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Dade, August 16, 2007 in "Kid Nation" Archive
Courtesy of: REALITY TV MAGAZINE
Kid Nation Gets Religion
On the fourth episode of Kid Nation, the town journal advised the council to hold some type of religious service. The town council decided to hold one religious service for everyone and have kids representing each religion speak. Some of the kids objected to all of the religions being in one service.
Much to the disappointment of the town council, no one showed up for the religious service. Later that night, Morgan invited everyone to come and pray by the bonfire. Because of the way she approached it, many of the kids took part in the prayer service.
In the showdown, the districts completed a steeple puzzle. Once the puzzle was complete, the districts then had to turn a crank to raise the steeple up. The blue district finished first and became the upper class, the red district finished second and became the merchant class, the yellow district finished third and became the cooks, and the green district finished last and became the laborers.
Because all teams finished the showdown in the required time, the entire town won a reward choice between a miniature golf course or a library of holy books. Instead of making the choice, the town council put the decision in the hands of the town. The town voted overwhelmingly for the holy books.
Nine year old Cody got homesick for his girlfriend, so he drank a root beer and went to look at cows to get her off his mind. Even though Taylor was on the yellow district which was in charge of cooking, she sat around drinking shots and didn
Thanks Dade... I hadn't read those two...
The thing about the kids on "Kid Nation" that always gets me is just how insanely accomplished they are. You can see how the eldest one, at fifteen, would know how to do stuff from helping his dad at work during the summer. But look at Taylor. She's ten years old and she's already more accomplished than most people will ever be in their entire lives. Not only is she a beauty pageant queen, but she's totally unafraid to get dirty. And by dirty I mean she's a cold-blooded killer: CBS posted this picture of her with a deer she bagged.
She looks like she could go from "Kid Nation" to "My Side Of The Mountain" with no trouble at all. Sure mom, I'll spend a year alone in a hollow tree, taming wild hawks and gathering my own food and curing my own leather. It'll be fun!
Plus, slaughtering cute, defenseless animals will instill in her the killer instinct she needs for a future career in Hollywood. Talk about a rising star!
NOTE: The picture is pretty graphic, so I did not want to post it here... This may be why she had no problem with killing the chickens though...
The kids are on day eleven of their Kid Nation odyssey when episode three opens. I already suspect from the commercials, that CBS will probably sow more turmoil and discord by throwing some religious hurdles their way.
This week the fake Pioneer Journal will suggest that the kids deal with religious differences.
As is their way, they might suggest the most divisive methods. As is their way, the kids would probably find the best way to deal with whatever CBS suggests. Oh tell us, CBS, what will your fake Pioneer Journal next suggest, to sow more unrest and upset?
"We read the Journal again today," TC (town council) member, Laurel announces." Eyebrows are raising. But no one is praising the Pioneer Journal. I'm hoping this means they're catching on.
Taylor says "Okay, the Journal says that if we wanted, we could start up a religious service."
"And what we were thinking is to have just one religious service for everyone. And we would choose a couple people from different religions to come and speak. "Laurel says.
Sophia says nothing. She just hangs her head.
"We know this is a very touchy subject. Some people's religions are really close to them and stuff. Is anyone absolutely, positively, completely against this?" Laurel asks.
I liked this. I liked that the TC initially presented this idea as a question for the town. Some of the kids immediately booed the idea of one meeting down. Some thought that it would automatically lead to disagreements and arguments. Some argued about this vehemently.
I preferred TC member, Anjay's take on things. "We just thought it would be nice to learn about other people's religions."
"Sophia was strongly against the ceremony. She said, "I really enjoy being Jewish. But I've been having a crisis of faith lately." She also holds the Bill Maher opinion about religion. "Religion is the main thing that's splitting us up. It's starting wars, and making people kill each other."
The Town council was surprised by the initial reaction to their one meeting suggestion. They said they thought that holding one ceremony for everyone would bring everyone together, rather than split people apart.
Out of the mouth of babes. Or, in this case, nine year old Alex came this pearl of wisdom:
"There's allot of things that are central to all religions. We could just focus on these instead of focusing on the differences."
"That's why we thought it would be good to keep everyone together." Members of the TC said.
Olivia, a Christian, was strongly opposed to having everyone together in one meeting. She insisted it would just cause arguments. She was very argumentative as she made her case. "I'm a Christian, and I feel very strong in my beliefs. So I thought it was kind of pointless just to hear other people saying stuff that they thought was true, that I didn't."
Anjay asked, "What is wrong with learning about other religions? Are you so afraid of other religions that you are saying that we shouldn't care about them?"
Some of these kids just blow me away.
I wonder again at the average IQ of this outstanding group of humans. The wisdom, instincts, and humanity of this crew, is just, glittering, and often literally amazing.
"Just when I was feeling all happy about that, TC member Mike bellowed loudly, "EVERYBODY. SHUT UP!' So, here's what's going to happen. We're going to kick it off, all together as one body this afternoon. And just hold whatever service you want." Mike bellows out these rules, like they're laws, and the Town Council's their rulers.
"I think it's important for the town to have some religion." This 11 year old TC leader adds, and "Technically we make the decisions. Whether they like it or not. They're just going to have to deal with that."
"What about democracy? I'm wondering. The TC asked the town it's opinion. Then they silenced debate by shutting it down when the discussion got a little heated.
"Everyone's opinion in this town definitely matters." Twelve year old Morgan wisely points out. "I do think the TC was being a little disrespectful."
