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Courtsey of Mediaweek...


Mr. Television: On Schedule


Ah, Joy of joys! I have a whole slew of new shows to mull, dissect, dismiss entirely as the worst dreck ever foisted on viewers in the history of TV and, of course, thoroughly enjoy. So, let me stop the babbling and get to the good stuff

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Courtsey of Buddy TV...

Animal Rights Group Condemns 'Kid Nation'

Kid Nation was already in firestorm of criticism for its controversial treatment of the kids. With the second episode, and the slaughtering of the chicken, it was only a matter of time before the criticism started from another quarter.

And it has: on Friday, an animal-right organization called Last Chance for Animals (LCA)

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Courtsey of the Journal Gazette


Kids govern TV

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"Kid Nation" to Go Overseas?

Is reality TV show "Kid Nation" being treated with kid gloves because of its controversial content?

A source close to the social experiment program tells TMZ that producers are scouting foreign locations because they're having a difficult time finding a U.S. spot willing to host them. It seems that many potential places would rather not deal with child labor issues associated with the show.

Despite (or because of) negative press, "Kid Nation" is doing well in ratings. A rep for CBS said that the location for next season's filming has not been determined.

http://www.tmz.com/2007/10/02/kid-nation-to-go-overseas/

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Courtsey of The Spoof
TheSpoof Goes Undercover, Gets 'Down and Dirty' on Set of 'Kid Nation'
Bonanza City (The Daily Diaper) - Kids just wanna have fun! So, who in their moment of drug-induced, alcohol-soaked, anything-for-ratings mental meltdown would put a bunch of spoiled brats in the same scene and expect them to "play nice?" (That was a rhetorical question, by the way, for all you CBS idea people.)No adults, huh?! TheSpoof.com went undercover just long enough to expose the blatant attempt by CBS to pull the wool over unsuspecting viewers' eyes. What's worse, and the veritable tip of the iceberg, is the disgusting discovery of degenerates. "Little people" parading around as little kids in and among the real little kids are daring to debauch the defenseless darlings to the delight of their demented dreams.It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what's going on. The Spoof's deep cover correspondent, codename "Brat," otherwise known as supposed ten-year-old Peter Dowt, became a victim himself while producing this exclusive expos

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Courtsey of TVSquad
Controversy continues for Kid Nation
There's nothing like a good brouhaha, is there? Kid Nation was controversial before it even hit the air and the controversy continues. TMZ is reporting that the show is seeking a new location for next season outside of the United States due to the child labor issue. The show's official website has had an application link up since the site itself was launched, but it appears the deadline for second season applications has passed.Then there's a new controversy -- the slaughtering of two chickens shown during last week's episode. According to our friends at Buddy TV, the animal rights group Last Chance for Animals criticized the show for killing the chickens, then airing the slaughter. LCA also condemned YouTube for not removing clips of the show which were posted by several people.But at the end of the day, the ratings are holding up. And, in the television world, that's the bottom line. Were the chickens killed for ratings? The LCA claims that was was the case and that it was ethically wrong. Although the chicken slaughter was indeed something I experienced when I was young, I knew this televised slaughter would attract attention.I personally don't think it was necessary even though I'm not up in arms about it. If you watched the show, you would have seen that the idea to kill the chickens came from the "journal" given to the town council members. Similar to the economy system, labor and class divisions and everything else -- it was put into motion by the adults. Don't get me wrong, I'll still be watching the show. However, I wish it wasn't so blatantly scripted in action by the adults. It would have been interesting to see if the kids themselves would have thought of killing chickens for food and when in the scheme of their time there if they did so.But we'll never know.

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Just caught this article by Diane Hollebeck at moral metric.....

A BRIEF PART OF THE ARITICLE WENT AS FOLLOWS....

Another area of controversy is the lack of reality in this "reality" series. Maria Elena Fernandez for the Los Angles Times noted, "...about a quarter of the parents involved have spoken confidentially to the BizParentz Foundation and A Minor Consideration about the fact that during the course of the show, producers gave their children lines to say or asked them to re-cast dialogue or repeat scenes." Anne Henry, co-founder of BizParentz, stated, "It's not unusual for shows to make sure they have all the footage they might ever need to cut and paste the story line they want to create because they're creating entertainment. But that is significant in this situation because CBS and the producers are trying to claim that this was not work and was not scripted and the children were not actors." Paul Petersen, founder of A Minor Consideration commented about the parents, "They're figuring out that the children were on assignment to fulfill a producer's creative impulses." Most would identify that as an actor's job, and paid actors are covered by union contracts.

I THINK THIS ANSWERS THE QUESTION ABOUT HOW MUCH REALITY IS IN THIS REALITY SHOW.. :animated_scratchchin:

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Courtsey of Buddy TV

Kid Nation: Episode 3 "Deal With It!" Recap

Previously on Kid Nation: Mike continued to play the role of President George W. Bush, Laurel pahked her cah in the Hahvahd Yahd, Taylor told everyone to starve (the Kid Nation equivalent of "Let them eat cake"), and a fourth Town Council member may or may not have appeared. Sophia was awesome, preparing to lead a revolution Greg worked his butt off and still didn't get the gold star, Michael won for simply doing his required job and talking a lot, Jimmy went home, Emilie cried about killing chickens, Jared was totally awesome, and a whole lot of kids have yet to get any quality screen time.

This episode begins with Greg starting a huge Bonanza City party in the saloon. The kids get sloshed as Jared takes a shot of root beer while Laurel chugs one down. I guess Kid Nation is a lot like a college prep course.

On Day 8, the Town Council has a difficult time waking everyone up. Greg is banging cookie sheets together to wake everyone up, trying to prove he deserves a gold star. He goes a bit overboard, dragging people out of their homes and falling on them. The Council attacks Greg, and he fights back, saying the Council is stupid, and they are. He's had it, and starts cussing, which is kind of awesome. The Council calls him the Village Idiot and worry that he's going to start beating them up. It's difficult balancing his desire to win a gold star with his rebellious nature. Most offended are sisters Olivia and Mallory, who are wholesome Christian girls raised in a strict environment. They don't approve of Greg swearing.

The magic journal tells the Council they need to set up law an order, more specifically, a bed time for everyone. Mike institutes a 9:30pm curfew, and the older kids are all 'Heck no." Taylor tries to boss everyone around again, while Mike orders them to drop the subject. Absolute power corrupts. Absolutely.

