Who doesn’t like the hedonism of children? Kid Nation was exactly, precisely, on the money, as bad as I thought it was going to be. Not that the concept itself is so bad, I was intrigued with the idea from the beginning, but my fear was these kids would be herded around by a camera crew of directors putting words in their mouths. There was some controversy, as you know, that the children were actually being fed impromptu scripts verbally. That would constitute work, and the show would then be subject to child labor laws. Well, after watching this show, who can say with a straight face that these kids were not being fed at least half of their lines.
The premiere was all about establishing the hierarchy in the town. A council would be formed and the first ‘gold star’ would be awarded. Some of the children were more believable than others, but most of them were simply not that great at delivering awkward lines written by adults who obviously have no children.
OK, heavy accusation I know, but I just don’t buy some of the statements that were made any more than I do the fact that the way some of the dynamics worked out were also preplanned, or at least planned in the moment.
However, lets back up for a second. Would they really set the kids loose without providing supervision? Of course not. CBS’ defense towards allegations of child abuse on Kid Nation through violations of labor laws were that the children were essentially attending a summer camp, with the catch that it was being filmed.
All disgusting thoughts of children being herded around and fed hyperboles aside, did Kid Nation work? Well, for some reason it didn’t dawn on me until the show actually aired, but what is the demo here? I really think kids may like it, although there is little moral to the story so parents beware, but who in the coveted young adult demographic is really going to care about the story this show has to offer?
Disagree with this take? Read our opposing review, Kid Nation: A Parent’s Perspective.
– Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)