It didn't matter anyway. The TC members rang a bell, to no avail. No one showed up for their religious meeting.
Alex didn't understand why everyone was so upset in the first place. He sounds like he's 50 years older than his biological age of nine. He's articulate, well read, and fair minded. He decides to survey each person to find out who belongs to what religion. "The majority of people are Christian. A few people are Jewish. One person is Hindu. Three people are atheists. And a few other people were other."
Many of the more conservative Christians, seemed fundamentally opposed to mixing it up.
Morgan's a peace keeper though. So she didn't give up on them all coming together as a group, in prayer. She presented it in such a non- threatening, gentle, fashion, most of the town came together.
They thanked God. Said simple, sweet prayers. .Zack was even invited to pray in Hebrew, and no one exploded in flames. It was such a beautiful, gentle ceremony. Many let go of their fears. Some were touched to tears. Once again they learned that their differences give them power.
Before this week's Showdown, there was another raucous saloon scene. I think I like these scenes best. Even though it seemed as though CBS's intent was to show Taylor being a spoiled princess again. I like seeing the kids best -CBS, by finding ways to rejoice in the little bits of freedom and joy they manage to carve out of this often grueling, stressful experience.
I had an easier time watching the Showdown to determine class, and pay level, itself this week. It felt more like watching just another contest on a TV show. It felt less like watching the network trying to make the kids cross yet another dividing line.
It seemed like everyone wanted the yellow team to lose the Showdown this week. Mostly, there's an intense dislike for Taylor's domineering ways. Many were hoping that she'd finally get to see what it felt like to be a slave laborer. Even two gold star members, both green team members, feel this way.
"We just wanted to rub yellow's face in the dirt. I really, really wanted them to be laborers." 14 year old Sophia said, echoing a commonly held sentiment.
"And nobody wanted them to cook. Because when they're cooks, they don't do anything." Mild mannered Michael added.
So, most of the town screamed with joy when Kid Nation Moderator, Jonathan said that Taylor's yellow team was out of the upper class after the Showdown. "But, they are unfortunately, back in the kitchen." The kids looked forlorn about that. No one wants handfuls of hash browns again.
Taylor had this to say about being back in the kitchen. "If you all don't like our food, you can just all starve yourselves. Cause, too bad!"
"Once again the green team finished last," Michael said. "But we won the award, which felt awesome." Because they all finished in time they'd again have a choice between two rewards. Jonathan said this choice was all about "instant gratification vs. spiritual salvation. Your choices are between holy books or an A-hole-in-one. So, town council, why don't you guys take a walk? Figure it out."
That's when there's a mini revolt. Finally!
All four of the TC members make Jonathan's mouth drop when they tell him. "No. No. NO. NO!"
"We're not taking a walk." TC member Anjay says.
"Last time was a big deal, because everyone was mad."Mike said. Jonathan pales. Says, "Okay?"
"So, we're letting you decide!" Taylor shouts to the town. The crowd roars. Town council member, Laurel said latter of this decision: "When we took the microwave over the pizza, (last week's choices), people were very, very upset. I think people need to know that they're important in this town. They need to know that they're being listened to."
I was very impressed by the TC's decision to hand their decision over to the people. Because they didn't do it for selfish reasons. They didn't do it to avoid their wraith. They did it for the best possible reason. They wanted them to know that their voices count.
Frankly, I was thinking this would be their easiest decision. Of course they could make the kids feel like choosing the religious books over a miniature golf course for the town, is a decision of great import, and weight. But I was hoping they didn't wrestle too long with this.
The kids already survived the fake journal's religious battle by holding a lovingly united, non-denominational, bonfire -prayer meeting. They didn't need to choose these books to prove that they're good. I think God understands. They're kids. Kids need fun. They can pray, and worship, and learn. But it's okay to play too. I think this will be a slam dunk decision. Others don't share this opinion.
"To me these books are important." Zack says, looking at the Torah lovingly. "If you don't make the right choice, this town will fail just like it did in the 1880's."
Of course that's the very thing Big Brother and Kid Nation seems to hope that they'll think. The kids chose the holy books. I think their choice was based on fear. Fear that they'd be called bad people, or unreligious. If felt like peer pressure kept some hands down.
DK said, " Religious books doesn't sound as fun as an evening of golfing, but it's a chance to be able to grow as a person."
Then again, perhaps I'm wrong about their decision.
They approach the Holy Books, with delicious reverence. They lovingly touch the covers of some of the new, to them, foreign books.
"Have you seen the Torah?" Someone asks? "This is an Islamic Koran." "This is a book by the Dali Lama."
Zack explains that when reading in Hebrew, and Arabic, "it goes from right to left."
They discover new things. They find common ground. Genesis is the first book of both the Bible and the Torah. The kids read aloud the first words of Genesis in The Torah and The Bible. They delight in the fact that they're virtually identical.
Many of the kids seemed glad they had chosen the Holy Books. "I think it was one of the best choices we made." Zack said.
I learned some new things myself.
Some of the girls found Anjay's praying mystifying. They were fascinated, and a little frightened by the candles and the chanting. Kelsey, a sweet natured, eleven year old from my home state of Pennsylvania asked "Anjay, what is Hinduism?"
Anjay gave a quick lesson about Hinduism. "We believe in different Gods. We follow different customs."
"And do you guys have a lot of different Gods?" The girls asked.
"330 million, to be exact." Anjay replied.