Colton, Zach and another boy go out to do guy stuff, which apparently means scaring cows for no reason. Then they go to the kitchen and have a flour fight. Taylor is making brunch, which consists of hash browns she spoons directly into the kids' hands, to avoid doing dishes. Seriously, when are these kids going to overthrow this Town Council. Viva la revolucion!

Today's challenge is to wrangle sheep and get three playing cards off the sheep's necks.. If they do it in less than five minutes, they win a prize. Alex, a 9-year-old, speaks the truth when he says Greg and Blaine are really annoying, but they rule in challenges after Greg dominates. There's a whole lot of yelling and running, and somehow the yellow team gets three cards first and wins. Great, just what we need, Taylor to become a part of the upper class. I wonder if it will go to her head. Greg and Blaine, doing all the work, finally come in second. Green comes in third to become the cooks. Red is last, and I laugh because Mike is the kid I like the least, and it's good to see his team fall to the bottom. But they do finish in time for the reward.

It's yet another choice: microwave vs. pizza. All the kids want pizza, while Taylor is going off about how they need a microwave. Taylor, in full diva mode, screeches about how everyone needs to "Deal with it!" They're not, and my predictions of a revolution look more and more likely. Even Mike is upset with her. The fact is: what will they cook in a microwave? Hash browns?

Taylor compares herself to President Bush, saying she needs to be bossy to run this town, even if it means people don't like her. Suddenly everything about her becomes clear: she's a Very Young Republican. In the kitchen, Morgan is stepping up her game, doing the dishes. Jared is getting water, and gets some microwaved cocoa for his troubles. Taylor is inspecting the toilets, and is sad that they're not sparkling. She cackles with her posse of alpha girls as she prances off.

A storm is coming, literally. Jared thinks it's a twister. The outhouses tip over, and Zach tries to take command, ordering Greg and Blaine to put them back up. The Council is just using them because they're strong and knows how to butcher chickens, but they're never going to give them a gold star, and it sucks.

The Council wants to hear from everyone about the gold star. A bunch of people pick Morgan, and when she arrives, she talks about how everyone deserves it and all that crap. Blaine says Greg deserves it, and Greg says he deserves it himself too. Laurel asks what he's done besides a whole lot of hard physical labor, as if that isn't enough. Mike just doesn't like Greg's personality. Then Olivia suggests her little sister Mallory, because it's her birthday.

At Kid Nation Town Council, Taylor goes off about how she's the queen and doesn't have to work, although that doesn't address the issue kids are raising: she never did her job when she did have work to do. A lot of people vote that the Council is doing a bad job, and they call for a re-election. Taylor starts to cry and says she's going to change, which gratifies the town. Of course, applause makes her smile.

The gold star winner is Mallory, which is total crap. They try to talk about how she's mentally strong, but the fact is that Mallory has done nothing at all, and the gold star is just a birthday present. Greg agrees with me, which makes me know that I'm right. Mallory's conversation with her parents is kind of sweet, but it doesn't change the fact that she didn't deserve it.

Next week on Kid Nation: Zach takes on Taylor. Christians take on the Jews.

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Courtsey of TV Squad

Kid Nation: Deal With It

Let's see ... no animals were killed in the filming of tonight's episode of Kid Nation. A few outhouses might have received considerable damage, a lot of pizzas were wasted, and they made ten-year-old Taylor cry. Oh, I think she deserved some sort of comeuppance, but I still felt sorry for her when it came. I suppose she's going to have to deal with it, eh?

This week's adult interference came in the form of the "journal" advising the council members to set a curfew. I think it was good advice in the long run because, after all, the kids were getting all hyped up in sugar-crazed root beer chugging parties into the wee hours of the night. Darn it, if they're going to get high on sugar, do it in the morning when they can work it off, right?

Okay, in this nation supposedly built by the children to see if kids can create a better society, so far the adults -- using the journal and other means -- have:

Created a town council and selected the members on it.

Created four districts/teams and divided the town.

Devised a class system according to job title.

Created weekly challenges (showdowns) to determine job assignments for the teams.

Set the wages for the different classes/job titles.

Advised them to kill livestock for food.

Advised a curfew as a law and order incentive.

What exactly have the kids themselves done? What would they have done on their own without all of the adult advice during the ten days of filming so far? I don't think they would have set up the town in the same manner. I think Colton and his buddies would have chased bulls all day.

I can bet the adults around were quietly panicking as he walked right up to the bull. But these are Kid Nation bulls -- they're probably under contract not to kill any of the children, don't you think? While his two young buddies thought he was so brave for doing it, that was an incredibly foolish move for him even if he's used to being around cattle.

He might be singing "Ghost Riders in the Sky" as a lullaby if he keeps up buffoonery with bulls.

If Taylor was in charge, she'd just boss the other kids all day long while sitting on her Princess Pedestal, perhaps with some of the boys fanning her. While I think she's probably got a lot on the ball for her age, her attitude towards the others is outright nasty. I want her to be a laborer! When her district won Upper Class tonight I groaned. I should have been happy because that group is the youngest and it was a great accomplishment. I realize the editing is probably much as it is for adult cast reality shows, but her "deal with it" shouting made me want to turn my television right around and send her home.

We still don't see but a handful of the children focused on each week. I was looking at the list of kids on the show's website and I can't even place half of them in the town. This week had more of a focus on sisters Olivia and Mallory, with good reason because it was Mallory receiving the gold star on her ninth birthday at the town council meeting. I guess they had to let us know who she was before she won it.

Greg acted out once again, cussing up a storm which I'd say must have been responsible for the dust storm which struck the town. Yep, Greg, how do you feel now? It's all your fault!

Nah, I'm sure it wasn't. It was interesting to see how the kids reacted to the dust storm. My main man Jared screamed, "It's a twister!" They all ran for cover and it seemed the most serious damage was overturned outhouses.

Then Greg got to help the town once again by being the main muscle to set them all upright once again.The kids all know he's bucking for the gold star, but his own behaviors such as the cussing and acting up tend to frighten some of the others.

I personally don't think Greg's a bad kid, but I think he has problems dealing with younger children in charge. I think if he had been selected as a council member instead of Anjay (who doesn't seem to lead at all), we'd be seeing a very different Greg. I hope he does get his gold star someday. I also wonder why his chin is all scraped up. Hmm ... did the chickens get revenge?

At least I understood this week's showdown unlike that convoluted thing with the water and pipe pieces last week. The best part about it for me was looking at the creative crimes committed by the sheep posse as depicted on the council leaders' pads -- grass thief, shear negligence, etc. At least the sheep didn't seem to get injured except for their dignity, perhaps.

