Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Upton Boy & Medford Girl Part of CBS' Kid Nation

Tomorrow (Wednesday) night, CBS (WBZ-TV 4, 8 p.m.) will premiere its kid-centered reality show, Kid Nation. The show's premise, if you haven't read any of the hype (or negativity) is that 40 kids, between the ages of 8-15, are put into the abandoned town of Bonanza City, New Mexico for 40 days. There, without adult supervision (I guess the cameramen and production crew don't officially count) have to build their own society by electing leaders, passing laws, and establishing an economy. According to CBS, the kids confront grown-up issues, while coping with the classic childhood emotions of homesickness, peer pressure, and the urge to break every rule. Episodes end with a town meeting in which the kids award one child a gold star worth $20,000, all leading to the grand finale, with an unimaginable test, the biggest awards and a special surprise for every child.
While the kids had no contact with their parents for about 6 weeks, all 40 kids needed parental approval to try out for the show ( CBS is already expecting the show to do well, despite some advocacy groups calling the show "child abuse," as they are already accepting applications for Kid Nation 2.)

Two of the 40 contestants in the premiere season have ties to Massachusetts, a boy from Upton and a girl from Medford.
Guylan, 11, from Upton writes on his CBS blog that most people would be surprised that "after being raised by two elephant trainers that I'm afraid of little spiders. Tarantulas don't bother me but little wolf spiders and daddy long-legs creep me out. "
Also on his blog, he wrote that if he had the power to change one or two things about the country right now, he would "like to change the president to one who actually cares about global warming and will do something about it instead of just putting it aside until later... I would also increase funds to save the few remaining wild places and wild life parks and reserves in the hopes of being an example for other countries."
Medford's Laurel, age 12, on her blog wrote that if she could put into place one law that pertains to kids in our country, "I'm really a strong supporter of no bullying. I don't think some kids know how much that can damage someone. I just wish there would be a law that kids have to be nice. It would be against the law to be mean to another child. Middle school kids can be so so so mean to each other. Everyone is trying to be accepted and nobody wants to be different for fear of being made fun of. I just wish being different wasn't such a bad thing, it would be nice for everyone to get along."
She also wrote if she could go anywhere in the world she would "GO BACK TO BONANZA CITY, NEW MEXICO AND DO IT ALL AGAIN. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT THERE, EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS NO TV, NO VIDEO GAMES, NO IPOD, NO PHONE, NO HAIR DRYERS, NO LIP GLOSS, NO MODERN DAY COMFORTS, I HAD MORE FUN THERE THAN I COULD HAVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD."

Some critics have called the show a reality version of William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies.
Some TV critics have called it one of the best new fall shows. Yet others, have heralded the show as "child abuse." In fact, a parent of one of the kids filed a complaint (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/18/arts/television/18kid.html?ex=1345089600&en=085d627866c74958&ei=5088&partner=rssny) with New Mexico officials saying the kids on the show were neglected. She says one girl had her face burned by hot grease (she was cooking) and that other kids needed medical help after accidentally drinking bleach.
But several of the child participants of the show, who have been doing pre-show publicity, have said they enjoyed their experience, just like Laurel wrote in her CBS blog.
Tune in tomorrow night - consider watching with your own children -- and form your own opinion of the show.
Post your thoughts here.








4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the concept of the show is stupid. I can't image a parent would allow their child to be exploited like this for ratings 7 advertising dollars

Renee, Bellingham said...

I watched last night with my teenage daughter. We thought the show provided a lot of opportunities to discuss issues. I'm not sure I would allow her to appear on the show, but that is my choice as a parent and every parent has the right to make their own descisions for thier children.

Anonymous said...

I liked the show. So did my 10 year old son & my 8 year old daughter

Anonymous said...

I don't want everyone is complaining about. I watched the show. Dididn't see any issues.