"What!" Kelsey exclaimed. I added my voice to theirs in wonder.
"Just hearing that list of Gods," he adds, "is considered to be holy." He then moves his hands - through the smoke, and then smoothes them down, and about, and over his head; like I've seen American Indians do. Cool, I think. Watching as his questioners, then mimic his prayerful motions too.
Okay, in case you can't already tell, the saloons my favorite part of the Kid Nation town. After Anjay's Hindu lesson, nine year old Cody is shown in tears. He's missing home, and his girlfriend back in Ohio. So, he says, "I'm gonna go to the soda saloon. You know, drink a root beer, and get it off my mind." He says this, as he pushes the swinging saloon doors aside just like in a western movie.
"Taylor promised she would work hard, and she's not doing that at all!" Says fellow yellow team member Zack. Taylor promised the town this tearfully, during their last town meeting. They also wanted her down off of her high horse. So, she said she'd work harder. But they're not doing the jobs they're assigned to this week. They're not cooking, or cleaning.
Once again, she and her yellow team friend, nine year old Leila, are goofing off and sleeping in. But the thing that's making people madder is that Taylor doesn't seem to care at all.
Everyone's had it with Taylor, and most of her team. She really does act like a spoiled queen. I don't care if she's ten years old. Still, this is the team with Zack. He's in the kitchen trying to do what his whole team's supposed to be doing. Meanwhile, Mike, Greg, Morgan, Laurel, and others have pretty much had enough.
"This can't go on any more!" Laurel says. heading for a confrontation with Taylor in the saloon. She says " Taylor, why aren't you in the kitchen?" "Why are you sitting around drinking shots? Morgan asks. "Why do you find this funny?" Someone asks, as Taylor laughs it off.
"Because she's lazy. And she knows it. And she finds it amusing. And it's pissing everyone off! Laurel says.
I'm thinking this may be the week little Taylor gets bucked off that high horse. Unfortunately that was wishful thinking.
Taylor just laughs it off. She and her friend Leila stay put in the saloon. They don't intend to bend, or follow any rules. They just do what they want to do.
"Have a nice day!" Taylor shouts out, It feels like Taylor's won another round. She laughs as the others saunter angrily away. Then she drinks more soda shots down.
Meanwhile Zack asks the town to help in the kitchen. Zack, the ten year old's, the man. He literally chases 14 year old Blaine down the street. Grabs everyone he can to help with the dishes. His gold star continues to rise.
Laurel says during a town council meeting about who should get the next gold star, that he may be doing a better job even then yellow team leader Taylor. Taylor's sitting there at the table when she says this. I think, maybe? Dude, there's no Maybe about it! God I'm hoping they dethrone Taylor soon.
Once again three TC members propose Greg as this week's Gold Star winner. Once again Mike holds his stupid grudge over his head. It's going to really make me mad if one person repeatedly keeps this kid from winning what he deserves. Because despite the fact that Taylor again says that "he's a hard worker." And both Laurel and Anjay say, "He's always trying to work harder." Greg is not this week's winner, again.
When Jonathan's back for the weekly Town Hall meeting he asks a question about leaving. But he asks it in the most loaded, slanted way possible. "Are you all still committed to building a better Bonanza City? Or, would anybody like to go home?"
Cody's hand is up. Mouths drop.
This has become such a verboten thing. Raising your hand, and admitting your homesick enough to want to go home, is now the ultimate brave thing.
The other kids start to cry, as Cody haltingly tries to describe why his heart aches to return home, to his family.
"See, I can not handle being here any more. Because it is too hard being away from my family. The longest I've been away from home is a week. But I was still with my Grandmom. So, I wasn't away from home really at all."
Ripples of emotion erupt through out the room. Jonathan tries to crush it. This kind of thing could catch on. The most he can do is try to end it soon. He calls Cody up to the front of the room.
"Cody, do you feel relieved? I mean is this a good thing?" Jonathan asks this, like he's mystified. Like Cody's an alien being. Like he's just said he wants to go home to Mars.
"There's good reasons, and there's bad reasons for leaving. The best reason I have for going, is seeing my family. But the bad reason for me going is I'm never going to see the friends I made here, ever again."
He says this sobbing.
He says this bravely.
This kids wisdom and bravery, slays me.
Most of the kids are crying as Cody leaves saying. "I'm sorry for all the people that supported me. But I can't stay here anymore. Guys, I'm going home."
He says this like he must defend, or apologize. There aren't many dry eyes left any more. Campbell's crying so hard. He's collapsed in to Morgan's arms. "He's my best bud." Campbell sobs, through his tears.
Jonathan tries to change the subject.
"Guys, sad to see Cody leave. But we have one more piece of business that should put a smile on one of your faces. And as you know, this two pound star, is worth its weight in gold, $20,000.00."
See, to me, what Cody just expressed, was worth much more than gold.
But, back to the money shot for CBS.
I know by Anjay's description, who the gold star winner is before he says her name. "This person has worked really hard and doesn't complain about anything. And just makes everyone feel more loved and encouraged. Her name is Morgan."
Twelve year old Morgan has been on the Gold Star list almost from the beginning. She surely is worthy of a gold star.
"I didn't even think about the money. I just thought about how proud my parents will be," Morgan says about winning, and getting to speak to her parents on the phone.
See, this is what CBS doesn't get. Their feelings are so wonderful, their purity is so sweet. So much more valuable than gold .Why pollute it with their endless challenges?
