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Kid Nation: Starved for Entertainment

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 7th 2007 11:32PM
Jared, my favorite kid on Kid Nation(S01E08) The kids on Kid Nation are starved for entertainment as we might all be soon. I'm already starved for it during the late night hours.

But tonight was a fun night for the most part on the show. My main little man Jared was featured fairly prominently throughout the episode, the kids had some fun, and I even had a few snickers as I watched.

I'd still like to have been a fly on the wall and witnessed how they get the kids on the topic of the journal entry each week separate from the town council leaders visiting the Shack of the Journal. I guess we might never know.

This week the kids, bored to death and instigated by Sophia, all decided to just lay themselves down in the middle of town. Heaven knows I've had plenty of days I've felt like doing that myself only I have a fear of being run over by cars. Or, worse yet, tractor trailer trucks. Or fire engines. But they have no motor vehicles in Bonanza City, at least not ones they tell us about. So I guess it was safe enough. They weren't really playing in traffic.

Lo and behold, the kids are bored and the ever-omniscient Journal from the original town settlers dated 1855 suggested a talent show to the town council members. Once again, we marvel at how those journal writers knew what would fit in so well with the kids more than a century and a half before the kids came to town! It's a miracle, I tell you!

Yes, the kids loved the idea and it looked like most of the town signed up to do one act or another. Jared decided he would perform a Shakespeare monologue. Now, I've studied the classics with a focus on Shakespeare at one point. But at the age of eleven, I was more interested in sneaking my mother's copy of Valley of the Dolls. What a neat and intelligent little guy Jared is, isn't he? Greg also did a Shakespeare routine, but his wasn't routine at all.

Mallory's sister Olivia decided she'd perform a stand-up comedy act. At first I thought it an odd choice, but then remembered that Olivia actually has a sardonic dry sort of wit about her. Poor Anjay didn't know what a stand-up comedy routine is, but it sounded scary to him.

Kid Nation kids, of courseBut before the talent show would happen, the kids had to go through another showdown to decide what district is in what class standing for the next week.

Greg had threatened that he and Blaine would throw a showdown just to get the girls in their district working. Although they were upper class this past week, Greg's really gotten his act together and has been helping others out even though he no longer is after a gold star.

However, when it came to the actual showdown, that didn't happen. Greg and Blaine worked as hard to win as they could. The competition itself was nasty and I'd think a bit unhealthy, too. The town council leaders gave their kids quarters which were used to buy bubblegum in primary colors. Those kids then chewed the gum as quickly as they could and handed it off to the town council leaders who in turn stuck the gum on a gum color-by-number "painting."

Ew. I noticed no one wore gloves. Not that I'm a real mother hen or anything, but I feel the show should have issued the kids rubber gloves for this showdown. At least the Green District finally won a showdown -- their first win ever and they'll get to be the upper class. Blue will be merchants, Red will be the cooks, and Yellow is down to laborers (poor Taylor). For the first time, the kids didn't complete the challenge in time to win reward. It also seemed like not the best reward yet, either. They could paint the town (shades of Tom Sawyer, I say) or have a disco party. But they get neither.

Who cares? They have a talent show ahead of them! But before that, we hear another sad story of homesickness and the show's spotlight shines on a few of the kids we've barely noticed before -- Savannah and Kennedy. They're both from Kentucky, and Savannah is trying to decide whether she wants to go home. Alex and Kennedy both try to console her, but will it work?

Image of a kid in costume in Kid NationKennedy decided to do her talent show routine in an effort to cheer up Savannah. Donning a pink feather boa and a bird mask, she sang a rap song of her own creation, danced, and generally made a fool of herself. But in a good way, of course. The kids loved her act.

Olivia's comedy routine was a bit like I predicted -- rather sardonic and poking fun at herself and others. The kids liked her act much better than I did, but maybe you had to be there. Or, maybe you have to be twelve years-old and sucking down root beer shots to appreciate it.

Jared's Shakespeare monologue went off without a hitch despite his pre-show panicking. After he finished, he declared to us "I wasn't the worst." I hope we'll see him get a gold star on the show someday. He's not the hardest worker, he may not be the most popular kid in town although he's certainly well-liked. He should get the star for being MVP for the viewers or something.

One girl, Kelsy I believe was her name, played the piano so well that Guylan thought Chopin came back from the dead. Again ... what exactly is with these kids? When I was eleven, I don't think I knew Chopin had anything to do with the piano. You could have asked me the top forty and I could've rattled right down the list, but classical music? I don't think I had any interest in that until at least my teenage years.

