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Welcome to Kid Nation: Population 41. Plus camera men. Kid Nation is the land of the free and the home of the pubescent. The children’s task: rebuild Bonanza New Mexico without the help of adults. And try not to cry about it. (Good luck). Sounds like a good TV idea right? Wrong. So far the show is like a terrible romantic comedy: the only good parts are the previews.
I have a better idea. The 40 Pioneers are supervised by our host, Jonathan Karsh. For the next 40 days this guy’s going to do nothing but hang out with kids 15 and under and a couple camera men. Can’t we get a reality show full of this guy’s off-camera sexually frustrated rants and call it “40 bitter days and 40 lonely nights”? I’d much rather recap that.
It’s not that the first episode of Kid Nation was TERRIBLE, per se. It just left something to be desired: something I like to call “being worth watching”. I’d call it lackluster at best. All this hype and then you finally sit down to watch it and think- that’s it? Think Britney’s VMA performance. Minus the beer belly.
We head into Kid Nation via school bus. At first all the Pioneers look a little nervous and pensive. Don’t worry guys, when the guy from CBS puts down the cue card that says “look away and think hard,” things will get better.
When the children arrive in Bonanza, they are greeted by Host Jonathan and told that there are four additional Pioneers. These Pioneers will be the town Council. Basically, they are in charge. The Council is flown into town by helicopter. VIP already. Great. That won’t cause any hostility. In addition to Taylor and Anjay, who I introduced in my preview, the remaining two Counsil members are Laurel and Mike. Mike is 11 and I can already tell he’s on a power trip.
Kiss the ring, bitches!
Luckily, I’m not the only one who recognizes Mike’s power trip issues. Greg can see them, too. More on that later though. First let’s talk about the final Counsil member, Laurel. Laurel is from Boston, terrible accent and all. She appears to be a natural leader and a caretaker. Despite my wanting to despise her in all her Bostoness, I cannot. She’s far too cool. God dammit.
Please help me hate you.
After meeting the Council, the Pioneers are told they will have to push 40 days worth of supplies into the town on wagons. Cue child labor suits. The children are none to happy about pushing the wagons. Our oddest Pioneer, Jared is particularly confused about it. Probably because his mom never mentioned the wagon-pushing events when she told him he was going to “sleep-away camp.”
Does this mean no campfire songs?
Let’s talk about Jared. It’s not that Jared is odd. No no, he’s a total effing weirdo. I’m sorry, but he is. You know the type: those really screwy little kids. The ones who are always off in their own worlds and making weird noises and rolling around on the floor at naptime with their tongues out. That’s Jared. During episode one, he spent a considerable amount of time chasing around chickens. By himself of course. In all his oddity though, I have to say, Jared makes me laugh. For a little fun, I’ve decided to do a Jared quote of the week. This weeks quote (while staring at a porto-potty): “I hope I don’t have to take a poo.”
Before the Pioneers leave, host Josh asks to speak to the Council privately. In the VIP meeting, Josh tells the them that each week they will give out a gold star to the Pioneer they think has done the best job that week. The gold star is worth it’s weight in gold: $20,000.00. Flash to Mike twisting his mustache and shouting “HAHAHA, now they must all do as I say!!”
We call this little gem the ass kissing award.
Along the way, DK, one of the Pioneers, gets a cramp in his leg and falls down. Is THIS the quote unquote leg injury we heard so much about? Ridiculous. Who started these alleged controversies? CBS perhaps? Greg is the first to help DK out by picking him up and putting him onto one of the wagons so he can rest. Aw. Greg’s so nice.
When they finally get to town the children are in a state of total chaos. No one knows where to go, there are no beds, no one can cook, and there is no order. Mike tries to hold a town meeting, but he can’t get everyone’s attention. The children start to argue, and so commences the mass yelling. Greg tries to step in and give Mike and the Council a suggestion: you need to take charge here. Mike turns quickly to Greg and shouts in his face: “We are!” Greg is now pissed. He stares down at Mike and whispers (God bless subtitles) “Don’t get in my face.” Greg pushes Mike a little. Mike doesn’t back down and instead gets closer to Greg and says “you want me to take charge, I’ll take charge!” UGH OOOOH! Fight, fight, fight, fight!
Just when things start to get good, Greg flashes a somewhat evil and coniving smile at Mike and gives him a stiff finger to the chin, then leaves the meeting. BOOOOOO!!! I want to see some punches! As as side note, Greg: not so nice after all.