The show ends with Cody's best bud, Campbell, downing soda, just like shots in the saloon. He says he aims to stick it out - for his buddy, Cody.
Next time there will be elections. I'm wondering what it'll take to dethrone Queen Taylor. I hope her time as ruler will eventually end.
On the CBS show Kid Nation, 40 kids spend 40 days rebuilding a town, pioneer style. They're faced with town meetings, separation of class, the choice to work, the choice to help others, and an opportunity to do something very few kids their age get the chance to do. Yet, the show came under heavy fire even before the premiere episode. Today, some of the parents of the participants spoke to BuddyTV. Green team member Morgan's mom, Amanda, fellow teammate Sophia's mom, Laurie, and blue team Michael's mom, Laurie, spoke out and responded to the people who think their children are overworked on a show that is fake or forced. They say their kids had the times of their lives.
From the minute the kids heard about Kid Nation, they were interested and wanted to hear more about the show. As the interview process went on, they all became enthusiastic about participating in such a unique project.
There's an old-fashioned election in the Old West town of Bonanza City tonight. And while it ain't Deadwood exactly, tonight's outing of Kid Nation features all the trappings of a traditional election, from a disillusioned electorate -- the episode is called Viva La Revolucion! -- to shameless pandering on the part of the candidates, to vandalism of election posters and signs. No cussing, though. No malevolent mining magnates or foul-tempered saloon keepers, and no dead bodies in the streets -- insofar as it's possible to tell from the promos.
Kid Nation has fallen off the radar of late, after an early wave of headlines in what turned out to be an all-too-predictable -- and short-lived -- storm of media hysteria.
The most recent ratings show Kid Nation is toiling along with 7.5 million viewers a week in the U.S., a distant third in its time period to Deal or No Deal and Pushing Daisies, and ahead of the Kelsey Grammer-Patricia Heaton sitcom Back to You.
Figures are harder to come by in Canada, in part because Kid Nation airs on the Global-owned E! network, which has fewer stations than Global, CTV and CBC, and is not available in all parts of the country. Also, Pushing Daisies airs on a different night here, and Deal or No Deal is not simulcast in Canada on Wednesdays.
Still, E! shows no signs of giving up on Kid Nation any time soon, and neither apparently is its parent network CBS: At last check, the network was casting a second edition.
Now that the dust has settled, it's as a good a time as any to step back, take a deep breath and weigh Kid Nation's pros and cons.
First, the cons. Kid Nation is a reality show, featuring kids ages 8-15 who are remaking a New Mexico town that withered and died under adult rule. They are supposed to be free of adult supervision, but of course that isn't true: There are cameras everywhere, and the town council, supposedly deposed tonight, was hand-picked by the show's producers in advance, which is the reality-TV equivalent of salting the mine.
There are pros, though. In the past four weeks, Kid Nation has proved to be inspiring, uncomfortable, uplifting and awkward by turns.
Many of the kids appear to be developing reserves of self-reliance and confidence they never knew they had. Many of the kids are showing themselves to be mentally tough, when called on, and diplomatic, when needed.
Kid Nation shows kids at their worst, yes, but also at their best. They're not infantilized, the way TV infantilizes so many kids. They're shown to be resilient, defiant in the face of great odds, and generally optimistic about their futures.
It's just too bad there are so many contrived elements designed to inject cooked-up drama into the show. Kid Nation has its moments, but serious documentarians like Michael Apted and Frederick Wiseman have nothing to worry about.
Kid Nation is a reality TV show -- nothing more, and nothing less. (8 p.m., E!, channel 11, cable 59)
Three to see
- Letitia (Jill Clayburgh) confesses to Tripp (Donald Sutherland) she's been unfaithful to him these past many years on Dirty Sexy Money, sending him off on a bender -- and a battery of paternity tests to determine if his children are really his. Romance is evidently dead, after all. (10 p.m., ABC, channel 7, cable 8) The Jon Dore Show is "the most important event in the history of television," according to no less an expert than Jon Dore. "It will change the way we all think about strippers and running obstacle courses in tight shorts." If that sounds funny to you, The Jon Dore Show might be just what you're looking for. If not, well, there's always the fifth estate. (10 p.m., Comedy Network, cable 44)
Is it me or was there really not much to get up in arms about this week on Kid Nation? No killed animals, no steer taunting, no religious rivalry, no bullying. What's this show coming to, eh?
Well, there was a smattering of bad behavior, but we're talking kids here. Some of these kids could be teensy adults, y'know. A lot of them certainly are more worldly than I was at their ages. And, the show reminded me that I should really study up on the chronological order of US Presidents. I definitely know the ones in my own lifetime, but I surely would put Taft in the wrong place.
Of course, there's nothing like a good old-fashioned food fight to start off a show! While I was surprised that they didn't show the after the mess clean-up and any accompanying bickering, it set the stage for an Olvia and Anjay showdown. No, not the show's showdown challenge. I'm talking about anti-Anjay sentiment which would play a role later in the show. Another foreshadowing of what to come was the kids brushing their teeth with what looked like Elmer's Glue and their fingers or rags. Ew.
Tonight's adult intervention in the form of a bogus journal from 1885 advised the town council leaders that there should be elections. I'm all for that due to a few reasons. The producers hand selected the current town council members. I personally think that Laurel is the only clear-cut leader of the four. Mike is too hyper and overly emotional or, as the kids would say -- emo. Anjay just isn't much of anything in the way of a leader although he seems like a smart kid. Then there's Taylor. She's adorable in the looks department and seems very smart. But spoiled and lazy leaders tend to have spoiled and lazy followers. Also, I think the kids on the town council deserve a shot at the gold star.
