Thursday, November 29, 2007

do you think i should trust you with my english to navaho dictionary?

as i have become tired and annoyed by about 95% of adult reality "stars", i realized that kid nation would provide a refreshing cast of characters that didn't fit into the 5 or 6 of the general cliches found in every reality show. what's that? 40 kids are gonna be left alone in a ghost town to fend for themselves? won't be like jamie kennedy's child island? that's ok...i guess.

well i am pretty much hooked and have watched every show. first of all, it is very nostalgic in reminding me of my younger days at summer camp. in that sense it is fun to imagine how you would personally interact and fit in with these kids, say at age 12. secondly, these are kids, and while they have some sense of self awareness and the cameras, it's much less forced and viewed as a chance to become a celebrity, as it would in shows with adults as the stars. thirdly, there is a class system based on competition performance. the upper class gets paid the most and have no work to do, then the merchants get paid half of that and have the easier, cleaner jobs, then the cooks, get paid half of that and have a tough but not awful job, while the lowest class are the laborers who have to do all the shitty manual work and get paid the least. it's fucked up, unfair and awesome all at the same time. lastly, the producers did a very good job of casting many kids that you either love or hate. sounds wrong...i know.

kids that are cool
  • laurel - the leadah from baaahstun
  • alex - genius 9 year old with missing tooth
  • sophia - also way smarter than everyone, independent thinker, acts and sounds like she is older than me
  • michael - smart, very nice, a little too "teacher's pet-ish"
  • jared - the kid who is from outer space

kids that are lame
  • mike - deposed leader, spaz, is it wrong to call an 11 year old a loser?
  • taylor - little beauty pageant, annoying and obnoxious
  • divad - every week she hilariously (unintentionally) nominates herself for the golden star (weekly prize)
  • kelsey - taylor's mindless cronie
  • greg - biggest kid, bully, in love with 2nd biggest kid

anyways, the episode that aired last night was pretty indicative of why i enjoy this show. sophia, who i think a 12 year old kevin would have an unrequited crush on, decides that the town should have a big chicken feast. that meant killing a bunch of chickens that taylor had befriended. while i am against killing animals, i am for upsetting awful children.

the town receives some history books, which many realize would be integral to that day's challenge. well everyone in town is studying, taylor and one of her cronies decides they don't like school and refuse to participate. the leaders tell them that they won't be able to share in that weeks prize as a result. i think 12 year old kevin would go along with the crowd and study, hate it, but secretly love it.

then there is the challenge where the host would ask questions based on the history books, and then team members used sling shots to pop balloons that had the incorrect answers, leaving only the correct answer. ok, this was lame, but i know 12 year old me would really like shooting the slingshot...actually, 29 year old me wants to do that as well. anyways, teams win and lose, but the town as a whole wins the big reward, which is a choice.

option #1 - a library
option #2 - an arcade (where all the games are free)

well the choice is quite obvious to me as even the 29 year old me would choose the arcade without hesitation, but the 12 year old me? i would have crapped my pants. this is seriously the kind of thing i dreamt of as a kid. meanwhile, taylor is stewing on the side, hoping that they choose the books since she won't be able to participate. well the town's leaders make the obvious choice and the kids go apeshit. taylor is about to cry and i smile like when the grinch's heart grew. is that wrong?


the kids are unprepared for the effect of the arcade as it essentially becomes a drug. nobody is doing their work. sophia wants nothing to do with the arcade and decides to start her own makeshift tee-pee library, which prompts adorable alex to pop his head in and ask "do you think i should trust you with my english to navaho dictionary?" yes alex, you should.

at the same time, we get to see more of this southern kid, hunter, who was a beast in the challenge with his slingshot skills. he's the quiet, polite kid that works hard even when he doesn't have to and never makes a big deal about it. well he ended up winning the golden star that week and had a sweet conversation with his parents afterwards.

so this show gives me entertaining, but mostly unfiltered, non-manufactured personalities, fighting, villains, kids to cheer for and a chance for me to imagine how i would interact as a kid. there's still a few more episodes left, but i believe they are already filming kid nation 2. yes!

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