I've decided I'm hooked on this show. While I don't like the adult direction in setting everything up and the advice from the journal each week, I enjoy these kids. Well, for the most part, that is. I want to see the day they make the unwise choice of rewards for completing a showdown within the set time span. I want to see them uprise and overthrow the town council. I want a revolution, kids!

Er ... maybe not a revolution, I guess. I would love to see them stand up to the authority running the show, though.

But, most of all, I find it refreshing that the kids on the show often show compassion towards one another. Plus, as the old Art Linkletter show showed us -- Kids Say the Darndest Things. This week's winners for that were Taylor saying that President Bush had to be mean because you have to be bossy to get attention, Jared screaming "It's a twister! It's a twister!" and one of the girls saying it was hard to be there when the wind blows your face off.

It's hard to run a town with your face blown off by the wind, yes it is.

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Courtsey of The New York Post

NEW 'NATION' HOME

'KID Nation," the controversial CBS reality show, is reportedly seeking to move its production to another country next year.

In the wake of months of bad press blasting the program for putting children in danger and possibly violating child labor issues, the show's producers are having a hard time finding a location in the U.S. willing to host the production, according to published reports.

Since its debut late last month, the show has generated solid ratings, although the network has yet to commit to a second season.

CBS officials declined to comment, but it is understood that as part of the production process, it is typical for freshman reality shows to start casting a second season before getting word on renewal.

So far, "Kid Nation" has turned out to be far tamer than expected, given the amount of hype leading up to last month's premiere.

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GABRIEL DELAHAYE blogs on corporate-casual.com.

I have watched the first two episodes of Kid Nation and all I have to say is: now what?

This show gives us insight into how would-be child actors fare in a heavily produced Survivor-style

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Psychologist likens CBS' new 'Kid Nation' to 'Lord of the Flies'

UPI News Service, 10/01/2007

A U.S. psychologist says the new reality show "Kid Nation" could end up like "Lord of the Flies" if the adult film crew wasn't around.

The CBS reality series challenges a group of 8- to 15-year-old children to build an adult-free society in a deserted New Mexico town in 40 days.

Critics have chided producers for subjecting kids to long hours and hazardous conditions, both claims the network has vehemently denied.

Dr. Gregg Steinberg said the show asks the same basic questions as the novel, "Lord of the Flies," with one major difference: The show has adults overseeing the action.

If the adults disappeared and the reality show experiment continued, the results could be as stark and violent as the conclusion of William Golding's book.

"Children do not have the cognitive abilities to grasp discipline, hard work, and integrity," Steinberg said in a statement. "Without parents to guide them down the right path, we would see tragic consequences with bullying turning into more savagery and lack of discipline turning into to utter chaos."

A frequent contributor to television news programs, Steinberg is also an associate professor of sports psychology at Austin Peay State University.

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Courtsey of New York Entertainment


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Courtsey of Entertainment Weekly

Revolting Developments

So close! We were so tantalizingly close to that coup de tyke we've begged for, with Pageant Princess Taylor one smart-ass comment away from losing her crown. But no. The Bonanza City pioneers, it seems, hold law and order too dear in their hearts to subvert the government. (Damn, the '60s really are dead.) That, however, was about the only form of order they hold dear, because let's just get to it, y'all:

Who the hell taught these children about boilermakers?

(Zen, Alynda, zen. Don't raise your voice to the nice TV Watchers. They didn't do it.)

Sorries. It's just that, well, it's clear now that this was a mistake. Not the show, mind you

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Gabriel Delahaye blogs on THE HUFFINGTON POST

Episode 3

8:00: The host's voiceover recaps the previous two weeks: "The kids split into four districts, faced off in a showdown to determine who would be the upper-class and who'd clean latrines." You know who else has separated into districts to face off in a showdown to determine who will be the upper-class and who will clean latrines? Iraq. They probably just need to go out into the desert and compete in silly Double Dare competitions to see who can get the most colored water in a diaper or whatever. That ought to solve things. You're welcome, Iraq.

8:02: This week's episode is titled "Deal with It" which means things are about to get really tough in Bonanza City. What, do they run out of root beer? Oh, nope. The show kicks off in the saloon where kids are doing Irish Car Bombs by dropping shot glasses full of something into their root beer? One imagines that it's vanilla syrup, or some kind of medicine that helps you learn (or bleach). I'm not sure which is more appalling, that the kids know how to mimic Irish Car Bombs, or that when the producers were putting together a list of everything the kids would need someone was like "Oh, right, don't forget the shot glasses, you guys." :food-smiley-005:

8:03: Seriously, the kids are just chugging root beer and screaming. It's basically a frat party but without the date rape or the explicit use of the word "fag."

8:03: Olivia (12-IN) didn't go to the party because she knew it was the showdown the next day and she would be so tired. Her body can't process root beer the way it used to. I see a lot of cats in Olivia's future.

8:07: Morning. All the kids are exhausted and no one wants to wake up. A couple of the kids, and I'm sorry, I hate to make generalizations, but let's just call them what they are: young women from Indiana, are all, "that's what you get for staying up all night." What no one is bothering to explain to me is if this is a town without adults and without rules, why do they have to get up in the first place? I don't understand Kids Nation these days.

8:09: The ever-helpful Olde Pioneere Booke suggests that in order to build a strong nation, you need to establish law and order, which means a lights-out curfew. Ah yes, the bedrock of any successful modern civilization: forced bed time.

8:10: Everyone is mad at Greg (The Beast) for waking them up by dragging them in their sleeping bags down a bunch of wooden steps and leaving them in a dirt road. In his defense, he calls an eight-year-old girl a b***h. Say what you will about The Beast's braces or acne or borderline personality, the kid is all class.

8:12: Now The Beast is basically just screaming at everyone, and every third word is bleeped out. In an interview, Laurel reiterates the town's need for law and order, because obviously a curfew is what calms an anti-social 15-year-old with discipline problems. Seriously, how many years until this kid joins Blackwater?

8:14: Morgan (12-IN) decides that she is going to straighten things out with The Beast and can I just point out two things: 1. Why are all the girls from Indiana? Is no one fit to parent over there? And 2. Morgan's jacket is filthy. The Beast walks away from her, which may seem rude, but seriously, you should see her jacket. It's like getting a lecture on manners from a bum. (If any bums are reading this on the computers at the public library, I'm just kidding.)

8:16: Morgan says that it's tough for her team to be laborers two weeks in a row because they're tired of being laborers. Next week: the children explore migrant farming and outsourcing to India.

