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[P]
Kid Nation, or "We Pretty Much Stopped Trying After Survivor."

By fluxrad in Op-Ed
Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 01:57:26 AM EST
Tags: op-ed, kid nation, child abuse (all tags)

Kid Nation premiered last Wednesday, and the show was, for lack of a better term, fascinating. It was formulaic and, well, just plain bad. But it was also fascinating. In case you missed it, the premise revolves around sending 40 children to a ghost town in New Mexico for 40 days. The ages of the children range from 8-15, with the majority lying somewhere in the 10-12 range. Once there, the kids will have no supervision beyond that of a couple of camera crew and the host, Jonathan Karsh, who comes and goes randomly, but always to help the kids on their path.

There's all kinds of hullabaloo about whether or not it's ethical to take kids and simply drop them off in the middle of nowhere. Though they immediately showed the largest factor in the parents' decision to let these kids on to a TV show that could do a mind job on them for years: A gold star (cute) worth $20,000. A star is handed out by the "town council" at every meeting, so presumably about 5 kids will go home with prize money. My guess is that at least one of them will also win some ridiculous prize at the end of the show...say a million bucks.

I'd like to say that's where the show gets "better", but it doesn't. On this show no one gets voted off, and everyone's going home a winner.


The gist of the show, drawn up in a fashion that would actually make CBS let it on the air is simple: Can kids really survive by themselves for 40 days with no adult supervision. The secondary, but perhaps more fundamental question that is implied is "Will kids make the right decisions if given the opportunity?"

The thing is, from the outset, the entire show sets these kids up for success. For example, once the four "districts" of the newly created town pass some meaningless test (in this case, drilling for colored water), the town council is presented with a choice. They can opt for seven more outhouses to add to the single unit that's being shared by the 40 kids, or they can opt for a television. Now many of these kids did go for the TV, and the show definitely tried to portray it as a tough call - but when the council did eventually decide on the outhouses, everyone erupted with cheers. It was clear that this was an easy decision, even for the kids, despite the fact that CBS tried to portray it as some epic logical challenge. But even a 12 year old would be able to decipher the "trick" to the problem. And these kids easily spotted the life line that the producers were throwing them.

Better still, all of the directions the group was given created structure from the outset. For example, the producers set up a caste system for the kids. The kids that won the water pumping contest were chosen as the upper class, and made a higher wage than the rest of the children. The kids that came in second were the merchant class, then came the cooks and the laborers. Additionally, prices for all goods were already set. And it all plays out as it should. The economic system for the kids is essentially what they are used to at home: an allowance. While the amount of chores varies by group, as does the allowance, it's all pretty structured. Moreover, the basics are already provided. None of groups have to worry about rent, or how they're going to get their water. This kid "nation" is more like an slightly undersupervised day camp.

Case in point: the kids are already provided with a recipe book for their cooking duties. While its up to the kids to cook and clean for themselves (a task which many 10-14 year olds already perform), they already know what they can make with the goods they have, and they know how to make it.

Of course, the producers have also incorporated the standard reality TV tools into this increasingly formulaic mix. There are a couple of older, tougher troublemakers. It's immediately clear that at some point down the road (maybe sweeps week) there's going to be conflict between some number of kids. The council members are going to have to figure out how to deal with it. But the viewer can't shake the feeling that both the conflict and the resolution will be wholly manufactured by the producers of the show.

And that's what Kid Nation really boils down to. From the outset it feels too structured - and maybe that's the point. In order to sell a show about whether kids make the right decisions or not to both CBS and - more importantly - the families of the children who are participating, the producers have to make sure that the kids do make the right decisions. The producers have to make sure that even the wrong choices will be of little consequence, or that all the choices are obvious (e.g. the outhouses). Who on earth would hand their 9 year old over to a TV studio to roam the tetanus infested scrub land of middle New Mexico without assurances that little Timmy would be completely safe. $20,000 or no, at least most parents are somewhat sane in this regard.

