There seem to be a zillion different reality shows now, to the point where some seem to resort to showing adults in dumber situations where their flaws and lack of intelligence is quickly able to be highlighted for entertainment value. A new reality show premieres this fall (September 19th) on CBS which has an original and never-before-done thing: it has an all-kid cast. Forty children aged 8.5 to 15 are going to live in an abandoned ghost town in New Mexico, all alone. They will have to govern themselves as well as subsist completely on their own, using pioneer type survival skills.
CBS has a long preview online of Kid Nation for free viewing now.
Through watching this I see that although the show appears to mirror Survivor, no one will be “voted off”, an idea which Survivor created, but if a child asks to leave they will be allowed to leave. This lack of “voting off”, I think, will prevent the show from becoming “Lord of the Flies”-like (which by the way was the inspiration for the entire Survivor concept). Instead of ending each episode with elimination, at the end of every episode the children will decide who deserves a gold star, in reality that is a $20K college scholarship.
Commercials for this show have been airing on CBS since the beginning of July. When my children saw the preview they loved the idea. My 9.5 year old was very impressed and says he wished he knew about it so that he could have auditioned. He hopes the show is good and he is already asking if a second season will air so that he can audition! I can’t wait to show my boys this longer online premiere as it gives a lot more information about the show concept and it shows many video clips of the children speaking about the experience.
As to what I think of my older son being on such a show, I don’t know if he can survive without access to the foods he likes to eat, his picky eating habits won’t take him too far if he was living in an abandoned ghost town! I was also surprised that this son would be so fearless as to think about moving across the country to live with only other children in a ghost town. I mean, the kid has not even gone to sleep-away camp yet! Then again maybe he likes the idea of using pioneer survival skills, which he has been learning at a class for homeschooled children in this last year. Actually he did already say what appeals to him is to have a little society of only children living without adult supervision.
One more note, last week my older son asked if I’d send in an audition tape for Survivor. When I joked about it in the past, he would freak out and say that he didn’t want me to leave for a month or more at one clip. Well now he wants me to be on Survivor. While I think it would be fun to be on Survivor I am not in physical shape to take on such a task and don’t know if I’d want millions seeing me doing extremely hard physical exercise in a bathing suit!
Anyway I can’t wait to see Kid Nation. I am very curious how the children will interact with each other. One thing that appeals to me is that I have always felt that if allowed, children can act more mature and can be more independent than most parents (or adults in society) usually allow them.
Note: The premiere date changed to 9/19/07, so I updated my blog post.
Technorati Tags: Kid Nation, children, reality show, American media, survival skills.