This week Kid Nation was all about education and learning. Anjay learned that aliens do exist, Taylor finally learned her lesson, we learned what a terrific dancer Jared is.
If this doesn’t inspire a Jared doll, I don’t know what does
In preparation for this week’s episode, and in response to the overwhelming demand for Dexter commentary, I decided to call Dexter after work on Wednesday night and invite him over for a little Kid Nation. I’ve known Dex for a while now, and usually I think of him as twisted with inexplicable sexual deviancy, but it wasn’t until Wednesday’s conversation that I found him, well, almost charming. Perhaps it was his casual laugh when I mentioned he was a Tvgasm celeb, perhaps it was the gentle romantic breeze in the air, perhaps it was the 4 glasses of wine I downed at the happy hour after work. Who knows, really.
We open Kid Nation with some more chicken killing. Yummy. Emilie is upset, which comes as no shock, because we all know that she and the chickens have a longstanding relationship in which she agrees to protect them in exchange for the chickens letting her go first when they play hopscotch.
Taylor is upset, but only because they might be killing the brown ones. Wait, is this gonna turn into some sort of chicken discrimination issue? I hope not, cause I have to be honest, I don’t do politics. Unless voting in Us Weekly’s “Who Wore It Best” competition counts.
Um…is there an option for c) none of the above?
No worries, as it turns out the issue is not of the highly controversial chicken races, but rather the fact that Taylor doesn’t want the brown ones killed because the brown ones are the cute ones, and therefore the only ones Taylor cares about. Obviously. I mean, everyone knows that only cute animals should be saved. Somewhere out there an animal rescue place is adding Kid Nation Taylor to their “To Egg Bomb” list. Just below Ellen Degeneres, I would think.
Fighting in the coop continues, and starts to get physical. Emilie and Taylor are yelling and kicking, but Greg says they’re killing ten chickens like it or not.
Sophia comes up with the idea that perhaps if Taylor and the girls get to decide which of the ten chickens will be sacrificed, then the killing will be ok. What do you know, that plan actually works. Taylor goes through and takes out the brown ones and the one with the red head, and then tells Greg, “those are ugly you can have them.” Well. Aren’t you just the poster child for the “It’s what’s inside that counts” campaign?
Away from the coop, Jared, Alex and Anjay are playing a little game I like to call Who Wants to Be SmartButAloneWhenTheyGrowUp? Question One: Who knows the exact numerical value of pi. Suddenly Emilie rushes into the room…”Did somebody say pie?” No, I’m just kidding, that didn’t happen. Luckily she wasn’t close enough to hear.
Anjay tries to pretend he knows the answer but screws up at the third or fourth decimal place. Pshh… amateur. Alex corrects him and spouts out a number too quickly for me to get down in my notes to check for accuracy. The confidence in his voice suggests he was right though. Have I mentioned how much I adore him?
And here we have the building I designed and constructed when I was three
Question number two, as posed by Jared- True or False: there once existed extra terrestrial life in the solar system? Anjay guesses again: false? Wrong, Jared replies. And then he gives us our quote of the week: “2 billion years ago, there was…from a chunk of mars, a two billion year old fossilized bacteria.” I mean, are they words for such a statement? Aside from God Bless You, I mean.
Cut to the council heading towards the shack with the Manipulation Handbook.
“Oh not this God damn thing again.” Dex complains.
The Manipulation Handbook suggests that the Pioneers take the “History of Bonanza City” books and study. Study? Get serious MH. It’s day 36. Nobody’s effin studying, homie.
When the council goes to tell the Pioneers they have to study, some of the Pioneers are upset. Especially the illiterate ones and the ones who left their reading glasses at home. I’m looking at you Olivia. I saw you squinting at the Bonanza Leader Board last week. Stop hiding it.
Don’t you play cat and duck with me
In order to convince the Pioneers to study, DK reminds them that they haven’t done one educational thing yet. Taylor quickly responds, “why start now?” Oh Jesus. I never thought I’d see the day when Taylor and I shared a point of view. Am I going to start hating ugly people now too? God I hope so.
Cut to confessionals of different children giving their opinions on education and studying. Most memorably, Jared reminds us that “If a person’s uneducated they’ll be flippin’ burgers at the supermarket.” This is true. That, or stocking feminine hygiene products onto the shelves at Wendy’s. Either way, the chances for a decent 401K are slim to none.
Jared isn’t alone in his quest for the good life and education. Sophia is thrilled with the idea and even suggests that green act out the history book lessons, as a better way to remember them. Brilliant idea actually. I used to sing songs when I studied. “shake it, shake it….Nina, Pinta…shake it, shake it…..Santa Maria” got me out of more jams than I can count.