And in the end, I think this show will turn out exactly like the formulaic kids adventure movie we all have come to know and love (think: Harry Potter). The kids will wind up none the worse for wear, though a series of end-of-season interviews will touch us deeply as the kids tell us just how much they've learned, and grown, during their stay. Maybe even our benevolent host, Mr. Karsh, will opine on the meaningfulness of these past months we've been watching, about how society at large is reflected in these kids' decisions, or some nonsense. I'm honestly hoping for more. As sick as it is, I'd like to see some reality out of this show. I'd like to see what happens when the kids get themselves into situations they really might need an adult for, but won't have one. Sadly, to sell it, there's no way the producers of Kid Nation could allow that kind of danger. And after all is said and done, Kid Nation is going to wind up shooting itself in the foot. Those who believe this is child abuse won't change their minds just because there's help just around the corner. And those who want to see a real study on what kids would do without adult supervision won't be satisfied because there's too much structure, or because there's a help just around the corner.

While the critics' reviews have been lackluster at best, there's more fallout over the show than just the normal ethical questions being asked. New Mexico's AG is looking into whether or not child labor laws were violated in the filming of the show. The show was produced using a loophole in New Mexico law and there's a question of whether or not they'll even be able to film season 2 at all. That assumes, of course, that anyone would actually watch it.

In the end, though, many of us will still wind up watching the show. That's the draw of reality television. It can be formulaic. It can be trite. It can be terrible. But even though a show might be all those things, for some inexplicable reason, it can still be watchable. It remains to be seen whether or not Kid Nation, a show whose producers have obviously scraped the depths of the reality TV bargain bin, can even make for compelling brain candy. Unfortunately for me, I'll probably be following along the whole way.

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Poll
Does Kid Nation violate the standards of ethical television?
o Yes 20%
o No 80%

Votes: 10
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kid Nation
o Jonathan Karsh
o lackluster
o at best
o New Mexico's AG
o they'll even be able to film season 2 at all
o Also by fluxrad


Display: Sort:
Kid Nation, or "We Pretty Much Stopped Trying After Survivor." | 69 comments (60 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
i think you'd be very surprised (2.60 / 5) (#1)
by nononoitaintmebabe on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 09:52:46 PM EST

how many parents would sell their children to a tv studio.  
and i really can't bring myself to watch this show.  i don't want to encourage stuff like this. but the one thing that i really think is that my generation (when we were kids) would have been better at this. i think we were much tougher than the kids today.  
no kidding.  we DID walk to school in the snow.  

I wouldn't sell my kids (3.00 / 2) (#6)
by raduga on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 11:41:31 PM EST

but if I could sell Kurons to a tv studio....
or eBay for that matter

[ Parent ]
who would pay (none / 1) (#14)
by nononoitaintmebabe on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 10:04:41 AM EST

for a kuron?

[ Parent ]
see GP post (none / 0) (#29)
by raduga on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 08:26:39 PM EST



[ Parent ]
i see kids here (3.00 / 4) (#10)
by anticlimax on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 02:58:02 AM EST

in Colombia who are 7- or 8-years-old and basically running large aspects of their family business and/or peddling shit on buses, street-corners, etc. i talk to them like adults, and they respond like adults, and it's pretty amazing/sad to think about what i was doing at their age.

i think you're right, though, when you were a kid, you probably were tougher, but i guess kids nowadays don't NEED to be tough in that sense.

and so what people deal with everyday in other countries gets to be our hour of novelty. weird.

[ Parent ]
well, (2.33 / 3) (#13)
by nononoitaintmebabe on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 09:45:42 AM EST

the really sad truth is that there are kids here in america who are like that too.  who, essentially have been robbed of their childhoods.  and there is something really creepy (not just weird) about a tv show who artificially manufactures this "adulthood"  for children so taht we adults can be entertained.  

but, when i was talking about being tougher when i was that age what i meant  was that despite still having the privalege of being children, we also were more independent- less catered to and more expected to solve our own silly problems.  if it was saturday, we were expected to go outside and find something to do for ourselves until we were called in to dinner.  we didn't have activies scheduled for us or our differences mediated by adults.  we were expected to walk to school and get there on time by ourselves.  we were expected to stay out of trouble.  or if we got into it, we had to dig ourselves out.  if we broke someone's window on purpose or by accident, we were expected to pay for it- that wasn't our parent's repsonsibility.  if we had a cold, we had a cold and we suffered through it- we weren't taken to the doctor for every snuffle or every cut.  etc.

