Reality of Reality Shows: ‘Alaskan Women Looking for Love’
Reality shows aren’t always flattering to the people or places they feature. Alaska is no exception.
We found out that some people in Kodiak did not take too kindly to TLC’s “Alaskan Women Looking for Love.”
The six-part series that aired on TLC in 2013 followed six women from Kodiak who traveled to Miami, Florida, to look for love.
Why is it so difficult for women to find a man in Kodiak, you ask? In the first episode, the community’s men were portrayed somewhat poorly, shown spitting or eating with food falling out of their mouths. Bartender Christi Smith came to their defense.
“There are a lot of fabulous men in this town, absolutely wonderful men in this town,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of hang-ups and baggage as far as like, just dating a fisherman. It’s different than dating a typical guy.”
Commercial fisherman Ken Vinson appeared in that first episode. When asked if he thought the show made him and other men in Kodiak look stupid, he said: “They are what they are. Whether they come across as being stupid-looking or not. But, you know, they’re a different breed up here.”
An overwhelming number of people in Kodiak say they felt the show offered a poor representation of Alaskans in general, as the women often spoke negatively about the Last Frontier.
Cast member Sabina Clark, who is actually from Anchorage, defended the show. She said people need to realize it is just entertainment.
“We’re all gathered for a purpose — to create a show and to show how different it is, you know, the whole fish-out-of-water deal,” Clark said. “I get it. I understand the concept of the big picture.”
Christina Kilborn, another one of the women “looking for love,” called the show lighthearted and adorable.
“I also think that a lot of people didn’t watch the entire show so I don’t know where they’re getting their grounds from in saying that Alaskan men look bad or Kodiak people look bad,” Kilborn said. “I thought everybody looked fine. It was just showing the true Alaskan people and what we do here and how we live.”
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