The rest of the Pioneers follow suit and soon they’re all studying. They realize that the MH usually suggests things that wind up being part of the showdown, and decide studying might be in their best interests. So let me get this straight. They’ve realized the MH gives clues about the showdown, but they haven’t realized it’s not actually written by the original Pioneers? Come on.
Everyone is off studying except Taylor and Leila. I’d really love to see how these two wind up in situations like this. I assume that Taylor says, “Let’s not do work today Leila” and then “Leila says, “But we’ll get in trouble.” and then Taylor says, “I don’t caaaare, I do what I waunt, and you do what I waunt too.” And then Leila agrees. But Taylor might be getting the shit end of the deal here, maybe it’s all Leila and Taylor gets the blame. Naaaah.
Leila: So how long did you say I have to listen to you again?
Taylor: Forever. Now stop asking questions and start rubbing my feet.
The council unites together again to approach them. One quick threat of losing the reward and Leila gives in. You gotta love Leila for that. She talks a bad game, but when it comes down to it, she’s a good girl inside.
Taylor’s not shaken by the threats. She doesn’t like being told what to do. Oh Taylor honey, that’s not telling you what to do, that’s giving you an ultimatum. They’re very different things. For example, if I said, Dex, get off your ass and get me a drink, that would be me telling him what to do. Me saying, “Dex if you don’t get me a drink soon, we’re gonna have words, would be an ultimatum. Get it now? Oh, good.
It really cracks me up that Taylor doesn’t like being told what to do, considering she once told Zach to sit down or she’ll have him scrubbing toilets. Or, wait, is that an ultimatum? See, now I’ve gone and confused myself.
I don’t understand why no one is bringing her council-time bossiness to to her attention. Especially when she says that if she is shown respect she will respect back. If that’s not a parent inspired quote, I don’t know what is. Cut to her mom turning to her dad on the couch and saying, “see, I told you she can hear us talking from her room.”
She doesn’t budge and eventually the council gives up, explains that the studying will probably help at the showdown and again reminds her that if she doesn’t work she won’t get the reward. Good, I hope she learns her lesson. Now on with the showdown, I miss Jonathan a little.
This week’s showdown is a pop quiz about the history books. Jonathan will ask a question and three balloons will pop up, with a different answer on each. The Pioneers have to use sling shots to pop the two incorrect answers, leaving just the correct answer remaining. First team to three correct answers wins. And if the remaining ammo fills a jar they get the reward. Oh, ok, so Greg should be good at this then. Isn’t it somewhat of a bully prerequesite that you be good with a sling shot?
Bullies, and Bull-starerdowners. Prerequisite for both bull types.
Green gets three answers right first, and wins upper class, mostly thanks to Hunter’s great sling shot. I suppose they play nerf slingshots at home too. Blue comes in second with Greg and Migle leading the charge. Each time Greg wins he does a little victory dance that I actually found to be quite cute. Then he’d do a victory stance, that looked like Amelia Earhart doing a Buzz Lightyear impression.
To infinity and beyond!
Turns out Mike has a victory dance too, which I also enjoy. I’ve decided there should be an entire music montage of all the kids victory dances. I’d totally get drunk and buy it.
Yellow and Red are in a close race for third and Jonathan asks if Blaine is confident in his last answer. Blaine gives a confident yes. I like this quiet confidence in some of these pioneers. Some call it cocky, but I like it. Then again, I’m an arrogant bitch myself. Still. I’ve captured endearing confidence all through this show. Most recently with Hunter. Like this little gem for example:
Hey waiter…one milkshake, twoooo straws…
Guys should know it’s that kind of quiet confidence that really hooks the girls. I mean, just look at Morgan’s reaction to Hunter in his cool shades.
Jonathan does a little measuring and the kids win the reward. Taylor quickly jumps up front to see what the reward options are. The first choice is a library. How do you feel about that option Laurel?
Yeah, me too
The second choice is arcade games. Dex practically jumps off my futon. Ok fine, bed. I have a studio, and the only place to sit is on the bed. But hell, if you eat on it, you watch tv on it, and you sleep on it, then as far as I’m concerned it qualifies as a god damn futon.
The arcade is thrilling, I must admit. Now Dex is actually bouncing on the futon. I know why he’s so excited. For the past year and a half he’s been saving up for an Arcade size Golden Tee machine. You know, those ones they have in bars with the little white ball you roll back and then slam forward? Yeah, one of those. Dex is obsessed. He plays so much he gave himself bursitis of the elbow. I’m not kidding.