Greg, Blaine in drag, and Markell on Kid NationAh, but Greg and Blaine had their Shakespeare routine down pat. I don't think we could call their Romeo and Juliet act quite true to the classic. After all, I don't remember Romeo dressed in cowboy garb.

But, darn it all, Blaine in drag as Juliet was absolutely priceless! He handled his role with such expertise that he could gain employment easily if Pink Flamingos had a tour. Who woulda thunk it coming from the Greg and Blaine camp?

Not me, but they made me laugh.

Once again, the town council asked for input from all of the kids to help them make their decision regarding the recipient of the gold star. Although Divad once again thought she herself deserved it, most of the kids named either Olivia or Kennedy. I automatically assumed that the winner would be Kennedy because she was spotlighted so much in the episode.

So I wasn't surprised when she won it. I like the kid. As a person who has not been one of the cool kids and possessing my own rather weird persona, kudos for her recognizing and accepting herself for who she is at such a young age.

What did surprise me during the town council meeting was Laurel's singing. Wow. She's better than half of the contestants on American Idol. She sang an acapella version of "Amazing Grace" which absolutely floored me.

A few random bits before I go:
  • I caught Taylor following the camera at one point tonight as it panned the room.
  • I wonder what the time difference is between events on the show and the confessional segments from individuals. On the show for the main episode doings, the kids are wearing jackets and it's obviously cold. In the confessional segments, the kids are dressed for and shown outside in much warmer weather.
  • Greg's chin scrape (or whatever) changes size too much. It's an indicator of very choppy and out of sequence editing.
  • There was a very young kid with a blue faux-hawk shown several times tonight. Where did he come from? I never noticed him before.
  • It looks like Divad wants to pull a Carrie on the town. Uh-oh.
Who showed the best talent?
Jared46 (12.3%)
Olivia19 (5.1%)
Laurel150 (40.1%)
Kelsy32 (8.6%)
Blaine and Greg107 (28.6%)
Kennedy10 (2.7%)
Other - tell us in comments10 (2.7%)

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Oh, P.S.

I think that the show should have given the kids gold stickers and a phone call home to begin with and given them the real gold stars at the end of the season. This way we could have seen a more honest depiction of who was really helping and had a good attitude, instead of who just really wants the money. It would also have been interesting to hear phone calls to home that didn't mainly revolve around the money.

November 12 2007 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm actually getting a little bored with the show already. I DVR the episodes and the last two shows I have fast forwarded through some of the filler. I too was impressed with Laurel's singing and she does seem like a sweet kid. I think that Greg should have been asked to leave. I don't care if sometimes he's nice and works hard, his language and bullying attitude need to go. I can't stand that he got a gold star, though I did feel bad for his situation once I saw his family phone call--I think a lot of the kids are just scared of him. Taylor was actually more mature about decisions than most of the kids, albeit annoying. I hope that the show IS manufactured. To Jacki, are you kidding? I would not let my kids within 100 miles of this show. I can't believe an adult watching this show would consider this a great thing to send their child into. Of course, I guess I will get bashed for thinking that adult guidance and supervision is a good thing, but I would never hand over the development of my child's mind and heart to other kids, or anyone else for that matter. The main reason I watch the show is a morbid curiosity and mild outrage that these kids are being left to themselves. I was finding it cruel, but the more I watch the show, the more convinced I am that the show is much more acting than reality. Cheers.

November 12 2007 at 10:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am continually amazed by these children. Some of the talent last night was better than a lot you see on television.

November 08 2007 at 4:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My family watches this show together. All three of my kids (7, 11, & 16) want to be on it next season. We might look in to it for the 11 year old. It seem that 15 is the upper age limit and I think 7 is too young but maybe in the future.

I think some people are too hard on the kids. They are just kids. As for the journal, of course it is the producers way of controlling the show. My kids make jokes about it but I think without it, it would probably just be the older kids forcing their ways on the younger ones, so it probably does help in some manner.

The gum thing was disgusting. It was not kids just being kids, it was kids doing something the adults told them to do. At least the kids should have had the option of gloves.

BTW this is the second time the kids did not complete the showdown in time to get the reward. The week when they did the water pipe thing and killed the chickens, they did not get the reward either.

November 08 2007 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think at 11 I would have been "Chopin? Is that the guy who wrote Chopsticks?"