8:18: Taylor, who runs the kitchen, woke up late, so they're not having breakfast today, she says, they're having brunch. She then proceeds to serve everyone a single spoonful of fried potatoes into their hands. As a Jew, I find this definition of "brunch" not only inaccurate, but offensive.

8:21: This week's showdown is in keeping with the theme of law and order? Because the Town Council are the sheriffs and the rest of the kids are their "posse"? And they are going to round up...criminal...sheep? And hang them? Like Saddam Hussein (right Savannah?) Each sheep has a name painted on it and there are wanted posters and playing cards and as usual I seriously have no idea what's going on and I've been to college. So good luck, babies.

8:23: One of the sheep they have to round up is named Opal and another one is named Ira. You know, the kinds of names criminals in the Old West would have.

8:29: Yellow team wins upper-class. The blue team is the merchant class. Red team comes in last place and are the laborers. For the first time, the green team is out of the labor class, and moving into the kitchen. And they all live in one apartment. I know what you're thinking, and that's racist.

8:31 Because all teams completed the challenge, the town wins an award. A frontier microwave (with a supply of nutritious hot cocoa) or 40 pizzas. The town council recognizes that the pizzas are what they want but the microwave is what they need. I'm not actually convinced that they need a microwave. Then again, I've never had to build a society, so I should probably shut up.

8:38: Kids are pissed that they don't get pizza. Which prompts Taylor to make the following observation: "President Bush today, he has to be like, he's kind of bossy like kind of mean sometimes because if you were to run a country like we're running this town you have to be bossy to get people's attention." So I guess...Iraq is the microwave? And the pizzas would have been healthcare for children? Whoops, Taylor is an idiot.

8:39: BORING PLOT TWIST ALERT: Mallory and Olivia are SISTERS, you guys.

8:40: Taylor says the red district (laborers) need to scrub the toilets harder because her butt is not shiny. Finally, someone who understands what being in the upper class is all about. I know she's 10 and everything, but Taylor's kind of an butthole.

8:41: This week's false drama involves a dust storm blows through the town. The outhouses have blown over. There is a lot of running and screaming. Everyone is huddled in the darkened saloon wondering if they will be able to weather the stinging sands.

8:42: Cut to: the sun is out and they put the outhouses upright. It seems over, but my heart is still POUNDING in my chest from the excitement.

8:44: The Town Council invites everyone into the chapel individually to ask who they think should get the gold star. It's an even split between Morgan and The Beast...until Olivia comes in and nominates Mallory, her sister, reminding the council that it's Mallory's birthday. It's pretty obvious the town is going to choose Mallory. It's nice to see that even children recognize the importance of birthdays over hard work.

8:49: Town Hall meeting. Taylor reminds everyone that she earned upper class so she doesn't care if people are mad. Olivia stands up and says "even when you did have a job, you didn't work," and the only way to describe her tone and facial expression is "45-year-old scrapbook enthusiast with a 'Your Mother Doesn't Work Here So Clean Up After Yourself' sign in her cubicle at work."

8:50: Taylor reminds everyone that being upper class is being king and queen, so they can do what they want. The town hates her. Being king and queen, it turns out, involves a lot of crying. Someone says "Taylor you're doing a bad job, deal with it." Call back!

8:51: The host, Jonathan Karsh, also known as the man whose career was in such dire straights that he leapt at the opportunity to live in the desert for 40 days and watch children suffer, asks the weekly question "Does anyone want to go home?" No. Something is deeply wrong with these children.

8:52: Mallory wins the gold star. Town Council member Anjay says that she is not physically strong, but she is mentally strong. As indicated by it being her birthday.

8:53: Mallory gets to talk to her parents. Her dad says that every morning he watches the bus pull up and says to himself "Mallory, where's the love?" I think I can answer that: the love is in New Mexico getting rickets, you crappy parent. Mallory tells them she thinks she's going to stick it out for the full 40 days. Her mom says, "That would make us really proud." Translation "Not having kids in the house for the first time in 10 years has rekindled our sex life in ways you cannot even imagine."

8:56: Mallory says in an interview, "We're proving that even though we may be younger and smaller than the adults, that we can still do just as much as they can." Yes Mallory. Working full time, paying taxes, raising children, and the hundreds of other daily adult responsibilities are basically the equivalent of getting a two-pound gold star for having your birthday. You did it. You should run for president.

Next week: religious differences threaten to tear the town apart and also snow.

EDITED TO BE MORE KID FRIENDLY :animated_wave:

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MEDIALIFE.COM RATINGS

PUSHING DAISIES WINS 18-49 DEMO

ABC finished first for the night among viewers 18-49 with a 4.1 average overnight rating and an 11 share. CBS was second at 3.4/9, NBC third at 3.3/9, Fox fourth at 2.7/7, and Univision and CW tied for fifth at 1.7/5.

At 8 p.m. ABC led with a 4.2 for

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Courtesy of: REALITY TV MAGAZINE

Kid Nation Party Leads To Curfew

kidnation_party.jpg

On the third episode of Kid Nation, the kids threw a big party at the town saloon, where they chugged root beer. Tired out from the party, several of the kids struggled to get up the next morning. Greg banged posts and pans to wake everyone up. The town journal suggested to the town council that they create order in the town and institute a curfew.

Some of the kids confronted Greg over kids complaining about getting hurt when he was waking them up, and Greg cussed at them. The town council called a town meeting and told all the other kids that they were instituting a 9:30 curfew. In a rather dangerous endeavor, three of the kids went and chased around some cattle.

In the showdown, the districts raced to find three wanted sheep for their district among a herd of sheep. Once the sheep were located, the districts had to retrieve three Ace cards from around their necks. The yellow district finished first and became the upper class, the blue district finished second and became the merchant class, the green district finished third and became the cooks, and the red district finished last and became the laborers.

Because all teams completed the showdown in the required time, the entire town won a reward choice between a microwave with a barrel of cocoa and forty hot pizzas. The town council decided to take the microwave with a barrel of cocoa, even though most of the town seemed to want the pizzas.

After the showdown, a storm hit the town. The wind was strong enough that it stirred up a lot of dust and knocked over the outhouses. Greg helped set the outhouses back up. The town council got input from everyone in town on who deserved the next gold star. Some kids felt that Greg deserved the gold star for all the hard work he did, while others felt that Mallory deserved the gold star because of her positive attitude and because it was her birthday.

At the town meeting, several kids raised their hands that they weren

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Courtsey of Reality TV Calendar

Kid Nation: Curfews And Counting Terrified Sheep

Episode three opens with a celebration. It was a glorious, brief glimpse of these kids, relishing their first true taste of freedom.