[ Parent ]

Aww get off the horse (3.00 / 5) (#50)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 05:09:37 PM EST

"Robbing children of their childhood" is a phenomenon about as old as your parents. Kids have been used as labor throughout the history, and still are. It is only due to our fatcat lifestyles that we can afford to let them have a childhood.

And look where our society is headed, lead by the current generation which is perhaps the first to have a "childhood."

--
It's hard to be humble when even Mr Bigballs rates me as #1 Kuro5hit.


[ Parent ]
Shit, I agree with you (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by livus on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 09:37:32 PM EST

I hope this isn't a symptom of some deeper malaise.

Then again you probably think child labour is great, whereas I have given up chocolate.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

WTF Ivy League schools admit 7-year-olds now? /nt (none / 1) (#49)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 05:07:35 PM EST


--
It's hard to be humble when even Mr Bigballs rates me as #1 Kuro5hit.


[ Parent ]
Please (2.80 / 5) (#16)
by Scrymarch on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 12:23:14 PM EST

It's hardly selling, it's a short term lease arrangement.

[ Parent ]
How about leasing? (none / 0) (#20)
by Blond Treehorn Thug on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 01:32:45 PM EST

Could I lease them for, I don't know, about 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon?

I am amused by the simplicity of this game. Bring me your finest meats and cheeses.
[ Parent ]
Reality Television is like a gruesome car wreck (2.42 / 7) (#2)
by MichaelCrawford on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 10:09:17 PM EST

You know you shouldn't look, but somehow you can't stop yourself.


Looking for some free songs?


if I can avoid looking (none / 1) (#5)
by raduga on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 11:39:14 PM EST

does that mean I'm not schizoaffective????

or does that mean I am???????????

[ Parent ]

My will is strong (3.00 / 4) (#7)
by khallow on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 01:06:55 AM EST

I can avoid looking at accident wrecks and I can avoid reality TV. My points go into other things.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Your inherited piano is like a gruesome car wreck (none / 1) (#21)
by undermyne on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 01:41:57 PM EST

You know a STEINWAY would sound better, but somehow you can't stop yourself.

Actually, its more like the sound of a thousand dying rabbits, but you get the point.


"SEALED MASTICATION MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU SPEAK IT? " thekubrix
[ Parent ]
sorry but I am not interested I quit watching TV (1.66 / 6) (#3)
by achievingfluidity on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 10:50:37 PM EST

15 years ago. With the exception of VHS and DVD TV has become a bit like a dinosaur. It is no longer relevant.

--
ANNOY A LIBERAL USE FACTS AND LOGIC


advanced technology from Japan (3.00 / 2) (#4)
by raduga on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 11:37:45 PM EST

> 15 years ago. With the exception of VHS TV has become
> a bit like a dinosaur. It is no longer relevant.

my Sony Trinitron receiver / BetaMax recorder laugh
at your cheap american knockoffs.

[ Parent ]

Isn't that a bit like dismissing books as a medium (2.83 / 6) (#8)
by fluxrad on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 01:18:58 AM EST

Sure, the vast majority of television programming is terrible. But new technologies, such as the DVR, and greater access to cable/non-network channels can't be overlooked. The medium is valuable.

Sure, you can wait a year or two for your favorite show to (maybe) come out on DVD. But why wait when you can record it now, or watch it live. If I gave up television I'd miss out on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Metalocalypse, South Park, and all the sports I love to watch (Hockey and Football primarily). I'll grant you that those are filed under the entertainment category, but so are about 50-60% of the books I read.

