Casting Call: Wetnecks!
By DAVE KIFFER
January 03, 2015
Ketchikan, Alaska - Word from the Mad Zoo enclave of Wasilla is that "Slednecks" is no more.
What, you missed it?
It was only on for a couple of months. If it had been a MatSu/Parks Highway community, you would have missed it with a sneeze.
But wait, you say, it was based in Wasilla, which is not such a small town?
That is true, but once you take away the great media klieg light glow around the Palin Compound, it is possible to sneeze past Wasilla as well.
Especially if you are not counting Boxville/Automile as a part of the actual town.
Anyway, "Slednecks" was described, in a rare favorable review, as "Jersey Shore on Ice."
Which is not to be confused with "Disneyland on Ice" although the similarities are striking.
There were all sorts of helpless princesses and lame brained princes in both programs. As well as lots of "Frozen" water making any remaining wisps of reality dangerously slippery and prone to cracking.
But I digress.
"Slednecks" was a "reality" show in which young Alaskans behaved badly in a variety of ways. Most of which seemed to involve snow machines and alcohol. They burned things, they blew up things. They partied. Hearty. In fact one of the participants dubbed himself a “Fungineer.”
Which I first thought had something to do with “fungi” but there is no way that that sort of “reality” would ever makes its way onto MTV TV.
Actually, with the exception of having barbeques on glaciers, there was nothing portrayed in "Slednecks" that doesn't happen any given weekend on Prince of Wales Island.
But, as I noted, "Slednecks" is no more, having been cancelled after one season by MTV.
Considering "Alaskan Bush People" has been renewed for another season, that should tell you all you need to know about the timeless quality of "Slednecks."
Unfortunately for "Slednecks," reality got in the way.
When the Palins made big headlines this summer with stretch limos, alcohol, and birthday party riots, it became painfully clear that nothing the MTV producers "made up" for "Slednecks" could compete with the real surreality show that is Alaska's former first family.
Natch, I hate to see MTV going home empty handed (as opposed to empty headed). So, may I offer, for their consideration, a reality show based in Ketchikan?
We can call it "Wetnecks."
First, we need to find a group of post-teen Ketchikanders willing to do any durn fool thing the producers suggest they do in order to be "famous on TV."
Sadly, that will not be hard to do.
This modern generation of whippersnappers seems fully engaged with the concept that if there is no video evidence then something did not take place. The only challenge will be getting them to put down their "blinky toys" long enough to act out the scripted scenarios for the MTV cameras.
What, you say. It’s reality television? These programs are “unscripted!” It is just real life and rolling cameras.
I have a Bridge to Nowhere the Federal Government would love to sell you.
At any rate, just about any seine boat crew in Thomas Basin will probably do the trick as far as wild, crazy and willing to do anything, except work. These reality show folks don’t seem to work very much. Which is probably just as well, because desks don’t make for good television, unless they are being blown up.
I have a great idea in mind about two of the characters, preferably female, sharing living arrangements in a really tall spruce with a black bear. Sort of a “Trees Company” kind of situation.
No, wait, that’s a different show. My bad.
Anyway, you then give the participants cool monikers like "Salmon Slayer" or "Gaff Hook" or "Barnacle Bella" or "Scupperbreath."
I would also suggest “Chinooki Snooki” but I suppose that’s a little too close to the other “shore.”
Okay, then you can put them in situations (not The Situation!) that don't exactly mimic "Slednecks" or "Buckwild" or "Jersey Shore" or even "Real Housewives of Port Alexander" but come close enough to bask in the afterglow of those other programs.
For example, they could set fire to something. A chair, a car, a boat. Heck, they could set fire to a whole town. I understand that Naukati is available for the right price.
They could even follow "Slednecks" lead and have a relationship go sour and have something get blown up. Here in Southern Southeast, we love to blow things up.
And we don’t stop with hillsides, ore veins or roadbeds. It’s just not a successful blast unless we take out a few power poles, houses and emergency vehicles while we are at it. At any rate, there are a number public buildings in Ketchikan that could use a do over.
Even though we don’t have much snow and ice here, I would suggest that the "Wetneckians" take part in a snow mobile race across the proposed path of The Bridge to Nowhere.
We could make it a multi-lap event, just in case they didn't sink the first time.
Another popular stunt on "Slednecks" (as if anything on a show that draws fewer than 700,000 viewers nationwide can be called popular) was the drinking of Caribou blood. Seriously, we can do them one better by having the "Wetnecks" drink pink salmon milt.
I hear it is great for the complexion. It also reportedly boosts potency and is considered a delicacy in Asia. Just what those randy, post teens need. And maybe we can start a whole new industry if we can convince those MTV viewers that salmon milt is the next big thing.
Heck, we could even merge two popular programs by having the "Wetneckers" do kind of an Iron Stomach sort of thing by using vast quantities of PSP-laced mussels as the secret ingredient. Whoever doesn't die gets to be the next Iron Chef.
Of course, I would want the producers who green-lighted "Slednecks" to be the celebrity judges who also sample the results.
I really think that “Wetnecks” would be a success on reality television. H.L. Mencken was right, no one ever goes broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
Except for the producers of “Slednecks” that is.
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Dave Kiffer is a freelance
writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
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