Episode two ended with a threat from Greg, who at 15, is one of Kid Nation's oldest residents. So I fully expected episode three to pick up the thread, right where it had ended, with that threat. After all, that's how it was promoted. Instead we find the kids having a party in their own saloon.

It was the night before their next showdown. No one knew yet - about the terrible storm heading towards town.

But they had worked hard. Worked as hard as adults. They also had a saloon. They had freedom. They had all of the ingredients for fun. So the show opens with most of the town whooping it up in the saloon. These kids were seriously drunk, not on booze; but on root beer, and their own youth and power.

All I kept thinking was - Good for them! Good for them for whooping it up. Good for them for taking advantage of being young. Good for them for having a saloon and deciding to treat it like one.

So what if they weren't given actual booze. Or, the decision to decide what and how to choose. They'd make their own darn booze out of root beer. They'd claim their own power, by making their own rules. They should have been allowed to also all decide on the hours that they'd like to keep. More on bedtime, and counting terrified sheep, latter.

Meanwhile there was a party going on.

They surely had earned it.

They did that saloon proud too!

When they come back from commercial, we find out they're only on Day 8! Can you even imagine the universe these kids could invent at the end of 40 days without CBS/ Big Brother's intervention?

They'd already redefined the way their world would run. At least they continued trying. Every time they had things up and running their way, BB stepped in to muddle, and ruin the day.

When one of he TC (town council) members says, "Let's go see what the journal has to say." I think, Oh my God! Can I hate this fake journal any more than I already do? It's already split them into a have/have nots society. Then urged them to kill chickens. What will the wise, fake pioneers at CBS, next ask these kids to do?

"Don't make the same mistakes we did," the fake 1835 book suggests, again and again. The book says it's also probably time that they implement a little law and order. Hey, maybe they'll recommend hangings. I really don't know if CBS knows the meaning of order, or has any boundaries for their reality shows They seem to get away with anything. So, why not let anything go?

Instead, for now, the book suggests they impose a curfew; more specifically, a sleeping curfew. Yeah, right, a 9:30 p.m. curfew for 14 and 15 year old kids! TC member Mike says, "his is actually a really big deal. This is making people go to bed at a certain time."

Exactly.

These kids have just had their first, sweet taste of freedom. They earned it on the backs of the sweat off their brows. So, I don't think TC member, Laurel's hope, that these kids will like a little structure, is going to go over well.

Nevertheless, it's a mantra the TC repeats to itself, again and again, as they come up with their 9:30 bedtime for the entire town.

I don't know about you, but if I was given the chance to be on my own, as a kid, I'd raise Holy Hell, if four kids suddenly decided we all had to go to bed at 9:30. I mean, come on! For what other purpose could this suggestion had been made, than to attempt to sow trouble and discord. Yet again.

Greg can be heavy handed, even when he means well. He caused a ruckus by using pots and pans, and tough tactics to wake up the sleepy town. Most of them were sleeping in. They'd stayed up late at the saloon. So, some of them were angry. They didn't appreciate his banging pots with spoons.

Some people go off at Greg. He does not take this well. So Greg goes off as well. His main man, Blaine, drags him physically back inside their house, so Greg can try to cool down.

There are many cool kids in this Kid Nation. We finally get a chance to meet some of the others now. Sisters, Mallory 8, and Olivia 12, seem sweet, quiet and shy. Mallory gets upset, sad, and frightened by the angry voices.

"I can hear Greg talking mean,' she whispers to her sister from under a pile of covers. I wish this little girl was where she wants to be, at home; with Mom and Dad "curled up on the couch."

Green team member, Morgan, tried to calm down the situation. "Basically I kinda' step in and be the Mother of the crowd, and say. there are some little kids. This needs to stop."

She later calmly asks Greg to explain what happened. He's calm as well now. He says. "I'm not here to hurt any one. I'm here to help build a town. I might mess up once. But I won't mess up twice. I might not win a gold star. But if the council thinks someone else deserves it more than me, bring it on."

When the TC, all younger in age than the older kids in town, tell the kids about the new bed time curfew. it does not go over well. Little, 10 year old TC member, Taylor doesn't seem to care. She continues to shed her pageant creds. With every show she sounds more like a future prison guard than a beauty queen. Then again, maybe there are some similarities.

Taylor's favorite phrase apparently is "Deal with it!' She says it stridently, and often. It's what she said when Emilie was upset about the chickens. It's what she says when they announce the early, 9:30 curfew. It's what she says when her yellow team doles out hash browns for brunch, and nothing else. It's what she says when she literally spoons the hot hash browns into hungry hands. Because, she says, it doesn't make sense to do dishes just for hash browns. Especially when you think like she does, that "beauty queens don't wash dishes."

Kid Nation moderator, Jonathan's back for the Showdown. He tells them that it's "time to see who will be in the upper class, and who's cleaning latrines." He also tells them that he knows "you thought a lot about law and order this morning, and that's what this showdown's all about."

I wonder how long before the TC, and/or someone else in the town, figures out that they're being jerked around, by the fake, Kid Nation pioneer law book.

This showdown involves sheep. They're not going to be sheering them, or killing them. But they will be frightening them. Every sheep's been painted with a name. The kids run out into this pen of terrified sheep to try to get certain cards tied around their necks.

Greg, proving he's more than brawn says, "Sheep can move really fast. But if you go slow with them, they'll kinda slow down and relax a little bit."

Alex, a small 9 year old in shades, wisely says his blue team members, Greg & Blaine, "can be really annoying. They cuss allot. But in showdowns, they're really great.'

I know this isn't supposed to matter to anyone. but these sheep were terrified. Do you think they knew this was a game for a TV show? And it went on and on and on. We only got the edited version. It still seemed to last quite long.

Where are the disclaimers that say no actual animals were injured during the making of this show? Or don't such considerations matter any more in the world of reality TV?

What of its affect on us?

What about it's affect on the kids?

Once again - this wasn't an exercise of necessity. They weren't freezing. Didn't need to learn how to sheer the sheep to keep themselves warm. There's a ruthless carelessness about the kids and these animals.

Real emotions.

Real values.

Real hunger.

Real needs. None of these things seem to matter in Reality TV

Everything's okay. Anything to play. Anything to amuse. Anything to mess with, and shake up normal rules. Do they even have a bottom line? I'm sure they must. What won't they do? I'm curious. Now that would be an interesting question for CBS. Especially if some one would answer truthfully.

