I don't watch a whole lot of television. I don't have cable, mainly because it costs a buttload of cash, and I really don't watch much besides Lost, The Food Network, and Comedy Central. I usually end up behind in the TV world, even with the programs I like. I've only seen the first three hours of the new Lost season, and I just watched the lost episodes of Chappelle's Show on DVD. So what I am setting up here?
I was listening to an old Don & Mike Show podcast (behind on them too, considering the show has ended), and they mentioned a scene on Kid Nation. If you didn't see Kid Nation, it ran for thirteen episodes on CBS starting in 2007. A reality show that dared to see if forty children could create a self-sustainable society, it was cancelled in 2008 due to advertisers pulling out because of the program's controversial nature.
First off, I have to comment on the parents of the children in the show. The casting process had to have included the following: "Okay, so we're gonna take your child from you and stick them in the desert with a bunch of other kids and you won't see them for 40 days except for on TV, where they'll cry and say they miss you." Sign my kid up. Apparently, each child was paid $5000 just for participating, but you can't put a price on (American) children.
So now that it's 2009, it's time for me to check this shit out. YouTube, please provide me with episode 1.
I'm now going to stop listening to the soundtrack to Labyrinth, and comment as I view.
Jonathan Karsh steps from the doors of a saloon in a ghost town that certainly doesn't appear as old as he says. The Emmy-nominated theme song is oh-so-bombastic. Oh, no the bus is leaving! Ha, they dropped the kids off miles away from the Wild West set. A helicopter arrives, dropping off the four leaders, who are also kids. Mike, 11, thinks he's a cowboy. Taylor, 10, says Iraq is the number one place that needs world peace. I can't type fast enough, but there's also an Indian kid and an Irish girl. The kids must drag the wagons containing 40 days worth of supplies to the city. The goats have escaped. Karsh tells the kids to first go to the chapel and find "an old book that tells them exactly what to do." It's called the Bible. He just pulled out a gold star worth $20K that the leaders have to give to a kid each week. Jared thinks he's gona be able to hatch an egg and grow a chicken to eat within 40 days. The kids are pissed at Mike 'cause he's not doing anything. The oldest kid says to switch with him, and he can't even move the wagon. What a loser. I think they picked Mike to represent George W. Bush. The black kid is hurt. Drama! Okay, now he gets a ride to the city on the wagon being pulled by his comrades.
They arrive at Bonanza City. Sadly, there is no salad bar. Alex thought there would be adults. His parents clearly lied to him. Wow, a kid just said the words "disarray" and "heinous." There's a cookbook. What do the kids want first? Ice cream, of course! Macaroni and cheese will have to do. Ha, none of them know how to cook and they have to feed forty kids. Sophia just threw all the macaroni on the ground. What a bitch. Jared is ready to eat his own leg. There is no plan B! The pasta is taking forever to cook. It's done and mushy, which means it was cooked too long. Thanks, Sophia. Taylor misses meat, and might leave. Who knew child pageant contestants loved meat so much? Jared is not going to the town meeting because he says, "Today has been the worst day in 3 years!" I wonder what happened when he was 8. Mike is crying like a girl. Anjay, the Indian kid, is asleep. By Indian, I mean from India. If he were Native American, he'd have killed nine buffalo by now. Girls are milking the goats. Jared just likened his hunger to Martin Luther King's dream of racial equality. He is clearly the show's star. Ah, finally, a town meeting. Wow, this is chaotic. Greg, 15, is the eldest, and Mike hates him.
Wow, Mike's going fucking nuts! "We can learn from him!" exclaims the Indian kid, Anjay. Michael, 14, (not Mike) is making a speech. Cue theme music. Chant his name. I think he's like the Harvey Milk of Bonanza City. Hopefully Mike doesn't shoot him after eating a twinkie. We haven't seen Greg upset. It's about time the leaders go to the church and read the Bible. Oh, it's A Pioneer Journey. Same thing. They are going to divide into four groups: Red (Mike), Blue (Anjay), Green (Laurel), and Yellow (Taylor). Anjay takes the old kids. Laurel picks the people who have made a difference. Taylor picks the little kids. Mike picks the lazy black kid and Jared. The kids are pissed they have to split up... until they get bandanas!!! It just dawned on me that these kids aren't creating a nation, only a city. Wait, where's Jimmy? He's crying. He's way too young to be doing this. Taylor just tongue-kissed a goat. Jimmy misses his dad. I hope his dad enjoyed that $5000 his kid earned him. Greg and his gay lover just wrote "Blue" in chalk on everything in town. It's like a big crime in a kid town. Wait till someone gets raped. The black girl doesn't want to smell the white girl's shit. There is only one outhouse for forty kids. Karsh just showed up. What a dick! He just singled out Jimmy: "You're only 8 years old. Are you missing your parents?" He's no Jeff Probst. The black girl wants to run a store. There will be a root beer saloon. But how will they pay for it?
