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Kid Nation: Not Even Close to Fair

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 14th 2007 10:58PM
Anjay from Kid Nation(S01E09) Have children grown more apologetic since my days as a child? The kids of Kid Nation are often as cruel to each other as I recall but then they go and apologize. What's up with that?

Well, they don't always apologize. Feelings get hurt; tears get shed. Maybe it's cruel, but the kids will eventually find out being an adult isn't all it's cracked up to be at all times, either. I think I've seen adults apologize a lot less often than the kids on the show. Perhaps they have some sort of super-strain of kids there -- intelligent and mature beyond their years.

Some of them, anyway. And some of the solid ones are starting to crack a bit.

I must have been blind not to notice that the green district, led by Laurel, has been awarded a disproportionate amount of the gold stars awarded so far. I guess I fell in with liking the choices and wasn't thinking along district specific lines.

But the kids noticed. The green team started getting a bit cocky about their wins. However, if memory serves, these kids also were the laborers more than any other district. So it's not like they've cornered the market on winning everything. Jared and many of the others think it's unfair -- the districts aren't evenly matched and some will always win.

Anjay, Laurel, and Guylan read journal on Kid NationThen the 1855 journal came into play with its magical powers of seeing into the future. Now the journal is getting outright pesky and antagonistic to a point. It advised the town council members to shake up the districts claiming that they lost many members of their town due to districts not working out. Of course, the journal has claimed to have lost many townsfolk for several reasons. It's a shock anyone survived to write the entries!

It turned into a verbal brouhaha before the town council leaders even finished discussing it. Laurel was pleased with her own district and didn't want any changes. Guylan and Zach felt the power players and muscle weren't evenly distributed. And poor Anjay tends to freak and panic a bit under pressure.

"This is dynamite waiting to happen!" exclaimed poor panicky Anjay.

Now, I can see valid reasons for switching up the districts. But I wonder what would happen if the town council kids ever just said no to the journal. Would it be allowed? Is it in their contracts that they must do the bidding of the journal?

In the end, Greg and Blaine, the two biggest and strongest boys on the show, were finally split up with Zach taking Blaine into the yellow district. Blaine reacted very well to the change -- he even thought it would be good for him to get out of under Greg's shadow and "be his own man." He would have the chance to prove himself.

Guylan decided his red district needed more brain power, so he chose Nathan. That didn't go over so well with the others in his district. Mike got nasty to Nathan, Markell told us Nathan was weird. Eventually Mike came to his senses, remembered that he himself had been picked on and how it felt, then apologized to Nathan and welcomed him aboard. Huh? That's not like any kid I've ever known -- not unless an adult made them apologize!

Anjay went with a different idea. He wanted to have a challenge and change someone. He chose Emilie to join the blue district. She had a reputation on the red district for being lazy and not cooperating with others. Anjay said he made his decision for the town's good, not his own district. I think that one ended up being for Emilie's good, too. She all of a sudden had a chance to start over and prove she can be a valuable team player. Woohoo.

Blaine from Kid NationBut it was far from clear sailing for poor panicky Anjay. Greg blamed him for the loss of Blaine. As it Anjay could have stopped it! Sheesh, Greg! He can be the sweetest kid on earth at times, but other times he definitely needs to control his temper and his mouth. He made Anjay cry and was really nasty to him.

Laurel skipped by and didn't take anyone from another district into hers, thus she didn't give up any of her members. The others picked up on the fact that Laurel wasn't thinking about the town as a whole, just about her own little world in her little district. Uh-oh, I see a crack in the ever solid Laurel, don't you? Things are going well within her district and she wants everything to stay the same even though the other districts have all made changes. It's all but saying no to the journal.

Guylan's district was just as rough on him as Greg was on Anjay. Jared yelled, "Lock your cell door tonight!" Then Jared proceeded to lock himself in a cell. Um ... Jared, didn't you mean Guylan? Even Alex complained that Nathan sings in his sleep.

And that's how they all went into the showdown.

As always, it tied into the theme of the show. Since this week the big themes were fairness and equality, the showdown put their loyalty to the whole town to the test. The districts had to load rocks into a mining sled and drag it through an obstacle course. The first district to cross the finish line would win upper class and so on. The hitch was that all of the teams would have to lug a total of a ton of rocks to earn reward. It was their choice whether they wanted to load a few rocks and win or take as many as they could.

They didn't win the reward, but I think they made an honest effort (all districts) to lug as much as they could. The blue district arrived at the finish first (upper class) with 480 pounds, the yellow (merchants) had 460 pounds with Blaine busting his butt, the green (cooks) only had 420 pounds, and the last across the finish line was the red district with the most -- 485 pounds.

Showdown aftermath on Kid NationFrom there it turned into a lot of finger pointing with some kids thinking other districts just wanted to win for themselves.

I don't know. It wasn't like any of the districts tossed five rocks in their sled and ran to the finish line to garner a better place in the enforced caste system in play on the show.