You know it's not like I didn't get caught up in the showdown too. When I stopped writing long enough to let myself watch, I got caught up in the rousing urgency the music produces within us. But when I stepped back for a moment, I could see the terror of those sheep. They had no idea what was going on. No idea what to do. No way to escape the racing thong of children who rammed, and slammed into them, again and again.

It was a contest after all.

And the sheep had the winning aces tied around their necks.

Do we care so little, have such little respect for any other living thing, except for ourselves, that nothing we can do, as sport, is wrong anymore?

I think we all know inside that it 'should' be wrong. But I also fear we're all becoming so immune to anything, and everything being done, in the name of winning Reality TV that nothing seems out of bounds anymore.

As for the showdown. The green team finally made it out of the shitter box, and the yellow team easily won this one. They had a fearless nine year old, Colton, and wild mustang breaker, Emilie on their team. That meant someone else besides Taylor and her 8-10 year old crew would actually be cooking some real food.

"DEAL WITH IT!" Taylor screams to the crowd demanding their just reward: 40 pizzas vs. a microwave. Those were the choices for the town council. All the teams finished in time, so they'd get to claim one of these prizes for the town.

The kids were starved. For pizza! They roared. They screamed. They salivated. They dreamed. But little Taylor screamed louder than all of them. "DEAL WITH IT!" She says it again and again. Out yelled by a member of their own council, and out numbered by a pizza starved town, and even most of the town council, Taylor still won. Repeatedly screaming her dominating mantra. "DEAL WITH IT!" There would be a slight aftermath, latter at a town meeting.

The next night the kids were back at the saloon. Booze be damned! These kids partied like their root beer bottles were filled with the finest liquor around. They were hootin ' and a hollering, and guzzling their drinks down. They didn't need the alcohol. They had the high down!

But then Mike, the TC 'sheriff' came to close them down. "Because of the new curfew, it's almost 9:30. Parties over."

"It's so hard to be a town council member," Mike latter admitted.

I think this was too early a bedtime. The kids were filled with unrest. But Taylor has little sympathy for anyone's upset. Little Taylor just says what she always says: "Deal With It!" She also likes "Get over it!"

She makes an interesting comparison between herself and Bush. She said he has to be ballsy to get peoples' attention. So they have to be ballsy too, to run this town. Actually, I thought Taylor's analogy between herself and Bush, was one of the most amusing things about this episode. Maybe they do have a few things in common. Both of them sometimes act like they're ten, and think that they rule the world.

Hey, don't blame me for the analogy.

She started it first!

The real problem with beauty queen, Taylor's reign, is that she has a more than touch of hubris, and a serious touch of mean in her queen. I know she's only ten. But that's why I'm kind of hoping that her reign eventually comes to an end.

She did hear about her tactics at the town meeting. Fourteen year old DK, sounding like a future politician, said he wasn't even upset any more about not getting the 40 pizza party. "I'm upset at Taylor. Because she is so ridiculously disrespectful. "Many kids agreed. They confronted Taylor during the meeting. She said she'd try harder. through her tears. So they agreed to let her try to amend her dominating manner. Things don't look promising though, according to the previews for the next new show.

The kids also faced a real life twister during this show. It blew through the town, knocking things down. It looked pretty scary too! It blew all of the outhouses down. Many of the kids were frightened. But young Zack, hoisting himself up onto the bar of the saloon, calmed them all down. It really did look like a scene out of an old western too.

Zack said that the older boys, Greg and Blaine, and the rest of their crew, would right the outhouses when the storm passed. The older boys let him lead too. Even though I think Zack is only ten. He's still a leader.

Greg and his crew pulled it off too. Righting the outhouses was a hard, disgustingly stinky job to do. But they got it done.

I gotta say - I love these kids. It's only the third episode, and there's not a bad apple in the bunch. They're all wonderful, for different reasons.

I also still love the idea of rewarding good behavior with the gold star. I just really wish CBS hadn't placed a twenty thousand dollar value on it.

It was already priceless on its own.

Not that CBS can't afford it. Reality shows continue to be all the rage, partly because they don't have to pay real stars for real TV shows. But they could have waited. Could have made twenty thousand dollar rewards for all the stars - at the end of the series. I just wish they'd stop trying to steal the thunder, and purity of these kids.

Little 8 year old Mallory won the gold star this week. She won partly for running a shop like a shopkeeper forty years her senior, and partly because it was her 9th birthday. Whatever the reason, it was a hell of a present. Still, I'm pretty sure it was the phone call to her Mama and Daddy that meant the most to this tiny girl.

The town council did a really cool thing. This time they polled the kids themselves for gold star candidates. Once again Greg had worked hard, but got knocked out of the running. I dearly hope he wins a gold star by the end of the series.

Morgan, a new to us, wonderful, 12 year old, was neck in neck for her hard work, with Greg for the star. When asked who she thought should win, Morgan had the perfect answer. It was the answer of a true humanitarian. She said she thought everyone in the town deserved a gold star. Greg told them, he'd have to give himself a vote.

Both kids are right. Both give me hope. Heck, they all make me happy. Now if only BB/CBS would keep their rules, and their ever living, mitts off of them, what a world they'd make.

Now that's a place I'd like to see.

For real.

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Courtsey of Philadelphia Inquirer

An award for truth on torture

TV now has an award for torture - and it has nothing to do with Kid Nation.

Human Rights First, a New York-based nonprofit, has nominated five television series - Lost, The Closer, Boston Legal, Criminal Minds and The Shield - for excellence in realistically portraying torture or interrogation.

"As incongruous as it may seem for a human-rights group to 'honor' the depiction of torture, these awards recognize that only a handful of TV shows have taken the time necessary to depict torture in a thoughtful, realistic fashion," said David Danzig, director of Human Rights First's Primetime Torture project. "Viewers of these programs don't walk away saying to themselves, 'Gee, this stuff really works!' "

Torture scenes on television have risen dramatically since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, jumping from an average of about four a year before to more than 100 afterward, the group says.

Most such scenes show intelligence being quickly extracted from the victim after rough and sometimes gruesome treatment. This contradicts the majority of research showing that torture usually yields faulty, inaccurate or deliberately misleading information from subjects, according to Danzig. The pop-culture influence of these programs, however, has led to torture abuses by U.S. soldiers in Iraq, the group says. The award will be presented at a dinner in New York on Monday.

