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Michael Starr: Palin’s Peak – On Top of the World

Posted by Dr. Fay on October 28, 2010

Michael Starr of the New York Post wrote this preview of Governor Palin’s Alaska documentary series.

Palin’s peak

Road to Washington runs past her house

By MICHAEL STARR
Last Updated: 12:25 PM, October 28, 2010
Posted: 10:40 PM, October 27, 2010

‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska” isn’t a “political” show, per se — but the fact that it’s built around a possible 2012 presidential contender makes it more than just your average nature series.

In the upcoming TLC show, Palin is more travel guide than politico. There’s the occasional mention of her work for Fox News Channel, and the former vice presidential candidate and GOP lightning-rod drops a snide reference to “liberals” in a future episode.

But, for the most part, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” produced by “Survivor” guru Mark Burnett, sticks to giving viewers a tour of Alaska’s sights — and a glimpse into Palin’s private world. 

GETTY IMAGES - ON TOP OF THE WORLD: Sarah Palin's Alaska Premieres Nov. 14.

Palin’s entire family — husband Todd, sons Track and Trigg and daughters Bristol, Willow and Piper — are all featured in the show, the first episode which Burnett personally screened for The Post.

This is the kind of TV no one’s ever done before — an epic travelogue, but with the family component,” Burnett says. “It’s a fun take . . . on an outdoorsy family, and there’s the curiosity factor as well in seeing Sarah at home with her kids and her husband.

Palin’s entire family — husband Todd, sons Track and Trigg and daughters Bristol, Willow and Piper — are all featured in the show, the first episode which Burnett personally screened for The Post.

“This is the kind of TV no one’s ever done before — an epic travelogue, but with the family component,” Burnett says. “It’s a fun take . . . on an outdoorsy family, and there’s the curiosity factor as well in seeing Sarah at home with her kids and her husband.

“You’ll get to see a pioneer family in a pioneer state.”

The bulk of the first episode, which premieres Nov. 14, takes place at the Palin home on Lake Lucille in Wasilla, where the opening scene features Sarah and her daughters in the kitchen. Each member of the family is then introduced. (Their names are superimposed over their freeze-framed image.)

The rest of the episode follows the family as they go fishing in Big River Lake — where they’re menaced by a bear — and then take an RV trip to Denali National Park (joined by Sarah’s parents, Chuck and Sally).

Later in the episode, Sarah and Todd return to Denali to climb a sliver of the Ruth Glacier, located near the base of Mt. McKinley. Throughout the episode, Sarah ticks off a variety of facts about Alaska (which she says has “Ninety-eight percent of the nation’s grizzly population”; the state itself, she says, is “600,000 square miles”).

There’s also another (pixillated) person featured in the first episode — the Palins’ “new neighbor,” author Joe McGinniss, who’s moved next door while he researches and writes a book about Sarah.

Part of the second episode shows Sarah, Todd and Bristol visiting a target range to shoot clay pigeons with rifles. (Todd’s an expert shot, Sarah’s pretty good but Bristol comes up empty.)

“People have only really seen Sarah on the political stage, on news shows, giving speeches,” says Burnett. “Here, you see her really pulling the curtain back.

“And Todd is like Captain America,” he says of Palin’s husband. “Literally, this guy can do it all — fix fishing nets, drive the boat out, catch the most fish, fix the engine, fix the car trailer, drop the transmission . . . and pick up a shotgun and hit the target every time.”

See also SPIB’s “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” page.

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