The chaos of the meeting continues until finally Michael (not Mike, MICHAEL, a different Pioneer and the favorite I mentioned in the previews) gives a big “hey!” shout and gets everyone’s attention. Then, ever so calmly, Michael delivers an impropmtu motivational speech about how “the children are not only representing themselves, they are representing all kids, in an effort to prove that they can do this without adults.” Here here! What’s that blinding us Michael? Is it a shining gold star glistening somewhere? Like in your pocket perhaps?
In response to Michael’s inspiring speech, all the Pioneers start chanting his name and agree to work together. Sophia takes the lead in the kitchen, and gets to work on dinner. Step one: waste 5 pounds of pasta by throwing the first chef’s attempt at dinner on the floor. Step 2: start being a bitch. Wait, maybe I have those steps backwards.
After a long days’ work, Counsilwoman Taylor (the beauty queen) is crying. She’s upset because she is young and is not getting enough protein in Bonanza. I knew I’d love her. Gotta respect a girl concerned with muscle strength at age 10. When I was 10 I was ditching the white sticks and pouring the entire packet of fundip directly into my mouth, not to mention swallowing grape big league chew because it was just too tasty to spit out.
Taylor’s not the only Pioneer who’s upset and tempted to leave. Little Jimmy, who is just 8, and completely adorable, is very homesick. After the Pioneers notice that Jimmy is missing, Laurel goes walk around looking for him, only to find him sitting alone against a house crying. Aw Jimmy. Laurel cooly approaches him, tells him to give her some skin. (Stand By Me flashbacks anyone?)
Jimmy tells Laurel that he’s 8 and “only in 3rd grade!” and that, (sniff) “maybe I’m just too young. Maybe I’m not cut out for this.” I feel you Jimmy, I don’t know if I’m cut out for this either. Not cause I’m too young. Just cause this show kinda sucks.
Laurel tells Jimmy that she understands he’s scared, being away from his motha and fatha, but that she’s gonna take ova for them and take good caya of him out heya. I’m too touched by Laurel’s tender and kind assistance to even complain about the horrific accent. Curse you Laurel, with all your nurturing and caring! I’ll hate you if it’s the last thing I do!
Mike tries to hold a town meeting with all the Pioneers, but they are too tired so they blow Mike off and go head off to sleep on the dirty thin mattress pads they call beds. Mike is upset because the Pioneers have not obeyed him. And he was promised strict obedience.
Next, Host Jonathan tells the Pioneers that they will be selecting teams which will be known by color. The teams will battle each other in little competitions and fight for class status. The classes are as follows: 1) The laborers who make 10 cents per chore they complete (see: Dunkin Donuts Employees), 2) The cooks, whose job is to cook and clean and receive little appreciation (See: Housewives), 3) The Merchants who will run the town’s stores (See D’Agastinos Managers), and finally, 4) the upper class who do nothing all day but tell people what to do and think highly of themselves. (See, Celebrity A list). Oh my God is this episode almost over? By a show of hands, who thinks Kid Nation is totally overrated?
I second that, Jimmy!
The Council first choose their colors. Laurel wants to be Green because she’s 100% Irish and very proud of it. God, could she possibly get more…. more… BOSTON? Please do something obnoxious so I can pick on you. I’m begging you. Mike chooses red because red is a power color. And the color of Nazis. Talyor chooses yellow, probably because it works best with her olive skin tones and Anjay is left with blue. Which is fine with Anjay because Anjay apparenly cares about nothing.
Meanwhile, Greg and his partner in crime Blaine, who is basically MiniGreg, go around writing “Go Blue” all over the whole town and screaming “Go Blue” in all the children’s ears. Ok Greg: not such a good boy after all.
The first battle consists of each group pumping their own colored water from a big water tower, collecting the pumped water into buckets, and then carrying the buckets to fill three jugs. The first to fill their jugs wins. I missed all of the competition because I feel asleep in a moment of pure boredom. I found this picture though, if it helps.
No clue what was happening here. Feel free to guess
All I know is in the end, Mike’s red team came in first, so Mike’s power trip is still intact as he is the head of the Upper Class and can continue doing nothing and bossing everyone around. Anjay’s blue team came in second, making them the merchants. Taylor’s yellow team came in third and they are the cooks, and Laurel’s Irish Pride came in last and will be the laborers. Sophia is on Team Green and she’s pissed about being a laborer. Not so much because she has to do labor, but because this means she’s not allowed to cook. Which means she can’t wear her apron anymore. I can barely handle this.
