With Sarah Palin's national favorable and unfavorable ratings at 40 and 51 percent respectively, perhaps it's not surprising that TV writers and liberal pundits, many of whom likely disapprove of Palin's political performances, also don't care much for her television performance. Palin's just-premiered new show on TLC, "Sarah Palin's Alaska," showcases the Mama Grizzly and her family lounging around their estate in between wilderness jaunts that, reviewers largely agree, look like they are mostly for the benefit of the camera. Here's what writers and reviewers are saying.
- Awkward Performance Suggests She's Never Hunted or Fished The UK Independent's Guy Adams writes, "She looks, to me, like a woman who is completely inexperienced at fishing, shooting, using a boat, rock-climbing, mountaineering, and all the other folksy pursuits she’s supposed to have mastered years ago. When the full documentary airs, we could of course discover that the trailer is misleading and that Palin can cast a beautiful fly, is a lethal shot, and knows the Alaskan wilderness like the back of her hand. But on this evidence, I wouldn’t bet on it."
- Palin's Endless Lies The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan accuses Palin of "exploiting the mythology of where she was born" for attention. "Sarah Palin's attempt to cast herself as a true Alaskan, in love with the outdoors, fishing, hunting, is, of course, a lie. ... I have long believed that Palin lives in an utterly fabricated world where she shoots, fishes and has contractions while giving speeches. ... Everything she says and everything she does is phony."
- Hour-Long Presidential Campaign Ad Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams writes, "the eight-hour campaign ad thinly disguised as a travelogue will do absolutely zip to dispel any comfortingly clung-to notions of Palin as the straight-shooting regular gal who can smoothly move from baking cupcakes with her family to talking taxes on 'The O'Reilly Factor.' TLC, meanwhile, is hilariously promoting the Mark Burnett produced show as 'not taking sides' with a blog that insists, 'The show has nothing at all to do with the 2012 Presidential campaign.' That's like saying 'The Biggest Loser' isn't about fat people."
- Just Hearing Her Talk Is Painful The New Yorker's Nancy Franklin pleads for mercy. "When it comes to Palin specifically, there is the fundamental problem that some of us don’t want to see or hear any more of her than we have to. And there are those whose objections have a physiological basis as well as an ideological one: the pitch and timbre of her voice, the rhythms of her speech, her syntax, and the way she coats acid and incoherence with cheery musical inflections join together in a sickening synergy that distresses the listener, triggering a fight-or-flight reaction. When Palin talks, my whole being wails."
- Boring, Nothing Happens The Awl's Maud Newton sighs, "Is 'Sarah Palin’s Alaska' a protracted 2012 campaign ad? An End-Times relocation brochure for fundamentalists? Or just the most boring hour of television since Lawrence Welk? Probably all three. ... Seriously, what is the point of this show? Are we supposed to think that the Palin clan is always out in a float plane fishing with bears? Or are they tourists, and we’re along for the ride? Not that it isn’t thrilling to watch Palin continuously checking her email. ... Truly a waste of an hour."