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Oh Gasmii, can you believe the Kid Nation finale is here!? It seems like just yesterday I was calling Greg the Bonanza City stud, underestimating my affection for Laurel, and predicting that little Jimmy would be a key player. Twelve weeks later, here we are. Showdowns are a distant memory, the dry goods store is closed, and all that’s left of the Mountain Dew Bombs are the faint sounds of fizzle. Worse yet, the kids have all gone home. It’s just you and me now Gasmii. All we have is each other. Oh, and vodka. We’ll always have vodka. At least I know I will.Speaking of harmless intoxication, a few weeks ago I mentioned in one of my comments that I tried to seduce Dexter, posted the embarrassing story for all of fifteen minutes, then panicked that no one would want to read it, and took that part down. Well due to overwhelming demand (and by that, I mean two people asked nicely) I’m putting it back up now. So if you don’t care to read about why I’m the worst seducer on this side of the Hudson River, then by all means skip ahead. I assure you I don’t blame you. But if you want to hear a little diddy about the day I realized I was born to be a chasee and not a chaser, then allow me to present you with this:
I decided to call Dexter after work last Wednesday night and invited him over for a little Kid Nation. I drank some wine, and then began to wonder if maybe I should try to take things with Dexter out of the friend zone and on “to the next level.”
I wasn’t certain it was a good idea, but I knew that if this was going to work, I was going to have to step up my game. Immediately I rummaged through my closets for some sconces and candles. I came up empty. Dammit. The Oust Scented Oil with the little candle wick on top will have to do. Lavender breeze, or vanilla almond, lavender breeze or vanilla almond? Lavender. Vanilla smells like my 8th grade math teacher, and math teachers are so not hot.
Luckily my best fitting jeans just came back from the cleaners (The Gods are on my side). I quickly threw them on and paired them with my green three quarter length sweater with a V neck just low enough to be tempting, but high enough to keep the goods a mystery (don’t give away the farm, ladies). Aside from the perfect length V, the sweater brings out the touch of green in my eyes. Plus when I was little they used to say the green M&Ms made you horny, so I figured, hey, it can’t hurt.
Forty-five minutes later, Dex was buzzing downstairs. This was it. On the way to the “door open buzzer” (you only know what that means if you live in New York City and you’re too poor for a doorman building) I caught the mirror and practiced my sexiest pouty lip. Curse you Alicia Silverstone, I’m no match for you. Oh well. No time for jealousy Gasmii, we have a pervert to seduce.
Moments later, Dexter is on his way up the steps and I’m standing in the doorway. My left hand is above my head, leaning against the door frame, right hand placed gently on my right hip, head titled just so.
“What’s the fuck’s with the pose, John Travolta? They remaking Saturday Night Fever?” Dex asks. As he ducks under my raised arm and enters my apartment he sings, “ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin alive, stayin alive.”
Oh Gasmii. This is gonna be harder than I thought….
When the show was more than half-way over, Dex had still yet to be seduced. Think of something McSteeny. Say something clever. But make it about Kid Nation. But still sexy. “So…Dex…is that one of Jared’s lollipops in your pocket or are you just-” Oh my God, I’m the worst seducer in the world.
The credits roll, and just then Dex stands up. Oh no. He’s not leaving is he? Tell me he’s not leaving, and I’m not going to spend the rest of the night watching the Spanish channel just to see how much I remember from college. Tell me those five sit-ups I did before weren’t for nothing. Instead he heads to the bathroom. I’m nervous. What do I do? Dex comes out a few minutes later. Incidentally, I have no idea what went on in there, but all I know is when he came out my toothbrush was broken.
Dex steps back into the, eh hem, living room. Awkwardness. But wait. What’s that I see? A special glance? A sparkle in the eye? Dex steps a little closer. “Alright, I’m out of here.” He taps his cheek for me to plant a harmless kiss on him. “Write something good about me,” he yells as he walks out the door. Ay dios mio.
