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Kid Nation: Cruelty does not become them

By asoglin
Wednesday, November 14th, 2007 at 9:16 pm in Kid Nation.

anjayFrom bad, to worse. “Kid Nation” took an ugly turn Wednesday. With one flip of that ridiculous Pioneer Book, the entire town of Bonanza turned into a soap opera. And a poorly written one to boot. We got to see — over and over again — just how nasty, selfish and downright cruel these kids can be. Maybe that’s what happens when you strip them of real civilization for 28 days, leave them without parental guidance and above all, dangle a $20,000 carrot in front of them. Worst of all, the episode was To Be Continued. Yep, looks like we get another hour of this debacle next week.


Where to begin in an episode that had so few saving grace moments. The whole religious gathering and Mike‘s “awakening” to be a nicer person felt too contrived. The vacillating personalities of Greg showed us a glimpse of his soft-heart when he comforted a homesick Randi. But that one moment in no way made up for the rotten side of Greg, on display more times than I could count. He threw an immature tantrum when Blaine was plucked from his team and sent to yellow. He called names, then called out Anjay. No offense, buddy, but you can’t threaten to punch someone just because he says something you don’t want to hear. Problem is, Greg’s behavior is about what you’d expect from a cooped up 15-year-old.

We can only hope that too much time together is at the root of evil in all these kids. I’d hate to think we’ve spent all these weeks rooting for a bunch of selfish, disrespectful brats. For starters, Laurel did what every member of the Town Council should have done — she essentially told the producers to shove off with their Pioneer Book, refusing to split up or add to her green district. Unfortunately, the other three council members didn’t follow suit, so by the end of the episode, she was being called selfish by her own district. There were a lot of insults flying. When younger kids cried because they missed home, other kids mocked them behind their back. Heck, Taylor even blamed Zach for Randi’s decision to go home. Clearly, this “game” has gotten out of hand.

And don’t get me started on the reward challenge. For the second week in a row, the producers set up these kids to fail. They had to push 500 pounds of rock each or lose the reward. Excuse us for pointing out the obvious — the red and green teams clearly took as much weight as they could handle and they didn’t even reach the 500 mark. No wonder they were frustrated and hurling insults afterwards. Not that that excuses Sophia‘s bleeped-out words to Guylan, or Greg pouring salt in the wound by getting so many others to agree with her.

So, now we get to wait until next week when all four council members are forced into re-elections. Nastiness, no doubt will be back. Frankly, if I were on the council, I’d throw the election. Let someone else be in charge of this ungrateful lot.

Ann Tatko-Peterson

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No Responses to “Kid Nation: Cruelty does not become them”

  1. Ari Soglin Says:

    Ann, you are, of course, correct about Laurel being the only one with enough gall to shove the pioneer journal where it belongs. I didn’t see that last night — I did think she came across as selfish — because I’ve thrown in the towel. I’ve accepted the show for what it is: adults steering kids to situations likely to create conflict.

    I am assuming it’s all orchestrated: Laurel’s position against mixing up the districts, Mike’s apology to Nathan, Zach’s selection of Blaine to rile up Greg. I suspect that’s all scripted, not the dialogue but the decisions.

    And you know what? I laughed more last night than I have at any episode. I laughed at Emilie and her promise to pick up her game after being swapped from Red to Blue; at Greg and his immature whining; at Jared being Jared (OK, so Jared’s a hoot and deserves the laughter).

    It’s no longer reality TV for me. It’s ’70s sitcom, and I’m the canned laugh track. I’ve accepted my role. And I can’t wait for this season to end. But in the meantime, I intend to have a few chuckles.

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