But this is the winter of their discontent ... or something to that effect. I think the kids are probably getting a bit antsy. They've been away from home for going on a month at this point. They have dirty faces and chapped lips. They also could have really used those real beds which were part of the reward.

The strife went on. Sophia humiliated Guylan almost to the point of tears. I doubt this kid will ever run for public office after he finishes with the show. He found out being a leader isn't always all it's cracked up to be. Like Mike, Sophia want and apologized later to him and seemed very sincere about it. I still think he will avoid being elected for anything ever again anyway.

Then Greg showed his soft side as did Taylor as they tried to comfort a homesick Randi. Well, Taylor may have been slightly self-serving as Randi is her friend and she doesn't want her to go home. But Greg carried her to her bed, was sweet to her, and tucked her in. He had nothing to gain. The kid is a teenage paradox, I tell you.

Since it started a few weeks back, the council leaders have been asking the kids to vote on the gold star. I guess we'll see it awarded that way for the rest of the season. This week the kids were all for either Hunter or Blaine. I didn't notice Divad, but she might have put her own name in there again. She wasn't spotlighted at all this episode.

Randi leaves Kid NationThen there were 37.

Despite Greg's comforting and Taylor's tears, Randi chose to leave the show. The kids cried, the heavens rained. Me? I barely saw the kid before tonight. I didn't get too emotional about it. Maybe I'm growing hardened to the tears of children.

She was no sooner out the door even though Taylor screamed and blamed Zach then it was time to award the gold star. Blaine got it -- both he and his best buddy Greg were thrilled.

But we didn't see him in the spotlight with the star too much because the kids were asked if they were happy with the job the town council leaders are doing. Uh-oh. Thanks to the journal instigating unrest, the only happy kid was Blaine.

We hit a "to be continued" after some of the kids volunteered to go up for elections in their districts. Most notably, Michael wants to go up against a shocked Laurel and Greg wants to take over Anjay's spot. Uh-oh. I see turbulence ahead!

Who would be a better leader?
Michael242 (61.0%)
Laurel155 (39.0%)

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LOIS

I THINK TOO MUCH IS REQUIRED OF THESE LESS THAN PHYSICALLY STRONG CHILDREN. THEY COULD BE INJURED!

December 05 2007 at 9:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LOIS

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT SOFIA RECEIVE A GOLD STAR. SHE IS FAIR-MINDED, STRONG, AND DID A GREAT JOB AS SHERIFF. I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY SHE ISN'T BEING APPRECIATED!!

December 05 2007 at 9:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Doolittle Fan CCornel

Yes. I too was quite surprised and somewhat disappointed at some of the actions of my favorite Angels With Dirty Faces.

I couldn't believe that my sensitive, Shakespeare and Martin Luther King, Jr.-quoting Jared would threaten bodily harm towards someone like he did. Equally surprising was my girl Sofia, lashing out like she did. Must've been a remark to Guylan about how his hair makes him look like a girl or something as equally humiliating. Also Greg was true to form. That kid has a screw loose. He's so unpredictable. And I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley. ( Much like Taylor too. That little girl scares me.)

I think the theme of this week for me was loyalty and betrayal ie DK (going after his friend Guylan's seat), Sofia (hurting Guylan's feelings in a personal and publicly embarassing way), Jared (threatening physical harm), Michael (reneging on a promise to Laurel), Zach (mocking that crying girl), Blaine ( who seemed more than happy to get from under Greg's shadow, even though he buddy Greg protested more), Emilie (who betrayed her team with her non-cooperative and nasty attitude), and homesick Randi ( who I believe is the one holdout from the girls who voted against her "friend" Taylor and who still decided to abandon their friendship by choosing to go home.)

Let's just say that this week certainly showed these kids in a different light. And this continues to make me a big fan of the show.

I'm hoping that everyone of those kids still there would end up getting a gold star by the end of the show.

-- KNFan

November 18 2007 at 12:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shels

Any clue what Sophia really said? They bleeped her, but no one really reacted like it was profanity, so I assume she made some personal remark.

I, too, think these kids are coached. I am feeling like this show has more of a "script" that some would like to admit. Anyhow, I am still watching. I didn't think I would like it, but each week I tune in--mainly for Jared!

November 17 2007 at 8:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jennie

Is it just me or are these kids 12 going on 30? PULLLEEEZZZEEE. Someone is coaching these children, and not necessarily in a good way. They will be in therapy for the rest of their lives...I enjoy the show, but I wish the producers would actually acknowledge their participation in this. It truly pains me to see these kids in agony, tears streaming downing their faces AND...CUT TO COMMERCIAL...

I wouldn't send my child into this for $20,000, hell, 20 million if I couldn't tell them beforehand, during and afterwards...it's just a game...it's just a game...you ALL get the money and more...

November 15 2007 at 8:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mugsy

Did anyone notice how dirty Anjay's sweat shirt was at the council? It looked like someone threw talc all over him. I know most of the kids look a bit unkempt at this point, but that was exceptional.

