Dog Nation: “Kid Nation”

Frequent Theater Dogs commenter Tracy recommends the somewhat controversial CBS series “Kid Nation.” You’d think, as an elementary school teacher, her days would be full enough of kid nations. Here’s what she has to say (and thank you, Tracy, for the contribution).

You’d think I’d get enough of kids from teaching and parenting, but no, right now the only thing I watch on the telly is CBS’s “Kid Nation” on Wednesday nights. Hosted by Jonathan Karsh, it is a reality show set in Bonanza City, New Mexico (a privately owned movie ranch). The pioneers, or kids, range in ages from 8 to 15, and they are on a quest to build a viable society. Each week the kids have challenges and rewards where they ‘earn’ their place in society as upper class, merchants, cooks, and laborers.

You might think “Survivor” meets “Lord of the Flies,” but it’s not like that at all. I am impressed by the kids’ logical thinking and big hearts. When choosing between dune buggies and fruits and vegetables, guess what they chose? Fruits and vegetables! One week, they earned a reward and the choice was between holy books and pizza. They chose the holy books. The kids are natural characters and the producers of CBS do a great job of editing to create somewhat of a plot for each episode. I like Sophia and Zach, and yes, even the beauty pageant queen Taylor. Her “Deal with It” attitude and non-work ethic make things interesting. Alex, with his one adult tooth that looks like a Chiclet, is another favorite as he quips observations about life on the ranch.

At the end of each episode, the Town Council (a group of four elected kids) chooses one citizen to earn the Gold Star, a solid gold star worth its weight in gold ($20,000). This really gets the kids to think about the positive traits of others; however, birthdays trump hard work as one week they gave it to an 8-year-old who was homesick and turning nine out in the desert.

My 10-year old got the whole family hooked on “Kid Nation”! It something we look forward to watching and discussing together.

One thought on “Dog Nation: “Kid Nation”

  1. My family is hooked on Kid Nation as well. It is fun to watch together as a family and it sparks great discussions about societal issues and values.

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