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KID NATION: Wish I’d been one of the kids

By asoglin
Wednesday, December 12th, 2007 at 9:00 pm in Kid Nation.

For the kids on the show, I suspect that Kid Nation was an amazing experience with great bonding and growth. “It’s going to be really emotional for them,” my 10-year-old just said. She gets it.

But for us adults watching, it was a disappointment because it was so contrived. Yeah, if you google that word, you’ll probably find this blog. Sorry if I sound like a broken record on that point, but it was inescapable week after week.

And the gold stars were a disaster, making us question everyone’s motives.

Since the council had to award three final gold stars, I have no problem with the merits of Sophia and Morgan. If Migle deserved it, well, it must be for her actions off camera. The council members spoke highly of her, so perhaps her best moments never aired.

As for Sophia, for one kid to get so much more cash than everyone else is just wrong. Most of those kids, who will go home with wonderful memories, will never forget that moment.

– Ari Soglin

8:54 Huge gold stars, surprising winners?

No surprise, here. Sophia wins the $50,000 star. She wasn’t one of my favorite people, but she was the hardest worker from day one. Morgan, however, was shocking. I think even she was stunned. And that just makes it all the better. Migle was the real head-shaker. Just goes to show, we mustn’t have seen a lot that want on. I hardly know who she even is. But her reaction was worth watching.

The real surprise in all this was Greg snowballing Morgan’s dad. Wait until he sees all the episodes air. Then, let’s see what he really thinks. — Ann Tatko-Peterson

8:47 Reunion with the parents
Gotta agree that the reunion of the parents and kids has been one of the better segments of the entire season.

Favorite moments:

One boy asks, “Did you bring underwear and socks?”

Stunned looking faces, mouths agape as they see the living conditions and chicken feet.

Now, it’ll get ugly as they get to award $150k. They’re all sucking up to try to get it.

– Ari Soglin

8:43 Ah, look who’s come to town

Well, I called that one. The parents are the surprise guests. And I guess I’m a sap. It’s cool to see these kids finally get to be kids. It’s the most genuine moment we’ve had on this entire show. It’s hilarious, too. “City slickers” one kid quips as her mom uses the outhouse. Priceless. Finally, I’m liking this show. — Ann Tatko-Peterson

8:40 Artificial stupidity
Wouldn’t it have been great if these kids could have learned something during the picnic preparation:

Instead of making picnic tables from prefabricated wood with pre-drilled holes, they should have used raw materials and really learned something. The adults made it a competition against the clock for no good reason.

– Ari Soglin

8:35 Party, then fight for the cash

I bet a few folks were wishing they hadn’t elected Greg. He gets to decide who gets the big bucks. Oh, that won’t sit well with a few people. I’ll say this, though, it’s fun to watch these kids hustle like they’ve never hustled so they have a shot at $50,000 times three. Loved Zach’s “Thank goodness Taylor got us the microwave.” I’ll laugh myself silly if Taylor wins $50,000. That would be like hell freezing over. — Ann Tatko-Peterson

8:31 So much for letting the kids run the town

Now we’ve got three $50k stars. Things could really get ugly now. I can see Zach pouting because he got the 20k star instead of the big bucks.

It’s going to be all about the money the rest of the way. It’s the worst thing they’ve done yet to this show. I’m not looking forward to the final half hour.

– Ari Soglin

8:27 Last day meltdown

Yeah, Taylor is at it again. They’ve made the chickens their roommates. But wow, Yellow District turning on Emilie is wrong. Guess Taylor is leader of the brat pack. Almost got a final day fistfight. These kids are watching too much Big Brother. – Ann Tatko-Peterson

8:24 “Last” gold star
It goes to Zach. I’m OK with that, but think his look of surprise was faked. (Call me “Greg.”)

More evidence that the gold star’s monetary value has tainted the process: DK’s tears and reluctance to decide who gets the gold star may stem from the 20k that’s at stake. If he were simply deciding who should be acknowledged for their hard work, would it be such a stressful moment?

Gotta like Mike saying others deserve it more. I woulda given it to him. I don’t like seeing Laurel suggesting her fellow Green District member deserves a second star. 

– Ari Soglin

 8:20 Slow down, you’ve got 45 more minutes

Let’s all catch a breath. Fire. Anarchy. Clean-up. And now a gold star that has to be awarded in mere minutes. Seems like the producers are trying to pack a lot into a short amount of time. And that’s not necessarily a good thing. Of course, it sure beats the predictability that has plaqued this show throughout.

But if they give Sophia another gold star, I’m going to scream. Yeah, she works but she’s also a power-hungry, bossy kid who’s getting on my nerves. There are a whole lot of kids who’ve done a lot — just not as loudly — who deserve a shot. — Ann Tatko-Peterson

8:16 Anarchy, yes!
Free candy. Kids acting like kids. Let’s see how they deal with it.