November 15 2007 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CoryB

So the original power house teams continue the pretty much alternate on winning the gold star with Blaine, an original blue district member winning the fourth "blue" star putting them on an equal footing with the green district. I sort of wonder why the kids haven't clued into that one, espically since none of the original yellow members have even been given much serious consideration yet.

The whole town shakeup could have been handled better which more people being moved around, taking equal numbers of kids from each original district to form new districts, esentially 2 blue, 2 red, 2 yellow and 2 green on each team also with an even distribution between genders.

One other interesting obsevation from last night is that it almost seemed like the election was setup a little in that everyone not on council wanting to be elected has previously one a gold star. Based on previous episodes Laurel and Zach defintely could win a gold star yet their chances are very slim while on council. With a new council of only gold-star winners the whole delima of can you win a gold star while on council is solved.

Going to be interesting to see if next week we get a normal episode cycle with a journal, showdown, town hall meeting and gold star. I could see it focusing on the election and the fall-out for close to the entire episode to act a bit as a filler episode.

Which brings me to my finale thought, Survivor is going to be running a clip show on Thanksgiving. There is a lot of unused material from Kid Nation. Is there any chance it will also have a clip show that week to show us outtakes of what the kids have been up to?

November 15 2007 at 10:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ravi

@BC
That's a good observation, I didn't notice that they were all former gold star winners. Also, I'm assuming that people who were up for election before are ineligible to run -- otherwise Taylor and that girl from Blue (can't remember her name, but she always antagonizes Anjay) looked like they were savoring a rematch.

I was also surprised they only traded 1 person from each team -- when I saw the journal entry, I thought they were going to redraft teams...did the kids really go against the intentions of the producers? Surprising, but maybe we're not giving them enough credit for taking matters into their own hands.

This episode also showed new sides of fan favorites -- Sophia, Zack, and Laurel. I wouldnt have expected any of them to do what they did (lashing out at the challenge, making fun of the crying girl, acting so selfish, respectively). I think the producers are definitely not showing us everything about these and other kids on the show.

Finally, despite all their faults, I do have to give some credit to the producers of the show -- they have come up with an amazing cast of characters. Back when I used to watch Survivor or The Amazing Race, there wasnt nearly as much differentiating individuals. This show has been a surprising favorite of mine this season, and I eagerly await a new episode every week; I really hope they continue with more seasons, despite the initial controversy and relatively low ratings.

Looking forward to seeing 4 new council leaders next week...

November 15 2007 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC

Ever since they divided into districts I have felt they were unbalanced (especially with Blaine and Greg on the same team) so at some point I felt they needed to be re-done.

However I think the "journal" meant a total switch, not just 3 people -- and if they had of done a total switch it would have went over alot better than just a few of the kids switching!

The best thing would have been for the 4 of them to meet, draw numbers 1-4, then have a draft and totally redone the town. If the leaders would have explained that this is for the better of the town and so that us kids can meet other people / become friends with people we don't know yet, well I think that would have went over better --- instead they only switched 1 person per group and the Green made no changes ????? (they did meet and have some kind of clipboards like they were going to totally re-do the teams but didn't?).


This only small switch made the kids mad, especially when Laurel was not forced to make any changes to her team. It made the others look weaker to Laurel to the kids.


Blaine deserved the gold star.....but I loved the ending and then the cliffhanger to be continued was perfect. All the popular kids raised their hands to run -- with the current leaders facial expressions showing they know they are doomed!


Anjay sucks as a leader from day one -- I can't belive he won last time and if Greg had ran then he would have probably won back then (however he still wanted to win the gold star first, so that is why I think he passed on it at that time). Anjay knows his days are over on the council and he can't handle confrontation at all.

Gunyan found it being the leader is not what its cracked up to be and should have just stepped down based on his comments (plus he could have safed face if he loses). I was surprised DK choose to run against him since they are close and Gunyan is the one that convinced DK to stay a few weeks back.

Zach really has no one to oppose him in the Yellow from what I have seen of his team, however his drafting of Blaine will probably be his downfall. Blaine is popular and unless the Yellow district opposes a 'newcomer' taking over then Zach's days are over (was anyone besides me surprised that Taylor didn't try to re-run, because I was?).

And Laurel! At the last election I recall Michael telling Laurel that IF he were in a different district he would probably run but since he wasn't then he would not run against her. Laurel has done a good job, the green team works great together, and they are several good leaders on that team -- and she did keep them together. I think she might win re-election, however how she acts with someone opposing her will probably be what determines her fate! If Laurel / Michael made it fun & friendly she might win, but if she gets upset or fussy about it she might lose (if she does lose I think she will win a gold star because she does work hard).


I will go out on a limb and say we will have 4 new council members next week!


And by the way did anyone else besides me notice that the 4 people that decided to run has already won a gold star?


November 15 2007 at 9:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

Once again, Jared stole the show. Any chance that with the writer's strike we can get a Jared reality show?

November 15 2007 at 2:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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