By Ann Tatko-Peterson
Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 at 9:30 pm in TV.
Even at her worst, you have to love Taylor on “Kid Nation.” She refused to let the town kill her brown chickens — the pretty ones, that is. Those poor chickens she labeled ugly, well, they were fair game. “Ugly chickens deserve to die,” she explained. It was vintage Taylor. She was back causing trouble, and frankly, thank God. “Kid Nation” had become stale with Taylor on the back burner. She’s certainly a queen-sized brat prone to tempers and self-centeredness and I would never ever want her for my kid, but when it comes to reality television, she’s the only thing I find worth watching on this show.
Taylor is a real character. She ranks right up there among the best love-to-hate-’em reality TV stars. Rob from “Survivor” (and later “Amazing Race”) has nothing on this kid. She acts like a mini prima donna. She says outrageous things — take this week’s episode when she popped off about how makeup could make ugly girls look pretty but makeup wouldn’t work on the ugly chickens (or her dog). And she may be the world’s most stubborn 10-year-old, refusing to work even when the Town Council threatens to withhold the reward. I couldn’t help but smirk when the council picked the arcade over the books at the reward challenge. Taylor and her “I hate to read” attitude suddenly lost something of value. But without missing a beat, she promised, “If I ever get to go into that arcade and someone takes me out, they’re going to get backslapped and kicked real hard.”
But let’s be honest. This show hasn’t helped Taylor mature one bit. The only reason she washed dishes all day — “I’m gonna scrub them like I scrub my hair” — is because she wanted into the arcade. I don’t buy for a second that she did it for respect. Attention, maybe. And that’s where the Town Council and everyone else on the show keeps messing up. Every time Taylor throws a temper, they issue threats. She finally buckles a little and they act like she did them proud. Greg hoisting her into his arms and carrying her into the arcade was the ultimate eye-roller. That’s exactly what she wants — to be the center of attention. Which is bad for Bonanza and any kid watching the show who thinks such behavior is a means to an end, but it does make the show a lot more entertaining.