Lots of deliberation over the right choice, but I have faith in this council. This is not a library kind of council. Thank God. It’s imperative that Taylor learn her lesson, and 6 days without Dr. Seuss’s The Places You’ll Go just aint gonna cut it.
Greg looks pissed when they come to annouce, which concerns me. Luckily they pick the arcade and Taylor gives a big pricesless gulp. Oh how I wish they edited in big gulping sound effects for that one. You know, like the kind they’d put in behind Alvin when Dave came home to the Chipmunks and found that Alvin let the air out of Miss Miller’s tires. That kind.
All the kids are excited. They have to work before they can enter the arcade though. Well not Jared and Mike. Jared says “screw the job” and goes into the arcade anyway. See this is why I know Taylor gets too much crap. Even from me. Because if that was Taylor I’d be so angry, but when it’s Jared it’s just funny.
They all lose their mind a little and have an all day arcadeorama. I don’t blame them. Sophia does though. She just doesn’t get it. She tells us she’s a thirty year old trapped in the body of a 14 year old. Oh man, does that mean that in two years I’m not gonna be any fun either?
Sophia buys all the books in the store, and creates her own library tee-pee. Alex comes to make a donation, but first asks, “Do you think I should trust you with my atlas and my Navajo- English dictionary?” I’m at a loss for words. Dex is not. He says that Alex is gonna get his ass kicked when he grows up. Aw. No. Don’t you lay a hand on him!
Tipping my hat to the musical director of this episode for a job well done in the Taylor v. the Dishes scene. Musical brillance as Taylor slowly steps towards the dishes. I haven’t seem musical accompaniment this good since Jaws and the “dun-dun.”
It seems the only way Taylor is going to do work is if she just decides to do it on her own. No one else can convince her. I know I couldn’t. Then again, I couldn’t convince K-Fed to marry me if I had a billion dollars and no prenup. And condoms.
Taylor realizes she wants to go to the arcade so she waives the white flag and goes to the dirty dish pile. Cue the battle music. Cracking me up, CBS. Cracking me up.
Before she starts cleaning Taylor tells us she plans to “scrub the dishes like I scrub my hair” Um. okay. Whatever works, sweetie. When she’s done with all the dishes (quite impresive) Greg comes along to sweep her off her feet and carry her into the arcade. The carrying thing again. I’ll never understand it.
Sophia is on a mission to stop all the arcade playing. She goes to yell at Blaine to get into the kitchen, but Blaine can’t right now. He’s got money on this game. The man’s got a point there Sophia. Dough is on the line, the sticky buns will have to wait.
It just gets worse from there. No one is doing any work except Sophia and Hunter. Hunter tells us he got his work ethic from his Dad, who has always worked hard, but now he lost his job, which has taught Hunter an even more important lesson about hard work. What lessson is that Hunter? That it doesn’t always pay off? Yeah, I’ve learned that too.
At the town meeting it’s made clear the arcade playing is out of line. They need to learn a little moderation. Well, it doesn’t take a genius people. Regulate that bitch. If only there was a way to restrict access to the arcade to only certain specified hours? But alas, there are no clocks in Bonanza City.
Instead, they hire Sophia as the town sheriff to make sure no one enters the arcade until they’ve finished all their work. Ah, the homework before television regulation. I know it well. Sophia loves her new job. She even says, “Clint Eastwood eat your heart out.” I’ve got to give it to her, that was a good one.
The gold star is given out and it goes to Hunter this week. He tells us how much it means to him because his family needs the money. And he reminds us again that his dad works hard, and never stops and never quits. Dex chimes in…”No No he doesn’t quit, he gets fired.” So not nice Dex. Although I have to say, Hunter left the door wide open for that one.
It actually is terribly sad about Hunter’s dad, especially when Hunter calls his parents and we see his family. They are one of the cuter families I’ve seen on this show. I take back what I said about them being confederates and playing inappropriate nerf games. I’m very happy for the Hunter clan.
We finish with the best part of the show. Jared sneaking into the arcade to play that dance game. I have to include the video clip link. It’s just too good not to watch over and over. And over. Here it is:
I can’t tell you how many times I have watched that video. I might never stop.
We close with Taylor hugging a chicken which she’s holding dangerously close to Leila’s face. Leila gives a quick sniff and tells Taylor the chicken stinks. Taylor claims it doesn’t, to which Leila replies, “it’s either that chicken or your breath.” Point Leila. What a way to go out CBS.
Seems like next time we’re in for a treat. Sophia officially gets a sheriff’s badge which means one thing; Bonanza’s screwed.
Night night Gasmii!
PS it’s Dex’s birthday Friday November 30. Everybody say happy birthday to Dex!