Zach is upset and says, “We were building a city.” He’s wrong. The kids weren’t building anything. They were being steered toward different scenarios. Now, in this episode, maybe, they’ll get to build something.

– Ari Soglin

8:12 Burn it, baby 

Finally, the Pioneer Book is gone. Glad to see that one go up in smoke. The job board on fire, now that was a little too over the top.

Oh, and now look, uncivil rest in Bonanza. We’re finally seeing kids at their worst. Raiding the candy jars, acting like idiots. This show is really going to the maniacs now. So much for the kids “learning” in this little reality TV experiment. — Ann Tatko-Peterson

8:08 Stuff I wonder 
Will Mallory slam Anjay or hug him? Will Anjay have a breakdown?

Will Taylor say “Deal with it” one last time?

Will they kill more chickens?

Will Jared again send me to the dictionary? 

8:00 Here we go, season finale starts now 

Boy, CBS really threw us a ton of melodrama (recap) and hyped up the ending. Kind of hate when networks do that. The show rarely lives up to the billing. I’m with my cohort. Give me one last Taylor fix, and a little Greg thrown in for good measure. I really love how the show keeps telling us to get ready for surprises. Hmmm, let me guess. Will the parents be showing up to claim the kids they abandoned to reality television for 40 days? — Ann Tatko-Peterson

7:45 Doesn’t feel like the Super Bowl

The end is at hand. The last episode of Kid Nation. And it feels more like the last game of the season for the Oakland Raiders than a playoff or Super Bowl game.

There’s little at stake. Right now, I just want to see the tearful good-byes. One last Taylor rant. One last inappropriate comment from Greg. One final poignant remark from Michael.

But we do have this to look forward to: Live blogging during the show. We’ll be chirping away tonight. Join in and post your comments.

T-15. The tension is just palpable, isn’t it?!

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No Responses to “KID NATION: Wish I’d been one of the kids”

  1. Ari Soglin Says:

    The job board fire has got to have been set by the adults. That or spontaneous combustion.

  2. Ari Soglin Says:

    Wow, anarchy! I wish they’d done this weeks ago.

  3. Ann Tatko-Peterson Says:

    Michael is the only consistent voice of reason on this show. His parents should be proud.

  4. Ann Tatko-Peterson Says:

    Finally, Zach gets his due. It’s nice to see Greg do the right thing. He may have lobbied for it, but he deserved it.

  5. Ari Soglin Says:

    I’m fantasizing that Jonathan is getting muzzled.

  6. Ann Tatko-Peterson Says:

    This is the perfect way for CBS producers to save on their clean-up bill. Oh, here’s an idea, let’s make those underpaid kids bust their butts for one more day.

  7. Ann Tatko-Peterson Says:

    You know Sophia is getting one of those $50,000 stars. I’d be willing to bet my savings on it.

  8. Barbara Monroe Says:

    A few points on an enjoyable show. It showed a bit of how life is like when city meets the rough life.

    I thought the scene of the chore board ablaze was a setup. That was staged all the way down to the ladder set in front so Mike wouldn’t get too close and how convenient that the cameraman was there just as Mike was strolling down the lane.

    I guess no one thought of the option of splitting the 150K between all those who managed to last the 40 days in this highly staged event.

    I do wish this had been a 2 hour event where the parents were shown some of the main scenes of the 40 days and how their little ones acted away from home.

    As in real life those who make the most noise get the most action. There were many kids who worked hard consistently, but reaped no rewards…

    Did you see all the shots of Hunter…not one smile. Wonder what his problem was. Maybe sitting back watching all those who blew hard and worked little walk away with 20-50K. He’ll be the better man in the end. Go Hunter.

  9. Ari Soglin Says:

    Several good points, Barbara. I really like the idea of seeing the parents’ reaction to the events of the past 40 days. And I’d have been all for a two-hour finale if the producers could have just gotten out of the way and let us see the kids being themselves. Hmm, I wonder if any of them did suggest splitting the 150k among the entire group.

  10. Cassandra Says:

    The beginning did seem rushed. I have really enjoyed the show though. My son has enjoyed and keeps saying he wants to be in it if there is a second show. Sure there are pitfalls and things that coulda, shoulda, woulda, but all in all, not bad to watch.
    My fave was when moms and dads showed up. I’m a softie and cried like a baby. :)….
    If there is another show, I would probably watch it.

  11. Cassandra Says:

    the chore board was a setup and hostie Jonathan (was that his name?) even said it was no accident. And I thought it would have been a GREAT idea to split the $150k among all the kids. I think everyone deserved a slice of the pie for even showing up. good point!

  12. Lynne Says:

    An interesting show, and I did enjoy it – a nice change, but I can’t see it as a continuing reality show. I think once was enough. I do hope the parents get to see lots of the video – some of them should be very proud of their kids, and Taylors parents should take a good hard look at how they are reinforcing her absolutely appalling behaviours!

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