and rocky slope in Denali National Park, she says, “About halfway up the rock, I did not know if I was going to be able to finish the task. But I didn’t want to quit. I didn’t want to quit in front of other people.”
Sarah Palin’s Alaska airs on TLC, Sunday nights at 9 P.M., Eastern and Pacific times; 8 P.M., Central time.