Since each district could only vote for change within their own districts, it wasn't a huge free for all with many throwing their hats in the ring. In the green district, the kids are thinking along the same lines as I am -- they decided they want Laurel to remain their leader. But there's unrest and dissatisfaction growing in all three remaining districts.
Since the show can only focus on a small group of the kids each week, we haven't seen much of Guylan from the red district. He wants to go up against Mike. I believe they're about the same age but Guylan doesn't seem as emotional.
He's quick to tell us he's been home-schooled and seems like yet another smart kid. I don't think they have any not smart kids on this show. Although he wants to win, he's taking an "I can take it or leave it approach." Mike is worried, very worried. As he should be, I thought.
In the yellow district, Taylor had to face her biggest critic ... Zach. She got with her little girl friends in the district and they made posters signed off with her motto -- deal with it. What is with this kid? Meanwhile, Zach would be a much more logical choice for a leader.
Olivia decided she would go up against Anjay in the blue district. Now, that's more like real politics. Who's the lesser of two evils? Or, more accurately, who's the more of the lesser? I like Olivia, but she has a smugness about her which would make it hard for me to support her. I think Anjay is more personable on the whole, though not a good leader and definitely shaken about the election.
Before they went to their town hall meeting, it was time for a showdown. The challenge was a good one for the kids, tying in with the town election. One at a time, they had to smash pi
From the Huffington Post....
Gabriel Delahaye blogs on KID NATION... "All the Presidents Kids"
8:00: Previously on Kid Nation: Remember the non-denominational religious service from last week? Apparently that taught us that "kids prefer to be asked not told." I think it actually taught us that kids prefer root beer shooters to an ungrounded tribute to God led by other kids. This week's episode is titled "Viva La Revoluci
The oppressed townspeople finally revolt, and Mike and Taylor lose their seats
Randi, dear Randi, sweet, rational Randi: As the lone female vote for Zach, you showed the strength and courage the rest of the girls in your district did not. You chose change
Soon to be bye bye Kid Nation....
ABC was first for the night among viewers 18-49 with a 3.7 average overnight rating and a 10 share. CBS was second at 3.5/9, NBC third at 3.1/8, Fox fourth at 2.8/8, the CW fifth at 1.9/5 and Univision sixth at 1.6/4.
At 8 p.m. ABC led with a 3.6 for
Raise your hand if you loved watching the town council find out there were going to be elections. Raise your hand if you thought Anjay and Olivia were going to rumble. Now raise your hand if you believe Zach has a future in politics. Same here.
One thing I was surprised about was that nobody on the Green team wanted to run against Laurel in the district elections. Yes, she's been doing a good job, but I figured at least one of them would want her leadership position.
How did you like the presidential-themed competition? It was funny watching them smashing the pinatas (especially little Alex and Mallory) and then even funnier watching the district leaders try to put their presidents in order. How fitting was it that Taylor knew nothing at all about the presidents and Zach had to tell her what order they went in? I was giggling like a little schoolgirl at that. But hey, you have to give them their due. The Yellow team won and became upper class again while Green came in second and became the merchants.
With five minutes left to win the reward (the teams were given 30 minutes), the Blue and Red teams were still working feverishly to even get their president cards. Finally, the Red team got theirs and finished in third place to become the cooks. With 15 seconds remaining, Anjay (the Blue team's leader) finished placing their presidential cards in order so that all of Bonanza City could win a reward.
Now this is where I knew for sure that the town council was crazy. They could have chosen between a BBQ feast (ribs, chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs) and dental health products (toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss). Honestly, how would you have chosen if you had been there? I would have chosen BBQ and that's what the kids wanted, but noooo... They chose dental health. That wasn't a popular decision to make during election time.
After the competition, Zach went to Taylor to get paid and Taylor not so politely informs Zach that she has all of the girls' votes so she's going to win. Then the Taylor crew made up posters with Taylor's cute little slogan "Deal with it" on them. While I don't condone destruction of property, I certainly laughed out loud when Markelle (who's not even on the Yellow team) tore her posters down and began jumping up and down on them with his pogo stick.
At the town hall meeting, the grownup didn't even ask if anybody wanted to go home. He started them right off with awarding the Gold Star. It had been between Greg and Zach earlier when they got together, so it's time to find out whom they settled on. Greg finally got the Gold Star! He tells them all that it means so much to him because now he'll be able to go to college.
Now it's time for the election to be held. Laurel automatically keeps her Green team's council seat because nobody ran against her. Guylan ran against Mike on the Red team; Olivia ran against Anjay on the Blue team; and Zach ran against Taylor on the Yellow team.
The grownup reading the votes made me think of Survivor. Anybody else? In the end, Anjay won and kept his Blue team's seat. Guylan won the Red's teams seat almost unanimously. Mike was the only one that voted for Mike. Teehee. The Yellow team? Zach found a traitor in one of the girls and won the Yellow's seat on the town council. "Vivia la Revolucion!" Taylor was quite nice about the whole thing though. At least, she was much nicer about it than I thought she would have been. Greg then made his phone call to his mother and older sister (?) and they're thrilled for him of course.
Next week on Kid Nation, there seems to be some sort of environmental crisis and new leaders and old leaders get into it. Did I see Taylor kick Anjay? Whoa. Stay tuned!
