10/20/2014 09:16 am ET Updated Dec 20, 2014

Reality TV Cameras Set Remote McCarthy, Alaska on 'Edge'

A new Discovery Channel reality show set in McCarthy is drawing fire for heavy-handed treatment of the reviving old mining town's dark past and alleged outlaw reputation.

"Edge of Alaska" premieres Friday.

Advance publicity from Discovery Channel sets up the show as a culture clash between tourism-minded McCarthy Lodge owner Neil Darish -- he wants to "bring this frontier town into the 21st century" -- and dog musher-turned-farmer Jeremy Keller, who "will fight to protect 'the old way' at any cost."

McCarthy, in the Discovery Channel's telling, sits a convenient 100-plus miles from the closest law enforcement in Glennallen. It's "a refuge for people who don't want to be found that's surrounded by extreme wilderness."

Numerous McCarthy residents interviewed over the last two weeks say portraying the admittedly rough-edged community as a lawless refuge is offensive and disrespectful -- maybe even dangerous -- given the all-too-real crimes visited on the town.