We open the finale with Jonathan giving his own recap of the whole season. Whoa, whoa, whoa Johnny boy, what is this? I do the recapping around here. You just stand there and look pretty, remember? If you’re interested in exchanging roles for next season, so that I get to walk around Bonanza getting paid simply for my glowing existence, while you recap the show for us, then I suggest we sit down for a little negotiation, pass a little cash under the table, that sort of thing. Until then, get the show started, will ya?
Jonathan takes us through all the pioneers. Well, actually I should rephrase. He doesn’t go through ALL the Pioneers. He goes through the ones we actually got to know. He does this same way I did when they used to make us play this game during “self-awareness week” in middle school where you go around the room and have to say something nice about everyone. Even the ones you didn’t like. Much like that week of middle school for me, Jonathan ends up giving some of the pioneers useless compliments like, “made an impact” and “has many skills.” Some of my other personal favorite useless compliments: “works well with others” and “does charity work.”
It should be noted that there are about 5 or 10 pioneers who received little to no face-time whatsoever this season. Take these names for example: Gianna, Brett, Madison, Jasmine, and Sophie. These were actual Pioneers, I kid you not. No pun intended.
We open the real content of our finale at dawn on day 38. Mike has a lot on his mind, and he can’t sleep so he decides to walk around town with a lantern and “reflect.” As he’s reflecting, he notices that the job board is on fire, so he goes to get help. Everyone rushes to put the fire out and Jared comes running along with a mug full of water. Oh Jared, this is no time for hot tea, the job board is burning down. Then Jonathan comes out to tell us that the fire was not a mistake. I’m a little confused. So are some of the pioneers.
No, there are just no more jobs. No showdown, no buffalo nickels and no more pioneer journal. That’s right, you heard me, the MH is gone. Good riddance. One of the pioneers requests that Jonathan burn the MH. Amen anonymous boy. When Jonathan does so, Jared comes back with “hasta la vista baby.” Which I believe in English translates to “burn that bitch” so clearly Jared and I are on the same page here.
But with no job assignments, no MH and no showdown, what will the kids do all day? Whatever the hell they want, that’s what they’ll do. No rules, no order, no MH, no carefully organized classes. This is the Kid Nation I was hoping for all season long.
First the kids start by taking candy. Then Blaine steals a tray full of soda, Jared hauls a wagon-full of store goods, and I don’t know who it was but somebody was stealing shoes. Take it easy Winona Rider. The register is riiight over there.
Despite the happiness most of the pioneers are displaying, Zach and DK are upset that Bonanza is crumbling. Zach says it’s “sickening.” “Just sickening.” “The kids are rioting and out of control and it’s really….sickening.” Hey, Zachy, lighten up and steal something. I might suggest you start with a thesaurus.
Let’s skip ahead to the gold star give away, shall we? The council has to decide immediately who wins it this week. The thought of giving out the last gold star is just too much for DK, who is now crying like a small child who just had his cookie stolen. Not that I’ve ever stolen a cookie from a small child before. But if I had, I’m sure he would have cried like that, and I can assure you I only would have done it because I skipped lunch that day and had a really rough day at work and Chips Ahoy happened to be my very, very favorite.
Zach wins the gold star, blah blah tears. Speechless. Me too. Moving along…
We find the Taylorettes playing in the bunks. They are telling Emilie that they want the last night to themselves. And by themselves they mean without any fatties. I’m sorry, I realize it’s mean, I felt really bad for Emilie, but it’s quite clearly why they were excluding her. Divad’s agent puts the final nail in the coffin when she adds, “But we love you.” I see you’ve switched representation young agent? You’re working for Taylor now? My oh my, you are indeed good at what you do. It’s the classic “I dislike you, I’ll insult you, PS I love you” line. I know it well. Shit, it’s practically my motto.
Well, agent or no agent, Emilie is pissed. Not upset, or hurt. I’m not talking angry as in, “ok who’s the wise guy who gave my friend Clucky a golden shower?” kind of angry. I’m talking pissed. Then again, can we blame her? Think about it. Her human friends just banned her from their bunk, and she knows her real best friends have a one way ticket on a vacation with Colonel Sanders. I might lose it too.