CW's "America's Next Top Model" (2.5/7 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) and CBS' "Kid Nation" (2.4/7 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall) were neck and neck. This repped an upturn for "Kid Nation," which had seen declines the last three weeks
Sorry Kevin, but it's not going anywhere.
Thank you JF... I don't think it's going anywhere either... Not with them already casting the next one... Who knows it might just take a while to catch on and before you know it, it might just be another BB or Survivor... Can't ever tell...
They don't get it Kevin, but I do. And they don't come any dumber than me.
Maybe I'm dumb too, I just read what the New York Times and CBS President Les Moonves says......
Disappointment doesn't usually lead to a series being renewed and usually leads to cancellation....
That's funny, because he also said this in the same article:
“I would say that a few analysts are missing an important part of our story,” Mr. Moonves said. “I’m not concerned about the state of CBS. I’m a bit concerned about the state of network television generally. But I think it’s idiotic to draw conclusions too early. I’ve been in television for 27 years. I know you can’t read the tea leaves in a couple of weeks.”
“Everybody has underestimated CBS from Day 1, and they’re still underestimating us,” he said. “Everybody wants to write us off, but we’re doing fine.”
Kid Nation is still doing more than 7 million viewers a week consistently. There are a lot of shows on that get less than that that come back every year. They will show this whole season. They might move it to another night though.
Kid Nation Election Turns Ugly
On the fifth episode of Kid Nation, the town journal advised the town council to hold district elections. The kids in town all applauded when given the news that there would be elections. The green district decided that they were happy with Laurel and that no one would run against her.
In the red district, Guylan ran against Mike. In the blue district, Olivia ran against Anjay. In the yellow district, Zach ran against Taylor. At the showdown, the districts had to bust open pinatas in hopes of finding pictures of U.S. Presidents. After the districts collected seven Presidents, they had to put them in the correct historical order. The yellow district finished first and became the upper class, the green district finished second and became the merchants, the red district finished third and became the cooks, and the blue district finished last and became the laborers.
Because all teams finished the showdown in the required time, the entire town won a reward choice between a barbeque and toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss. Even though several kids in the town wanted the barbeque, the town council decided to go with the dental health products.
After Taylor and her supporters put up some posters, Markelle ripped one down and jumped up and down on it with a pogo stick. Leila got upset because she had made the poster, and Greg helped console her. At the town hall meeting, the town council awarded the gold star to Greg. Greg said
Thank you Dade for taking up my slack while I was away...
CBS canceled Viva Laughlin, and put Amazing Race in it's time slot. Kid Nation still safe.
CBS is sure quick to pull the trigger on some shows. Last year they canned 3lbs almost as quickly. I think it made it to episode #3.
Previously on Kid Nation: elections were held for the Town Council, and while Laurel and Anjay retained their positions, Mike and Taylor were replaced by Guylan and Zach. Greg finally won a Gold Star.
Tonight's Kid Nation should be interesting. How will the new Town Council be different from the old one? How will Mike and especially Taylor react to no longer being in power? Who will win the Gold Star, seeing as how all the major players who deserve one already have one? And why, oh why, didn't we get to see more of Jared last week?
Laurel lays down the law to the new Town Council members about waking up early. Zach and Guylan have plenty of ideas, like any new idealistic leaders. Taylor has no intention of taking this quietly, yelling at Zach and trying to make his life miserable. Taylor does the hilarious "my butt" comeback, and it leaves Zach speechless. Meanwhile, the kids are noticing a huge trash pile-up in an alley that is becoming a serious problem. Sorry Kid Nation, there may be many fascinating facets in creating a new society, but sanitation maintenance is not one of them. What's next week, zoning regulations? Infrastructure subsidies?
Zach is excited to read the Magic Journal. They're told to clean out the garbage. Anjay wants to blow it up with gun powder, which is an awesome idea. Zach suggests taking it far away and burying it. They each pick members of their districts to help out, and Greg and Blaine are, of course, enlisted to do the physical labor. DK, Mike, Sophia and Meg are also chosen, and for some reason, they also force beauty queens Taylor and Leila to help out. Those two don't want to, so Laurel tells them to "Deal with it!" They don't, instead choosing to run away and sit down. Laurel accepts this, and goes off to do the work, promising a punishment later on.
In Jared Land, the philosopher moppet is wearing a great tie-dyed shirt and laments the problems caused by man's pollution of the environment, and he questions what his generation can do.
At the garbage dig, they give Guylan a chance, but he's not so good at using the shovel. Greg gets impatient and goes in, because he can. How do you like them apples, Greg-haters? He won a Gold Star and is STILL helping. Anjay is kind of an obnoxious twit the whole time, and it seems his confidence was boosted from defeating Olivia in the election. Leila, scared of the looming punishment, comes to help, but Taylor still refuses. Taylor's punishment is to haul water and fill up the empty tank. So for refusing to do physical labor, her punishment is different physical labor? Not the most well thought-out punishment. Taylor starts to carry two buckets of water, then drops them, kicks them over, and says, "Oops, my bad" before leaving. That was...totally expected.
The Town Council confront Taylor in her bunk, and block off every door as she tries to escape. She threatens to kick Anjay, and when Laurel finally lets her walk it off, Taylor promises to go home. With the water tank empty, DK rallies the troops to work together. Gee, I wonder who will win this week's Gold Star. Mike, now a "civilian" as Sophia calls him, has to start over, and he begins by learning how to peel some potatoes. In preparation for the challenge, Guylan admits to being a terrible speaker, so he lets DK pump up the troops.