Of course, what's worse is that I'd miss out on the channels that, absent great series, have phenomenal programming, specifically PBS, Discovery, and the History Channel.

The real issue here is that television simply can't be dismissed on the whole. It is nothing more than a medium through which content is distributed. You can easily disparage most of the content, but that's not an inherent indictment of the medium. Hell, 99% of books published are absolute crap. That doesn't mean I intend to stop reading, or get rid of the ones I own.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Passive and Active (2.50 / 2) (#12)
by tolomea on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 09:45:35 AM EST

While a fairly large portion of both books and TV is utter crap, TV has the unique position that the lowest effort course of action is to just sit there and let it continue to pump crap into your head.

At least with every other medium you have to put some degree of effort into it which in turn means you will only participate as long as the reward is greater than the effort. It also encourages you to seek out works where the reward is greater than the effort.

With TV it takes no effort to continue watching and worse yet it actually requires some degree of effort to stop.

A fairly large portion of most peoples TV watching is latent, they may turn the TV on for some specific program, but after that program is done they continue watching whatever is on because it's easier than finding something more worthwhile to do.

In our house the biggest nail in the TV coffin was the rule that you had to pick the shows you wanted to watch out of the guide at the start of the week. That overnight cut TV viewing by 80%


[ Parent ]

yeah, it's more fake ass nonsense (2.92 / 13) (#9)
by livus on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 02:52:51 AM EST

If we really want to know how children organise themselves and make decisions we can watch documentaries on, say, feral orphans in Russia after the collapse of the USSR (answer: prostitution, selling cigarettes for the mafia, sleeping in abandoned buildings.)

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

do I detect a note of cynical irony (none / 1) (#19)
by nostalgiphile on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 01:31:37 PM EST

...or were you speaking in earnest about such documentaries? IFI? Pls to be explaining.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
I can't seem to find it on the internets (3.00 / 3) (#32)
by livus on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 09:33:29 PM EST

but there was a great turn of the century russian doco called something like (english translation) We The Children of the Twenty First Century which was about precisely that. In order to get them to even stand there for the camera, though, the director had to offer them money - they were really suspicious that he meant to harm them, etc.

Of course I could have used other examples, from "satellite kids" through to central american street gang kids or the aids orphans.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

sounds familiar but (none / 1) (#37)
by nostalgiphile on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 12:11:43 AM EST

I couldn't find it either, unless you're talking about that "profoundly intimate and heart-wrenching drama" called Children Underground, which was about packs of wild Romanian rugrats roving the streets of Bucharest in any case...

So yeah, I agree, documentary movies are no better than reality TV, and teh ethnologists are a bunch of pseudo-intellectual hypocrites.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]

nah, is documentary, is russian (none / 1) (#54)
by livus on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 07:19:28 PM EST

is inexplicably not on the anglophone internets. I wonder why.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Reality is more interesting. (3.00 / 3) (#41)
by sudogeek on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 10:23:22 AM EST

The kids know this is a game with no real importance. They get to go to this "camp" during the summer. In return, they got away from their parents and had a chance to be on TV, maybe even to be somewhat famous. Their parents got some cash and all signed releases. All the kids have agents and extensive contracts to cover the producers' rights and profits if, on the odd chance, one of the kids catches on with the audience. I mean Britney is so over now.

The kids have no real competition. Food and shelter is provided. There is definite structure in that there is no room or opportunity for crime and no real advantage. The kids all know they are going home after 3 weeks of shooting. There's going to be no Holden Caulfield.

When I was in Bahia 15 years ago, there were indeed "Captains of the Sands" á la Jorge Amado. (You can download and watch the documentary Blown Away Kids" about the Brazilian street kids.) The similarity between the Brazilian kids and the Russion, Romainian, Yemeni, and others is fascinating. Unlike (only theoretical) kids in isolation, real societies of street children interface with adult society. They appear to develop strikingly similar patterns despite major cultural difference in the parent society.