Emilie immediately runs up to Taylor to call her out. “You sent them to do your work for you.” Hot damn Emilie! I didn’t know you had it in you! Go ‘head girl, let ‘er have it! Emilie is totally right. This is definitely a page out of a little novel called Taylor’s Little Messenger. I’m bouncing on my futon (yes, futon, we’ve been over this) in excitement because this is the shit I’ve been waiting for. The real shit. The way it would really work with kids this age. This is the true story…of seven preteens… picked to live in a city…to have their lives taped…to find out what happens… when kiddies stop being polite…and start getting real.
Taylor replies by telling Emilie “you’re not listening when people are trying to tell you what is wrong with you.” First of all: “Wrong with you?” A little pudgie wudgie doesn’t make anything wrong with her, and second of all: “Not listening to people?” Ring ring ring… “hello, Kettle?..yeah, this is Pot. You’re black.”
Emilie is so angry that she starts getting physical. Migle comes over to break the fight up and the Taylorettes tell Emilie they’ll let her play with them tomorrow. Oh how noble of you all to let her play tomorrow. Bitchy, party of four… Bitchy, party of four…your table is ready. On behalf of Emilie, shove tomorrow up your asses. But I love you.
Jonathan comes back to tell the Pioneers that if they can complete three tasks they win the chance to give away three $50,000.00 gold stars. Task one is to make spaghetti and sauce. When Zach makes the sauce it goes everywhere and Zach yells, “It got it all over Maddy.” Who the hell is Maddy? One of the anonymous six I suppose. Maddy honey, if you’re out there, listen to your Aunt McSteeny. Tell your friends at CBS that throwing your name out there in the end doesn’t make everything okay; this isn’t sex. You got hosed Sweetie.
Task two is to build picnic tables which Greg takes care of in a jiffy, because what do ya know… he’s built a table before. Seriously what has this kid not done? Aside from mature properly.
Third task is to move and bury the garbage, which is a little task I like to call, “Save CBS the money they would have paid illegal Mexicans to clean up after you.” Thanks.
Jonathan congratulates them and tells them that in addition to the gold stars, they get a very special reward: their parents are here to surprise them. Yay, I get to see some of my readers! Look Dex, there’s Michael’s dad!! Hi Michael’s Dad! Oh look, Laurel’s Mom. I can see you, Laurel’s Mom!
I’m actually yelling these things at my TV when Dex tells me I’m pathetic. Whatev. It’s exciting. I flash him a dirty look. “Don’t worry Dex, I’ll be this excited if I get to recap the episode of To Catch a Predator that you appear on too. Now don’t you have a Kid Nation Moms I Want To Bone list to start on or something?”
The parents rush over to give kisses and hugs, and oops, Greg’s embarrassed because his mom kissed him on the lips. Don’t worry Greg, Zach’s mom is wiping boogies from his nose so you two have some public embarrassment issues to bond over. Oh and while you’re making plans in advance for it, you might want to invite someone else along….
I’m dying to see Taylor’s mom, but parents are everywhere, it’s like a God damn PTA meeting. Taylor’s mom flashes on screen for a second but I can’t get a good look at her. Know who appears to be a no show though? Taylor’s dad. I aint touchin that one. But if there’s no daddy around it certainly ‘splains a lot.
Jared wastes no time heading to the saloon with his parents. My man! Jared’s dad does a “Bonanza Bomb.” Now if we can just get a head to head Danceman battle going, you’ll have made my night.
At the final town hall meeting, Sophia gets a second star, Morgan gets a second star and Migle gets her first star. Morgan’s dad stands up and thanks the council for giving rewarding his daughter and then Greg thanks Morgan’s dad for allowing the Pioneers the privilege of spending time with his daughter. It’s very moving and attention grabbing for everyone. Well, almost everyone.
Morgan’s dad asks Greg, “how old are you?” in a way that lets us know he means it as a compliment and that Greg seems so mature for his age. Greg replies “fifteen.” Greg doesn’t mention that the other half of him is only six.
Moments later the kids are outside hugging and crying and saying goodbye. It’s actually sad for me that the show is over. I realized watching this show that it’s very different when you’re watching a reality show with kids than it is watching any other reality show. Because unlike other reality stars, when the season is over, you realize that along the way you actually started to care about them. Even the ones who drive you crazy. And you can’t help but not want it to end, mostly because you care how they are doing, and you want to know where their lives lead.
