Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kid Nation - CBS - Wednesday

Cry count: 3

There has been a lot of controversy behind CBS's new show "Kid Nation" that I feel was unwarranted. It's pretty obvious that television producers are not going to leave children out in the middle of the Arizona desert without some kind of adult supervision. The children range from ages 8 to 15 ... of course there are going to be some tears, of course some kids are going to get hurt ... kids get hurt every day falling off their bikes or stubbing their toes!

The show plays out like a decent psychology experiment. Can we get forty kids to work together and run a town? And from the way that the first episode seems to pan out ... it looks like it.

Four kids were picked (by producers) to be the town counsel ... however, if other kids think that they are not doing a good job, they are able to vote new town counsel members. Also, the kids are broken up into four teams, that the town counsel picked themselves. And of course ... it wouldn't be a reality show without a cash prize. Each town meeting (which happens every few days) the town counsel has the opportunity to pick one member of the town to get a "gold star." This isn't the paper sticker that "A" students get on their test papers back when I was younger .. this star is worth it's weight in Gold, which just happens to round out to exactly $20,000. The winner of the star gets to use it towards their future (hopefully the parents are smart enough to start a college fund) as well as getting the key to the only place with a phone so that they can call their parents! Also, the kids are able to leave during any of the town meetings, if they feel that they are home sick and they do not want to stay any more. One eight year old boy left tonight, he was such a little sweet heart and claimed "I'm only eight years old, I don't think that I'm ready for this!" Everyone tried to talk him into staying but they were also supportive of his decision to leave.

The "host" hosted the first team activity which ended up putting the kids into different levels. The Upper Class, The Merchants, The Cooks, & The Workers. Each of the groups: red, blue, green, and yellow had to pump their colored water from a geyser into a bucket and then carry the bucket to a group of three bottles and fill them. Sounds easy, but they also had a map that they had to look at, had to move their geyser to their colored pump, and once the pump ran dry had to move it again. The Red team won, followed by blue, then yellow (the youngest group), and finally the green team. They all get paid for each of the jobs that they do now, a dollar for the upper class, fifty cents for the merchants, twenty-five cents for the cooks, and only a nickel for the workers. Immediately, the workers complained that they had worked so hard every day and only got a nickel for it. This definitely gives the children a look on how difficult life can really be.

Most of the kids are very smart and mature ... in fact, the kids that are the most immature are the oldest, a fifteen year old and a fourteen year old. The first night that they were picked for their groups ... they went to the other teams bunks and wrote "blue" all over the signs that claimed their color. Annoying.

Overall, this show looks like it's going to very interesting. I really enjoyed watching it. Each time one of the kids started crying, I started tearing up as well ... but I'm a big sap as it is.

Did any one else watch? What'd you guys think!?


Amanda Leigh said...

It's like Lord of the Flies/Survivor for kids? I think CBS is the saddest tv station there is. Their only good show is How I Met Your Mother.

Christy Jo said...

I'm glad you wrote about this. I've been hearing a lot about it in the news, but haven't watched it yet.

Chris said...

It was ok. Not quite what I expected. I thought it would be more independent. Instead it seemed more staged. Kind of like survivor for kids with a little frontier house thrown in. The kids like it, so we will probably keep watching it.