There's a sucker born every minute, and you're an hour's worth.
[ Parent ]

I'd like to see that; (none / 1) (#56)
by livus on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 07:34:49 PM EST

thanks.

A british reality show about survival has been screening here recently that really brought the whole thing home to me - it's filmed about two hours away from where I live (which is in the country's largest city) and also in very similar circumstances to the ones in which I grew up.

So there are these weird people sitting aroung whining to the camera that they feel so lonely and that life is so hard and I'm sitting there thinking dude, you got your toilet dug for you, you got your house built for you, you got your drinking water brought in for you, you're surrounded by people; in real life you would do what, die?

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

mmmmmm....babywhore...my favorite....np (none / 0) (#65)
by Wain on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 09:57:53 PM EST



[ Parent ]
more recent (none / 0) (#68)
by kromagg on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 03:07:20 PM EST

There's been a documentary for the english panorama I think recently about kids in africa, most of them evicted from their town for "witchcraft" who learn to fend for themselves on the streets of the city. They organise in gangs, have addmission rituals and use drugs all the time. They steal stuff (for themselves or for other people, I don't remember) and all the girls were prostitutes too.

[ Parent ]
simulation (1.33 / 3) (#15)
by zombie Colonel Kurtz on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 10:28:25 AM EST

In this passage to a space whose curvature is no longer that of the real, nor of truth, the age of simulation thus begins with a liquidation of all referential - worse: by their artificial resurrection in systems of signs, which are a more ductile material than meaning, in that they lend themselves to all systems of equivalence, all binary oppositions and all combinatory algebra. It is no longer a question of imitation, nor of reduplication, nor even of parody. It is rather a question of substituting signs of the real for the real itself; that is, an operation to deter every real process by its operational double, a metastable, programmatic, perfect descriptive machine which provides all the signs of the real and short-circuits all its vicissitudes. Never again will the real have to be produced: this is the vital function of the model in a system of death, or rather of anticipated resurrection which no longer leaves any chance even in the event of death. A hyperreal henceforth sheltered from the imaginary, and from any distinction between the real and the imaginary, leaving room only for the orbital recurrence of models and the simulated generation of difference.

My thoughts in a nutshell (none / 0) (#31)
by harrystottle on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 08:50:10 PM EST



Mostly harmless
[ Parent ]
STOP CHANNELING MINDPIXEL, THAT'S FREAKING ME OUT€ (none / 0) (#51)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 05:10:59 PM EST


--
It's hard to be humble when even Mr Bigballs rates me as #1 Kuro5hit.


[ Parent ]
sounds like (none / 0) (#66)
by buford on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 12:46:44 AM EST

baudrillard!

GOOOOO postmodernists!

if a man zeros you, he is a spastic with the scroll wheel, and should be pitied.
[
Parent ]

WIPO: (2.00 / 2) (#18)
by Blond Treehorn Thug on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 01:27:14 PM EST

"ETHICAL STANDARDS?!? ROR"

I am amused by the simplicity of this game. Bring me your finest meats and cheeses.
Fuck reality Tv... (3.00 / 3) (#22)
by Psycho Dave on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 01:44:41 PM EST

When does 24 start again? At least that show teaches you useful stuff like how to make terr'usts tell you where the bomb is and stuff.

Scream at them (3.00 / 3) (#25)
by fluxrad on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 02:05:18 PM EST

and then repeat phrases like, "I am deadly serious."

I had to stop watching 24 last season. It got shitty all over again with a quickness. I'm sorry, but I really don't identify with any of the characters, and the acting is melodramatic and monotonous. In real life, even in the tensest of situations there will be a few people that have a sense of gallows humor. That's why 24 isn't compelling television. It never changes gears. It's stuck on INTENSE!!!!11 and life doesn't look like that.

Yeah yeah, we all know 24 isn't real life, but to gain credibility you still have to try to achieve a reasonable approximation.

Damnit, Dave. You trolled me into ranting about 24 again, you bastard!

