Ye olde copper mining town is trying to grow up.
McCarthy is a rough place to live, but some of the inhabitants are hell-bent on changing that fact. Edge of Alaska is a reality series that showcases the small town’s potential for tourism while maintaining its authenticity.
It takes a dedicated individual to want to travel to this area of Alaska, as it requires a jumper plane and lots of dirt roads to reach the remote town. That doesn’t stop the crew at Discovery Channel from getting there season after season to check in on the town’s progress. Now in its third season, EA is portraying both sides of the story as the town aspires to grow and stay small at the same time.
Neil Darish is the pivotal character and he is at the forefront of developing the tourism industry. With only 42 people in McCarthy, his task is to unify and convince the townsfolk that they need to develop an income and change their way of life to survive.
The town itself sits within the boundaries of the largest national park in the US, Wrangell-St. Elias, and McCarthy is the last community of non-native people that exists within its borders. This national park is the combined size of Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Switzerland! When Darish arrived there, all he could do was think about how to share this immense beauty with as many people as possible.
Jeremy Keller and his homesteading family chose McCarthy with the appeal of staying off-the-grid. He has been the opposition to modernization for the town, and sees Darish as a detriment to their close-knit society. If outside investors are invited in, there’s no telling what will happen to the town.
This latest season will continue the saga as the town strives to stay the same while being open to changing times. Keller and Darish keep clashing, with one undoing what they other has done, until nothing ever changes. That’s the drama that keeps viewers watching. What Discovery has created is a modern-day Hatfield vs McCoy type of drama, and can you even imagine if there were film crews around back then?
Few reviews, mostly in the middle.
IMDb voters rank this series at 6.8 out of 10 with over 200 votes cast. Not too bad for yet another Alaska reality series. The one viewer comment sums up their reaction nicely by pointing out that this show is by no means ground-breaking, and often appears to have been overly influenced by Discovery’s producers.
The viewer reacts to the involvement of camera crews who invade Alaskan communities and instigate trouble while providing funding to the families who are willing to star in the reality series. All in all, the drama is entertaining, which is what Discovery’s objective was in the first place.
Season 3 premiered on October 23, 2016, and earned a demo rating of 0.35 and 1.79 million viewers tuned in. That’s right on the edge of a potential cancelation, and although Discovery has not made any official announcements about the future of this show, it’s really hard to tell if there will be enough drama to require a fourth season, or beyond.
#EdgeAlaska airs Sunday nights at 10pm ET on Discovery Channel, and full episodes are available for streaming on Discovery GO.
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