This inspired Dex and I to play a little game we call “Where Are They Now?” A game of prediction, if you will. I invite you all to play along in the comments. Here are a choice few of our predictions:
Dexter’s predictions- Greg will spend an unspecified period of time in military school which will eventually straighten him out.
Blaine is destined to be in a trailer park in northern Florida with a woman named Millie and will spend most of his time in t-shirts that read things like “rednecks do it with the lights on.”
Taylor will be stripping in Vegas.
Mike will assault his sister after catching her stealing from the bank while playing monopoly and wind up in juvie.
Guylan will come back for Kid Nation 2 in hopes of finally winning a gold star so he can afford to pay for his ‘surgery’.
Jared will wind up on teen Jeopardy before forfeiting his appearance based on his loose interpretation of the ‘casual’ dress code – showing up sporting just tube socks, and a smile.
McSteeny’s Predictions- Five years from now Greg will be at the University of Colorado in a dorm room full of furniture he built himself. He’ll be a turf management major. He’ll divide his free time between following his girlfriend around parties to make sure she stays out of trouble, breaking beer pong tables and drunk dialing. He’ll still be wearing those winter hats.
Blaine will be living in LA, dating Migle, and modeling for Hollister. He’ll spend most of his time dodging Greg’s constant drunken phone calls.
Michael will graduate from Penn State a year early and join the Peace Corps where (hopefully) they’ll force him to cut his hair.
Zach will end up in a boy band. I have no basis for this prediction. It’s just a gut call.
Sophia will take the $70,000 she got from CBS, invest it wisely, go to college on a full ride, and be a psych major. She’ll convince her lab professor to let her replace mice with sorority girls. She’ll graduate debt free, and use all the money she saved to open a restaurant that she’ll run as a soup kitchen for the poor every Thanksgiving. Emilie will be her official taste tester.
Taylor will convince two of the Taylorettes to become her assistants who she will refer to as #1 and #2. Eventually Taylor will compete in the Miss Teen USA competition where Olivia will sit in the audience and give death stares. Taylor will lose Miss Teen to Leila who will go on to make millions as the face of the Nintendo Wii Ms. Donkey Kong game.
After singing the “Stah Spangled Bannah” on opening day at Fenway, Laurel will do a short run as Annie on Broadway. Then she’ll move to New York where she’ll discover the only other way to really assault the letter R. She’ll do television or film for a while. Eventually the Hollywood scene will get old and she’ll move back to Boston to have a family. And become a speech pathologist.
Guylan will leave Bonanza, watch the full season of Kid Nation and develop raging anger over the Pioneers who spoke badly about him. He’ll finish home school, move out of the zoo, develop a People To Kill list, and hatch plans to follow through. He’s adding my name to the top of that list right now.
DK will watch the entire season of Kid Nation and realize what a huge role Jared played in the show, albeit not necessarily Bonanza itself. He’ll spend three years feeling guilty that he never gave Jared a gold star.
Jared will turn down an offer for a spin off when the network and his attorney (who shall remain nameless, but once did a little recapping under the guise of a doctor) can’t reach an agreement as to Jared’s right of creative freedom. He’ll wind up going into engineering, discover you can’t actually create a transportation devise and will become infamous for robbing a number of Georgia banks with just a ski mask and a lollipop. He’ll be known as the Candyland Caper.
Well Gasmii, I’m afraid that’s all. Despite all my joking I really feel that every one of these kids are such fantastic children. Every one of them. I wish them all the best. Thanks again to the Kid Nation parents who joined us, Laurel’s Mom, Michael’s Dad… Thank you to the readers who commented every single week. Your loyalty is appreciated:
(warof7, KikiC,Splotchie,reese,fire@will,thisshowrocks,shelly,derek512,farrell100,steez,gifford and goosegg) And if I forgot you, please don’t take offense, I just can’t remember everyone’s names but I do appreciate it.
Its been a pleasure watching with you Gasmii.