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
I don't blame you... (3.00 / 2) (#26)
by Psycho Dave on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 03:25:45 PM EST

Last season was fucking terrible. Every single twist was terribly rehashed in a show that rehashed its twists with much regularity before. The first four hours were fantastic, but I feel off the boat pretty quick when they brought in Jack Bauer's dad and brother. What the fuck is this supposed to be, Alias?

The only disturbing thing about the show is how people (most frighteningly, ones in our military) see it as a moral justification towards torture. Folks, if you don't recognize the dilemma's presented in this show are completely fantastical, you are either 1)in the seventh grade or 2)a fucking retard.

A show I would recommend to you is The Shield. The Wire is fantastic, but I know you hate it, and The Shield comes in a very close second in my approximation. The tone is a little more fast paced and the seasons are short, so you'd probably like it.

[ Parent ]

I second The Shield (none / 0) (#48)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 05:04:33 PM EST

I ranted and raved about it in muh story.

--
It's hard to be humble when even Mr Bigballs rates me as #1 Kuro5hit.


[ Parent ]
I'll second Battlestar Galactica... (none / 0) (#52)
by Psycho Dave on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 06:48:28 PM EST

I've just recently gotten into this show. Wow. Any idea when the 3rd season will be out on DVD.

(Also, let me pre-emptively anticipate fluxrad's response to this endorsement...)

Why would I want to watch a shitty remake or a show that was a shitty Star Wars rip-off to begin with? Oh, you say it's deep because it's a "modern day allegory". I got an idea, I'll take a stupid idea for a show, slap on some allegory, and suddenly nerds will think they're smart by watching it and fawn all over it. Finally! I've cracked the formula!

You all should watch real TV shows like Deadwood. That's the only TV show that was ever worth watching.

[ Parent ]

Hate to break it to you, but BSG 3rd season (none / 0) (#53)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 07:17:16 PM EST

blows chunks after [redacted]. I stopped watching it as it turned into yet another soap in space.

--
It's hard to be humble when even Mr Bigballs rates me as #1 Kuro5hit.


[ Parent ]
Network TV (none / 1) (#39)
by IHCOYC on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 02:08:10 AM EST

I gave up on network TV drama - or at least the ubiquitous shows about crime and its detection and punishment - when they stopped being about car chases, gunfights, and T&A, and instead came to feature Method-acted browbeatings and plots Ripped!! from Today's!! Headlines!!!!

I realize that they're a lot cheaper to make that way, and need little in the way of a SFX budget. Recycling last month's moral panic -- you get a feel for the production cycle by counting the months between the mediaflutter and the fiction derived from it -- allows them to claim to be Relevant! and Engaged!, while excusing the writers from originality.
--
"Complecti antecessores tuos in spelæis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
"Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit G
[ Parent ]

Television? Ethics? lol {[nt (none / 0) (#23)
by Stick Apart on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 01:45:17 PM EST


-------
> "I think it could easily be around 200 million people dead because of gun control." - V

SUPPORT A TEXT-FRIENDLY INTERNET

I Saw What You Did There (3.00 / 7) (#24)
by localroger on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 01:46:29 PM EST

Your definition of "bad" is not the one the TV network uses. Their definition of "bad" is "nobody watches it." Your eyeballs in front of the screen is all the success they need.

alexboko: I think, how do animals view our behavior?
Sgt York: Opening
Fascinating. (1.83 / 6) (#28)
by chlorus on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 07:43:06 PM EST

Please tell me more about [MINDLESS REALITY TELEVISION PROGRAM].

Peahippo: Coked-up internet tough guy or creepy pedophile?

Why are you surprised by the supervision? (2.25 / 4) (#34)
by Torka on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 10:17:51 PM EST

Humans are fucking animals, children no less so. Without a highly structured environment combined with the ability for adults to intervene at any time, even ignoring the potential for random accidents, you'd run the risk of kids maiming or raping each other. No television network that caused that to happen would survive the resulting publicity.

sucks to your asthmar! (2.00 / 3) (#35)
by circletimessquare on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 10:55:18 PM EST

(if you get that quote, you're teh coolness)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Yeah (3.00 / 2) (#38)
by Sgt York on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 01:59:31 AM EST

That was from the first time I read about this kind of thing.