Kid Nation Showdown! A giant frying pan contains tons of beans, and live pigs. Zach snarks that it's not kosher, which makes me like him even more. They must retrieve as many of their colored cans from the pan in 15 minutes, and the reward is if the four teams combine for 75 cans. During the showdown, Guylan, I believe, says that he lived at a zoo, so he's been around pigs before. There are many questions I have stemming from that statement, the biggest one being: what zoo has pigs? The red district shines, while Anjay is pretty terrible. Zach takes a distinct pleasure in watching Taylor wade through the beans. To make up for his slow blue teammates, Greg does a header straight into the pan. I say he deserves a second Gold Star, just because he's working just as hard after his win.
The blue team got 17 cans. The red team got 24 cans. The yellow team got 19 cans. The green team got 20 cans. They win the reward, and somehow, Taylor is on cook duty again. The nerdy blue team gets the labor class, because even though Greg and Blaine rule, their brute force is tempered by a bunch of weaker kids.
The reward choice: fruits and vegetables vs. two gas-powered dune buggies. Taylor wants the dune buggies, which is odd because when she was on the Town Council, she routinely took joy in crushing the hopes and desires of the town by going for the sensible choice, like dental care over a barbecue. They wisely pick fruits and vegetables, and Taylor vows to hate Zach for the rest of her life. Yeah, I'm sure he'll be losing sleep over that one. Parents around the country rejoice to see kids actually happy to be eating their fruits and vegetables.
As cooks, Taylor is offended when Zach puts her in charge of washing dishes. If I remember correctly, she previously said that the boys could do the cooking and wake up early, while Taylor and the girls would do the dishes. Zach says Taylor and her follower, Lelia, will never win a Gold Star, and Laurel compliments him on that move.
Emilie and some other kid (I think it's Brett) are horsing around with a water fight, and he trips and hurts himself, DK yells at these kids to stop acting like idiots and contribute something to the society. Tha night, he begins to question why he's here instead of back home with his loving family.
Kid Nation Town Hall Meeting! Beforehand at the Gold Star deliberation, DK is the only choice, and they think he needs it. There's something fishy about the editors making it look so obvious. Taylor is glad to be off the council so now she can just do work like a normal kid. Everyone laughs, and they get her to admit she doesn't do any work. The town gangs up on Taylor, and it's the most frustrating screaming match ever because she will never change no matter how many times she vows to "try." DK orders them to hush, so he tells them not to be so mean to her. When the host asks if anyone wants to go home, DK raises his hand. Now that's a twist worthy of M. Night Shyamalan.
The kids all try to convince DK to change his mind, so Guylan takes him aside and gets him to stay. Well, now the Gold Star is going to look like a bribe for him to stay. What kind of message is it if the Gold Star goes to someone who wanted to be a quitter? He promises the $20,000 will help his six brothers and sisters get an education. In the phone call, his mom is 17 kinds of awesome, doubting him because her son is a joker, then saying he's already a "star" in her eyes. I'd love to see a documentary about the parents of these kids.
Next week on Kid Nation: the kids hunt for treasure in a cave filled with bats. I wonder if Bonanza City has a rabies vaccine.
LiveBlogging "Kid Nation": Save a Polar Bear, Ride an Eskimo
Posted October 25, 2007 | 12:04 PM (EST)
8:00: This week's episode is titled "Bonanza Is Disgusting". I agree. But while the title is talking about the garbage, I am talking about the children. AKA, the human garbage.
8:01: Recently deposed Town Council member Taylor (10-GA) claims she is putting pressure on Zach (10-FL) in retaliation for all of the pressure he put on her. It is a fair trade. When Taylor was on the town council, Zach asked her to please do her job and not spend all day in bed. Now that Zach is on the Town Council, Taylor puts that same kind of pressure on him by screaming in his face and spending all day in bed. Don't dish it out if you can't take it, Zach.
8:07: I'm not sure how many more times (how many episodes are left?) I can stress the ridiculousness of the "pioneer journal" but they really take things to a whole new level this week when the journal says "April 17, 1885: If you're reading this, you've been living in Bonanza City for over two weeks. You've got new leaders, new jobs, and a whole new set of problems." Apparently, Bonanza City was formerly called Hill Valley and it was settled by Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown.
8:09 The problem, of course, is garbage, which is so yucky, you guys. Garbage, pee-yew. The Town Council decides to take the garbage outside of town and bury it (after which they will "come back and rejoice," says Zach, the 85-year-old confirmed bachelor.) The kids assigned to the task are the older, stronger, more responsible kids, and also Taylor.
8:10: When they show a shot of the garbage pit, right on top of everything there is a two-pane window in a wooden frame. Obviously, it didn't go with the porcelain Edwardian roll top bath Taylor had installed in her private spa. WHAT IS THAT WINDOW? When kids are left in a ghost town for forty days by themselves, they don't get Lord of the Flies, they get Christopher Lowell.
8:11: Instead of helping with the garbage, Taylor and Leila (NC-9) literally run away. They hide in a shed and cry. Their argument is that they are beauty queens and beauty queens do not shovel garbage into a cart and haul it out into the desert and bury it. Fair point. The only possible counter argument is that NO ONE shovels garbage into a cart and hauls it out into the desert and buries it. Taylor and Leila are informed that because they did not do the work assigned to them, they will be punished.