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Courtsey of Buddy TV

Kid Nation: Episode 4 "Bless Us and Keep Us Safe" Recap

Last week on Kid Nation, Taylor told everyone to "DEAL WITH IT!" but the kids refused. They called for a re-election, but she cried and half-heartedly apologized, and they forgave her. For now. Birthday girl Mallory won the Gold Star, which once again upset foul-mouthed Greg. Sophia continued to be awesome and we were introduced to several additional Kid Nation inhabitants: brash cowboy Colton, would-be leader Zach and genuinely nice person Morgan, who is a threat to win a Gold Star from here on out. For my money, so is Jared, because every nation needs laughter, and that boy is brilliant comic relief.

Last week I asked for your opinion on Taylor, and with more than 250 votes, 70 percent said she needs to get booted off the Town Council. Will her Nixon-ian downfall ("I am not a cook") occur tonight? This episode deals with religion, and if I were in charge, I would've titled it "One Kid Nation, Under God."

Right away, Morgan and Sophia share a conversation in which Sophia says she doesn't believe in God, and Morgan debates what her purpose is. Jared, meanwhile, tells a sad story about the mean things his schoolmates say about him because he's Jewish. At breakfast, ignorance shines as some of the Christian kids have no clue what Hanukkah is. Zach says that religion is responsible for most of the wars in history. Didn't Mel Gibson get in trouble for a similar comment? The Christians (led by Colton and Cody) say they rule, while the Jew Crew (led by Zach) is formed.

Naturally, the Town Council is told to start a worship service by the Magic Journal. They suggest one service moderated by representatives from all the different religions. The town doesn't want it. Alex talks about focusing on all the commonalities of the religions. Olivia doesn't want to hear the lies of non-Christian faiths, while Sophia is Jewish, but is still doubting the existence of God. The Town Council, as always, ignores what the people want and go ahead with one service.

Alex decides to gets a poll of everyone's religion, asking specifically about Orthodox or progressive Judaism and differentiating between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Very awesome of him, but I don't think that distinction is necessary in Kid Nation. He reads out his scientific findings: mostly Christian, some Jewish, one Hindu, three Atheists, and some Others. The Town Council rings the bell for the service, and no one shows. They're somehow surprised That night, Morgan nicely invites everyone to a bonfire where they'll all worship together. Ha! One girl does what the Town Council failed at. Not only should she get the Gold Star, but she should get to single-handedly select a new Town Council to replace the current Lame Duck version.

The Upper Class yellow team has a seltzer fight in the saloon. Sophia and Morgan talk smack about them while doing dishes, when yellow team member Zach comes in to help them. OK, those three plus Alex should obviously be the new Town Council. Preparing for today's challenge, teams cheer and psych themselves up while Jared meditates.

The challenge is putting together a steeple puzzle then using a hand crank to raise it up. If they finish in less than 30 minutes, they get the reward. After lots of screaming and insanity, blue and red finish the puzzle first and it's a crank race. Red uses teamwork while blue backs off and lets Greg do all the cranking. Olivia foolishly states how proud she is that they didn't rely wholly on Greg and Blaine, and while that's true for the puzzle part, which Alex dominated, when it comes to the physical part, Greg does everything. Blue wins, red is a close second, then it's close between the last two, and sadly for everyone, yellow comes in third and they'll be cooks again. Great, more hand-held hash browns a la Chef Taylor. Green finishes last, but in time for the reward.

Choice one: a giant miniature golf course. Pretty lame. Choice two is a library of holy books. It's the age-old debate over how best to spend your Sunday: golfing or at church? I know what my dad would pick. The Town Council finally wises up to the fact that they can't do anything right and let the kids decide for themselves. They pick the books: the Torah, multiple Bible versions, the Koran, a book by the Dalai Lama. For some reason, there don't appear to be any texts by L. Ron Hubbard.

Nine-year-old Cody gets weepy when reading a letter from his "girlfriend" Ashley. Much like any man in love, he tries to use root beer to drown his sorrows. Another helpful suggestion from one of his friends? Looking at cows. If looking at cows is enough to get your mind off your girlfriend, you're not old or mature enough to have a girlfriend.

When Taylor, reinstalled as a cook, is still shirking her duties, even the other Town Council members get upset. So much for that promise to work harder at the end of the last episode. Zach goes around trying to recruit other teams to help do the dishes, because his own team is awful. Someone is eclipsing Morgan in the race for this week's Gold Star.

The next morning, it snows in Bonanza City. Laurel and Mike pick Zach for the Gold Star, and Taylor calls him "bossy." The pot/kettle metaphor isn't nearly strong enough to describe her insane hypocrisy. When Greg's name is brought up, Mike gets back on his high horse about what his true intentions are. Does it matter? Even if he's not doing it to benefit the town, he IS benefiting the town.

At the Kid Nation Town Council Meeting, it's another round of 'who doesn't approve of the Town Council.' Zach calls out Taylor, and when she threatens him, he retaliates and she ignores him. Seriously, is there any mechanism in place to get her off that Town Council? Nobody thinks she's doing a good job, and when she makes promises to change, she doesn't. Cody decides he's had enough and throws in the towel. He leaves, and there are plenty of tears, especially from some kid named Campbell, who claims he's Cody's best friend.

Gold Star Time! Morgan wins it, and it's well earned, but a week late. Based on what we've seen this episode, while Morgan was a close second, Zach clearly deserved the win for being unbelievably awesome and not shrinking away from dictatorial Taylor. We get to see Morgan call her family, and I think it's worth noting that she comes from a biracial family, which is very cool. That's not something you see on TV every day, and I applaud Kid Nation for at least trying to be representative of America's diversity.

Next week on Kid Nation: finally, elections! Goodbye, Taylor. Hello Morgan, Zach, Sophia and either Alex, Jared, or Michael.

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Courtsey of Daily Titan

One Nation, Under Child

The CBS reality series, "Kid Nation," soldiers on despite controversy.

It's 8 o'clock. Do you know where your kids are? If the answer is in a New Mexican ghost town, then little Jimmy and even younger Katie must be a part of the CBS reality series, "Kid Nation." The premise is 40 kids living without parental supervision and building a world on their own terms for 40 days. Ranging from ages eight to 15 years old, these kids faced challenges of the emotional and physical kind such as overcoming homesickness and cooking food for the whole village. However, the real drama took place well before the series premiered on Sept. 19 with a parent filing a complaint to the Santa Fe County sheriff and an allegation claiming a violation of child labor laws during production.

No matter how you look at it, the kids did not escape the watchful eyes of television critics, parents and the show's creator, Tom Forman. Ever since the network pitched the idea to the media, entertainment shows have criticized the reality show for taking innocent children and subjecting them to dangerous conditions, all in the name of television ratings. It really is in poor taste but you are talking about reality television- the home of sensationalism. Each episode is cleverly edited in a way to dramatize every situation with the colorful cast of characters. One can find the same elements in soap opera dramas and the audience cannot help but invest themselves into the show. Amidst the bachelors, dancing stars and singing nobodies, "Kid Nation" is nothing but "Survivor" with a twist. However, the twist happens to involve minors, making things controversial and a prime candidate for investigation.