IIRC, that one didn't turn out too well.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

I had to google it. (none / 1) (#45)
by fluxrad on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 12:40:01 PM EST

I haven't read LotF in about 15 years, so unless you showed me a picture of a pig's head on a stick, or a fat kid crying with broken glasses, I probably wouldn't get any references.

Seems like now might be a good time to re-read it. Meh, my life is nothing more than a long list of good books I'll get around to reading once I've finished with the crappy ones I've got at the moment.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
yeah that's what we were saying (3.00 / 2) (#55)
by livus on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 07:21:58 PM EST

it isn't airing here yet but there was a news item. It was a toss up between sharpen a stick at both ends and he who walks between the rows.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Reality television is... (none / 0) (#40)
by fyngyrz on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 06:56:06 AM EST

...like the sludge that accumulates at the bottom of a septic tank. It's... well... septic.

Find a good book to read. Really.


Blog, Photos.

At one point (none / 0) (#43)
by Sgt York on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 12:34:30 PM EST

this particular reality TV show was a pretty good book.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Lord of the Flies? I never read it, but I did... (none / 0) (#58)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 09:44:57 PM EST

... watch South Park's take on it.


Looking for some free songs?


[ Parent ]

South Park never did LotF (none / 1) (#59)
by fluxrad on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 10:19:47 PM EST

Though they did do a Mad Max spoof you probably saw.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
You're probably thinking (none / 0) (#60)
by Sgt York on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 09:26:57 AM EST

of the Simpsons. I don't know of a South Park version.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Battle Royale was much more entertaining (3.00 / 3) (#47)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 04:58:52 PM EST

And they should just drop the little fuckers in wilderness with nothing but a knife. Now that would be must-see TV.

--
It's hard to be humble when even Mr Bigballs rates me as #1 Kuro5hit.


don't want to see it (none / 0) (#61)
by mikelist on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 05:40:58 PM EST

the observers completely ruin the path that would be followed if NO ADULTS were present. at the same time, similar ideas have been used as therapy for borderline delinquents, with mixed results, mostly positive.

there is a lot to consider when weighing the 'reality' aspect against the safety of the kids. i'm sure there will be some injuries - how many of them will have been preventable by reasonable supervision, and is that just the price we pay to be entertained?

i can laugh at some 'think of the children' comments, but as a parent, i wouldn't have my kids on it, and would have to wonder about any parent who let their child participate.

unsupervised kids from 10-15 (3.00 / 2) (#62)
by Wain on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 07:10:31 PM EST

should be having sex by about week 2...

somehow I doubt this happens in the show...clearly it is rigged.


Why? (2.50 / 2) (#63)
by Yonzie on Tue Sep 25, 2007 at 04:53:55 PM EST

In the end, though, many of us will still wind up watching the show. [...] Unfortunately for me, I'll probably be following along the whole way.

And you are doing this ... why?
If you like it, you watch it and you are happy.
If you don't like it, you don't watch it and are happy.
Instead, you will watch it and be unhappy... On purpose... Are you some depressed masochistic Goth or something?

more likely he's bored. np (none / 1) (#64)
by Wain on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 09:55:04 PM EST



[ Parent ]
They cry more than adult contestants N/T (none / 0) (#67)
by 4th Ace on Tue Oct 02, 2007 at 05:39:02 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Won't Watch it.. but am interested in the ratings. (none / 0) (#69)
by Inhibit on Mon Oct 08, 2007 at 10:26:04 PM EST

And TV squad chimed in with those.  Apparently the premiere did better than I'd figure it would.

Will they stoop to a "you must all watch this... think of the children!" campaign?
-- Inhibit, PCBurn Linux hardware/software reviewer

Kid Nation, or "We Pretty Much Stopped Trying After Survivor." | 69 comments (60 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
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