I don't mind that the kids didn't have gloves. Seriously, when I was a kid we'd pass our ABC gum around or hand it back in class to the kid who was sitting closest to the garbage can. Kids are gross. That's just how it works.

I really hope Laurel is somehow able to get a gold star at some point. She is such a good leader for her district and she is liked and respected by everybody. I was so happy for her that she got to lead her team to upper class this week. There are other kids who are more amusing, but Laurel has the most heart.

November 08 2007 at 12:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The super bug is a scam, another sensationalist bit sold to suckers to keep them glued to their television overlord every night known as the American media.

That being said, I'm glad they didn't provide gloves. Kids ought to be allowed to be kids and get dirty and be unhygenic and do all those things us adults have had ripped from our lives. The best part about being a kid is enjoying the essence of life without the price or consequences (usually).

The show's format is annoying for that reason - I wanted to see the kids navigate this on their own. If this is just a badly edited summer camp, I'd rather watch Degrassi to get my fake kid drama fix.

I suppose this is still a little more honest than the rest of the "reality" tv out there, if not as transparent. I watch this show to feel some hope for the future generations, to see evidence that not all our kids are swallowing all the crap we're shoving down their throats with our addiction to celebrity and ignorance.

The good news? They're out there, but they're too smart to let us know they're out there.

I'm glad they didn't have gloves on. When you want to shield kids from living, do you wonder why these kids grow up to have "inner child" issues and can't cope with even the slightest discomforts or struggles?

November 08 2007 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Doolittle Fan CCornel

An addendum to my earlier post on my observations for last night's eppy:

* I believe that blue-haired mohawked kid was our friend Cody. Remember how he backed up the curfew edict "case closed." Somehow, I guess he got his hands on some blue dye or something and decided to go all badass. Either that, or he always had it. Those kids often wear hats and bandanas on their heads. So maybe we just didn't notice before because of that.

* Oh, and sorry for the bad grammer inmy last post. I do indeed know the difference between possessive and contractions with the words "they," "their," "they're" and "there." I guess when I'm typing in a hurry, it gets overlooked sometimes. :-)

-- KNFan

November 08 2007 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Doolittle Fan CCornel

"Shakespeare," "Chopin," "Neanderthalism," "Stand-Up," "Protein" "Amazing Grace" and other little pearls of widsom out of the mouths of these babes, whom I've dubbed my favorite little Angels With Dirty Faces, shouldn't come as a surprise. I mean, after all, it seems that quite a few are home schooled (which some may regard as just being weird or really smart). Not only that, but the description of the show before it even aired said the cast would include 40 "smart" kids. This group obviously consists of the leaders, the cream of the crop, in what producers searched for. So it doesn't surprise me that these kids show their intelligence week after week. God bless them.

Now, as for my observations for this eppy:

* I really still want to grab each one of their little heinys and put them in a soapy tub and scrub-a-dub-dub until their clean. Then, I want to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize until all the ash and chap is gone, gone, gone ! (Can't believe the producers and medical personnel there won't tend to these painfully obvious issues of hygiene and skin care there.)

*As for Divad, I'm a little worried, yes. But their are other kids there who are just as self-absorbed. There's still a chance she could get herself together. I mean, look at Greg !

*I'm glad Jared is back to himself again. I was really disappointed and worried when he turned into a little jealous twit last week when he destroyed Divad's display just because she was making money and he wasn't. I wasn't prepared for his ill behavior.

* I really want the medical team to tend to these sores on these kids' faces. It's disturbing to watch week after week.

* Yeah. That whole thing with the gum chewing and handling without gloves was totally disgusting and irresponsible for the adults to let happen. They could have at least provided rubber gloves to the head team members. And they wonder where this super bug that's killing everyone is coming from !!???

That's it for my two cents this week except that I continue to love this show -- one of my favs this TV season.

-- KNFan

November 08 2007 at 10:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim Kosmicki

I'm remembering that they lost the water challenge as a group too and didn't get any prize that week.

the kid with the faux-hawk was the one who chased the cows and almost got the star one week (Colton, maybe). at least it looked like him, but kids at that age do have a tendency to have similar facial features, at least until they completely grow into their bodies.

November 08 2007 at 10:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was a little surprised that we did not see the on-stage section for Taylor this week. Knowing there would be a talent show she was my pick to do really well and maybe even win a gold star. Perhaps that is my bias coming through though thinking that beauty pagents often have a talent section and that Taylor would be expereinced in performing on stage.

November 08 2007 at 10:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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