8:12: Now that Guylan (11-MA) is on the Town Council, he talks a lot about how he's going to do his best to be a leader and clean up the town. If doing his best at being a leader and cleaning up the town is anything like doing his best at being a long-haired mildly-androgynous home-schooled nerd who wears a bandana over a knit cap all the time, I don't think he has anything to worry about. But when it comes to doing his best at digging a hole, his 11-year-old arms are ineffective at diging the trash hole, Greg (15-NV, go TEAM GREG), in an interview, says "Guylan just kind of sucks." Well put, Greg. Very incisive.
8:15: At the last minute, fearing her punishment, Leila attempts to help with the hole digging, so Taylor faces punishment alone. "They're just, like, dictators." Wrong. Were they like dictators, sweet, darling Taylor, you would have been unceremoniously beheaded and buried with the garbage. Taylor's punishment is to haul water, which she also refuses to do. Note to Taylor's parents: good job, please have more kids.
8:22: Former Town Council member Mike (11-WA) is in the kitchens struggling to figure out how to use a potato peeler. It's hard being a civilian. Mike says, "It was almost like I was starting over." But actually, if you don't know how to use a potato peeler by the time you're 11, you're not really "starting over," you're just kind of "starting for the first time."
8:23: Showdown Time. I wonder what Jonathan Karsh does all week. I mean, how many times can you pluck your eyebrows and say "Pioneers, it's showdown time" into the mirror? There is a giant "frying pan" which is actually just a round pig pen full of 1600 gallons of "pork" and baked beans. The kids have to find colored cans and...forget it, Jake, it's Double Dare.
8:26: This Showdown has some of the most intensely bizarre moments of any Showdown so far. Like, when Laurel (12-MA) emerges from the pig pen covered in baked beans, Jonathan Karsh says "Nice one, Laurel." Nice one, what, Jonathan Karsh? You are a creep, dude. Other notable moments are when Olivia (12-IN) continues to refiner her impression of a childless cat lady by peevishly complaining about Anjay's (12-TX) inability to find a colored can and says, "Jeez you would think the guy wouldn't take 10 minutes to find one can" with all of the self-satisfied impotence of a middle aged secretary who would kill herself if her many, many cats didn't rely on her to feed them. This is topped only by Anjay's response: "I don't have the muscle strength because my bones are still forming." Whoops, my heart just broke for that nerd.
8:32: Red district gets upper class, Green gets merchant class, Yellow goes back to the kitchens, and Blue are the laborers. But more importantly, what is the reward? Well, as Jonathan Karsh points out, "today we've been talking a lot about pollution, and that's what these choices are about." The Town Council can pick either fresh fruit and vegetables, or dune buggies with all the gas you need to keep them running. That's not really a decision between Mother Earth and fossil fuels as it is between scurvy and head injuries.
8:40: When the work is divvied up, Taylor and Leila are assigned to wash dishes, but they decide to make fruit salad instead. This is actually kind of awesome, because when Zach calls them lazy it allows them to make the classic "would a lazy person make fruit salad?" argument. Zach says he will never pay her and she can forget about the gold star, "FOREVER!" Careful, Zach. You should really consult Human Resources before making those kinds of statements. I'm just saying, I'd hate to see the Town Council get slapped with a costly unrightful termination suit.
8:41: DK (14-IL) breaks up a fight. Earlier he organized a team effort to refill the cistern. Everyone in interviews keeps talking about how great DK is. The guy has gold star written all over him. Two seconds later the Town Council unanimously agrees the only man for the gold star is DK.
8:44: Town Hall Meeting. Within moments, everyone is screaming at Taylor for being, well, for being Taylor. D "The Golden Child" K finally settles things by reminding everyone that they need to focus on themselves and not be so mean. What DK is doing here is maturely defusing tension in the group. Taylor, of course, says "Yeah, you need to stop with the criticism," totally missing the point. But the only way Taylor wouldn't miss the point is if it were dipped in gold and wearing a Swarovski-crystal-encrusted tiara, so no surprise there.
8:50: DRAMA: D "Gold Star Shoe-in" K wants to go home to "be with people he can deal with without all this drama." Adults, basically. Everyone is crying, seriously, everyone. It's getting very Dead Poets Society in here, but without the poetry, or education. And I don't think there were any black kids in Dead Poets Society. And no one actually likes Robin Williams. This is nothing like Dead Poets Society, sorry.
8:52: Guylan takes DK outside and explains that he can't leave. That was easy. DK handily wins the gold star, and explains that he has six brothers and sisters at home and he wants to see them all go to college. 20k split seven ways doesn't actually provide much in the way of tuition, but I'm on board, you guys. I still don't believe that kids can "build a better society," but I would definitely live in a society where people were as co-dependent as DK. You can take advantage of their desperate need to be loved and needed so easily, it's awesome.
8:53: DK calls his mom. I swear he says "I am feeling on top of a building." That can't be what he says. His mom says, "What's going on, 20,000 dollar man?" The whole family is there and everyone takes turns passing around the phone. Love it. Love these guys. They win. If you're reading this, I'm sorry, your family sucks. Unless you are DK, whose family is the only true family. So strong. Give it up for DK, you guys.
Next Week: The Town Council goes into an abandoned mine in search of Chester Copperpot, and the rest of the kids learn that "money changes everything." Can someone say "Ye Free Markete Lemonade Stande Economie."
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