Laborers will get 10 cents for menial labor. Cooks get 25 cents. Merchants get 50 cents. The upper class doesn't have to do shit, and get a dollar every week. But how to determine? Of course, the obligatory CBS reality show stupid challenge. Ah, at least this one seems sort of like Double Dare. Mike regrets picking all the disabled kids for his team. Blue is winning. Green is way behind. Mike's finally doing something. Why? Oh, yeah, money is involved. Blue has red liquid in their hose. That sounds like a venereal disease. Red is winning! Blue has filled up their bottles too! It's close. The black kid falls again. Red wins!?!? Blue comes in second. Yellow will be the cooks, but Sophia's on the Green team. Will the children starve? If Green can finish in 30 seconds, they win a prize for everybody. Why aren't the other teams helping them? This Kid Nation will surely collapse. They finished. Let's see what the reward is. Karsh is still an asshole. Oooh, the reward is a choice. Seven more outhouses or... (kids scream) commercial break. Back. A TV! Kids are stupid. I bet they pick TV. Mike wants a TV so people have something to do. They could have one outhouse for every five kids or be able to watch reality shows on CBS. Thank God. They picked the toilets! Cody is relieved. What? That's how it ends? I don't believe it. I'm going to download it and make sure.
Ah, I knew it. Okay, this show seems entirely ridiculous, especially because the next episode is called "To Kill or Not to Kill," so maybe Mike dies. Here's a link to a torrent to download the entire season. We don't pay for broadcast TV, so don't feel bad. I'm gonna comment on the missing part as if there were a YouTube link.
Day 4. Everyone in each district gets a job. The Yellow district, the cooks, don't believe in the cookbook. The grits are amazing! Sophia is no longer essential. Taylor is a beauty queen, and refuses to do dishes. Where the fuck did all this candy come from? The kids can buy a pogo-stick if they want. When's the last time anyone's ever bought a pogo-stick? Jared's creeping me out. Why must the children be forced to create a capitalistic society? Sophia only gets a nickel paycheck, and she's saving up to buy a $3 bicycle. She's resorted to dancing for money. Apparently there are bums in Kid Nation too. I found a YouTube link with some of her hot dance moves.
Wow, she actually made enough to buy a bike. Hopefully she'll ride the fuck out of Kid Nation. Taylor might leave. Who will get the gold star? Jimmy and Cody are trying to hunt for jackrabbits. Karsh is back for the first official town hall meeting. Sophia is pissed. Bitch needs to calm down; they gave her nickels so she could buy a fucking bike! Harvey Milk is making another speech. The kids cheer. Karsh asks if anyone wants to go home. He's singled out Taylor, like the piece of crap he is. Taylor is staying. Way to go! There aren't any other beauty queens in town. Jimmy wants to leave. He's scared. He thought it would be a fun adventure, but it turns out it was just some shitty lesson in why capitalism doesn't always work. He leaves. Now, Karsh pulls out the gold star. I bet Jimmy's dad beat him with a tire iron when he got back home. Sophia gets the gold star. She's stunned that she just won $20,000. Great, now give the kids their nickels back, you bitch. Karsh just gave her a key to go call her parents. The lock on the phone room is so small, the kids should fucking smash it and order some pizza. Sophia's mom is happy with her cat in her childless home. Laurel says, "We can create our own government. We can create our own stores. We can make this a Kid Nation." Beautifully written.
Okay, so I had fun, and I want to see what happens in the next installment. I promise I'll try to find as many YouTube links for the episodes as I can, so you can watch along with me. Until next time...