Lose one more time and your little friend dies.
Next, the kids open the grocery and candy stores. Sophia has her eye on a bike that is in the candy store (why?). The bike costs three dollars but she is a mere laborer and only has 10 cents she earned pumping water. So starts dancing and asking people to give her money in exchange for her moves. Quick question Host Jonathan: how much do Bonanza prostitutes make? I think Sophia would like a quote before she starts offering BJs.
Despite a funfilled afternoon trying to kill bunnies with wooden spears, Jimmy is still homesick. Upon hearing that he is upset, Greg turns back into NiceGreg and tries to comfort Jimmy by asking him if he’d like to be his new wingman. Jimmy, the smartest 8 year old on earth, realizes “wingman” is really code for “head chalk carrier” and is not fooled. The dialogue over this is actually somewhat funny:
Greg: Almost kindly, “Jimmy, you want to be my new wingman?”
Jimmy: (whose back is to Greg) “Who just said that?”
Bright and early on day two team yellow makes pancakes for the Pioneers. Jared was out chasing chickens by himself so when he arrives to the kitchen late he discovers that there are no pancakes left. Sophia starts yelling at some of the Pioneers for being inconsiderate and taking two pancakes when some of the Pioneers didn’t get to have any. Plus, there are starving children in Somalia! Then when breakfast is done Sophia complains that team Yellow didn’t clean up quickly or effectively enough. Taylor responds with a quick “Beauty queens don’t do dishes” retort. If this girl wasn’t born to by upper class I don’t know who was. I adore her.
Finally Host Jonathan announces the first actual formal Town Counsil meeting. Jonathan asks if anyone would like to go home and the camera immediately pans to Jimmy. No Jimmy don’t do it! You and Weird Jared are the only things I like about this show! Host Jonathan asks Taylor directly if she still wants to go home. Taylor gives a very beauty queen answer about this being her new family and that she needs to be here for the next 36 days and she just wants world peace. Greg gives her a standing ovation. Seriously dude, are you a good boy or a bad boy? Unless you’re just plain Schizo, please make up your mind. I need to generalize you here, and you’re not helping.
Host Jonathan asks again if anyone would like to go home. Sadly, Jimmy raises his hand. All the Pioneers want Jimmy to stay but he’s too homesick, and annouces, “it’s too scary.” Couldn’t you just squeeze him! Host Jonathan tells Jimmy how brave he is for being the youngest Pioneer and to be willing to come out to Bananza all by himself. Jimmy looks up at him with a look that shouts “just call my parents asshole.” And all at once the best thing in Bonanza is gone.
Next, Host Jonathan asks if any of the Pioneers are unhappy with the Council. Shocker, Sophia raises her hand and announces that the Counsil are not doing a good job. Sophia likes to complain. Not that she is not completely right in this particular complaint, but she’s the one that I mentioned in the preview is always protesting things at school. I kinda want to hire her to make my cell phone company calls for me. Seriously, those text message charges and miscellaneous fees are ridiculous. She’s just the girl to ride their asses on it.
There appears to be some upheaval. The Council is uncomfortable. Michael raises his hand and fairly suggests that they get to know the pioneers better so that they will be able to view them as friends instead of competition. Everyone claps for Michael’s terrific speech giving skills again. Council totally understands and everyone feels better. Michael for president. Just give this kid the Gold Star and get it over with already.
Speaking of the Gold Star, it’s time for Host Jonathan to finally reveal to the Pioneers that they have the chance to win $20,000 each week. Cut to Sophia regretting everything she’s complained about in the last 48 hours, Greg throwing away all his chalk, and Michael thinking about whether to buy the dirt bike first, or just go straight to the ATV.
The Council has reached it’s decision. The first Gold Star, and $20,000 will go too…… Sophia. WHAT!?!?!?! The bitch who just talked about what a bad job you guys were doing. Is this some sort of bribary to fight off a coup de’etat! Michael was robbed!!! Robbed I tell you!!
What a bunch of bullshit.
After a heartwarming (gag) thank you speech and a whole lot of back pedaling, Sophia is allowed to call her mother to tell her the great news, and the episode FINALLY ends.
Mom, this is better than the time we got Principal Richardson to declare Sophia Day!