When Lorie Byrd heard thatKate Gosselin and her eight will appear on Sunday’s episode of Sarah Palin’s Alaska, she groaned, imagining Kate on a camping trip "whining and complaining about dirt and bugs and no bathroom," as some of the gossip sites would have us all believe. In a Big Hollywood op-ed, Byrd says if this episode was all about Kate, she doubted if she could have watched the whole thing:
Thankfully it wasn’t though. Sure there are the obligatory comments from Kate about how crazy all this outdoorsy, gun shooting, camping stuff seems to her. But this episode was really more about how much kids can learn from being exposed to the great outdoors. And about how experiences like that can bring families closer together.There are indeed some great moments of misery from Kate, but whoever came up with the idea to put Kate and her brood together with Sarah and her clan has to be a genius. Some of the ex-Romney people who were with John McCain's campaign ginned up the tall tale that Gov. Palin was some kind of a diva. What better way to shoot that one down than put a real diva on the show to demonstrate the difference between diva and Sarah:
Sarah’s father, Chuck Heath, is featured again in this episode. He is a retired science teacher and his house is like a nature museum — full of fun and interesting things for kids to look at and touch like beaver skulls and porcupine quills and stuffed animals (of the taxidermy, not teddy bear, variety). Kate’s kids appear fascinated by the things he shows and teaches them over the course of their visit. (Note to Mark Burnett: Give this man his own show. I could listen to him talk about wildlife for hours. He is a great teacher and is obviously passionate about the world around him.)
Before their Chelatina Lake camping trip, Sarah and Kate and Willow attend a “Learn to Return” class to learn about how to avoid and distract bears and, if necessary as a last resort, to shoot one. Sarah shows her pioneer woman calm and strength when she gets two kill shots on the simulated attacking bear. Once again this episode shows that Palin is the real deal. She grew up hunting and fishing and camping and comes across as the kind of person you would want protecting your family in a dangerous situation. Also, as in previous episodes, the viewer gets a great lesson in Alaska wildlife, both in the class and out in the wilderness on the camping trip.
Sunday night 8PM Central/9 Eastern on TLC.