It all began during production in the spring. Forman's production company, Good Time T.V. did not apply for work permits but Jonathan Anschell, executive vice-president and general counsel said in a Los Angeles Times article that they [CBS] did not have to because the children were not employees. Forman said that the children were willing "participants" in the show and they each received $5,000 once production finished. As participants, the children were exempt from the New Mexico child labor laws because by legal definition, they were not paid actors, according to Anschell.

After filming wrapped, the parents attended a meeting upon which one mother expressed concern over her 12-year-old daughter's burn marks that she sustained while cooking on the show. This issue reached the office of Santa Fe County Sheriff, Greg Solano who said in a department blog in July that the producers did nothing wrong and no crime was committed. However, the show did bring up a crime against the ethical treatment of children. Is it right to put minors as young as eight years old on a television show in a potentially risky environment with complete strangers? I choose this time to blame the parents for putting their kids in front of cameras in the first place. They ultimately agreed to leave their children in the hands of careless reality show producers. Good move- it might as well have been Britney Spears.

On the other hand, "Kid Nation" rode the controversial wave to a winning time slot on its premiere episode and 9.4 million viewers tuned it to see what the fuss was all about. Despite all the heavy criticism, the show avoided cancellation and subjected the audience to sheer silliness. I'm still trying to forget the image of kids chugging root beer in the town saloon in last week's episode. As far as awarding a gold star to a deserving kid each week, it sounds like a good idea until they include a cash reward of $20,000 that supposedly will be used towards college. Haven't you done enough, CBS? Next time, keep the kids out of this and let mommy and daddy exploit themselves on television.

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Courtsey of The Good Five Cent Cigar

'Kid Nation' teaches kids the value of a hard day's work

10/11/07 - Child labor is against the law now, but in the golden days of the Industrial Revolution children spent their days productively, operating heavy machinery with their small, nimble hands.

Those adorable scamps toiled from dawn to dusk in mines and factories. And whatever they lost in terms of limbs, they gained back in the solid sense of work ethic that came from their efforts.

Really, Black Lung, third degree burns and the emotionally crippling loss of childhood are a small price to pay for the satisfaction that comes from a hard day's work.

The youth of today, however, are lazy. Where youngsters once made themselves useful by crawling into small places in order to fix giant looms and clean chimneys and such, they now spend their time playing in the streets and attending institutions for lazy children known as "schools."

But does coddling our children with "education" really teach them the same hard truths as losing a hand?

No. No, it does not.

Hands were a luxury for kids back in the 19th century

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Courtsey of Kansas City Star

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FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST.....

Gabriel Delahaye:Live Blogging "Kid Nation" GOLD STARS AND JEWS, WHAT?

8:01 This week's episode is titled "Bless Us and Keep Us Safe." That sounds an awful lot like the bible. And the first thing we see is Morgan (12-IN): "Sophia, do you think God put us here for a reason?" Sophia (14-FL): "God, I stopped believing in God a while ago." Oh man, my head already hurts from it getting beaten over with stuff.

8:04: Wait a second, every conversation in town is about religion all of a sudden. It's almost as if someone is manipulating reality. Zach (10-FL) gives someone the finger for insulting the story of Hanukkah. It's World War III up in this barn. If only there was more understanding about the true meaning of Chanukah (making Jewish kids feel less self-conscious about not celebrating Christmas) there probably wouldn't be so much sadness in the world.

804: When the Town Council consults the Olde Timey Journale, they are told that they have to start "feeding their souls." If this is anything like the chicken slaughtering episode of a couple weeks ago, feeding their souls is going to be very messy, and Greg (15-NV) will kill something.

8:09: Divad (11-GA) says that "putting Democrats and Republicans in the room together is like putting Hindus and Christians in the same room." I don't know what that means, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't either. Unless it means that Hindus and Christians differ fundamentally about the appropriation of income taxes and the effectiveness of gun control.

8:12: Alex (9-NV) takes a survey of everyone's religious beliefs. I'm not saying this is how the Nazis got started, but this is how the Nazis got started. He finds that there are three atheists, which seems like a ton of atheists considering the median age for participants is ten. In conducting the survey, Alex also splits the Muslim branch into Shia and Sunni, which, um, no. No, he didn't. Something tells me that these kids are not entirely without adult intervention.

8:15: On second thought, they might be more alone than I'd care to admit. Almost all the kids in this episode have bruises and cuts on their faces. But no one is talking about it. It's like they're all married to the same abusive husband, and the town is made out of staircases and so many opened cupboards. It's their own fault, really, they're just so clumsy!

8:16: Morgan organizes the kids for a prayer group around a fire. It's charming, really. Zach says his prayer in Hebrew. Everyone is hugging and saying stuff to God. Suddenly I feel unmoored, with little to no spiritual connection to the people in my life. Just kidding. God is dead.

8:22: Despite last week's tearful promise to work harder to earn the town's confidence, Taylor (10-GA) reminds us that when you're upper class you don't have to do any work, you can sleep in, and have seltzer fights with 15-year-old boys. Uh oh, I hope her parents packed her Dora the Explorer duffel with a healthy supply of RU-486.

8:25: The showdown. Remember how this episode is about God? Well what better way to celebrate the importance of religion in daily life than a timed challenge involving a life-size puzzle of a church, an elaborate pulley system, and a lot of screaming?

8:27: The blue team is just crushing on this one. It is pointed out that the blue team is filled with nerds, like four-eyed Alex, and the Indian one, so they're really good at puzzles. At the end of the competition, green is back to the laborer class. Yellow is back in the kitchens. Taylor immediately says that as the cooks she's not going to do anything and if everyone starves themselves, too bad? Any self-respecting band of unsupervised children would have murdered her by now, so clearly this is all fake.

8:31: Their choice of town rewards this week is a miniature golf course or A LIBRARY OF HOLY BOOKS? Guess what, you don't need either of these things. Apparently, they have enough medical supplies.

8:32: DK (14-IL) points out that "religious books doesn't sound as fun as an evening of golfing" and that pretty much sums it up. Thousands of years of religious belief versus one night of miniature golf. Not even good miniature golf, either, just a crappy Costco set laid out on a dirt road in the middle of the desert. In what is clearly just a fa

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