‘Kid Nation’: fend for yourselves

By Mike Bieker
November 15, 2007


Most children would get scared, cry for their parents and become helpless if left alone for a long period of time, right? Wrong. “Kid Nation” is a new reality show that is much like the predecessors of shows like “Survivor” and “Shipwrecked” but unlike the other two shows, this show is about kids fending for themselves.

“Kid Nation” takes place in a deserted desert in New Mexico. Here the children have little to no contact with their parents and are miles and miles away from the nearest town (Santa Fe.) For 40 days the children of the show, ages ranging from 8 to 15, had to mature into adults at a rapid pace and make decisions the normal teenager would not be faced with.

“I think the show is a very good idea. I’m so sick and tired of seeing Survivor 22 on TV; the first three Survivors were enough. We, as TV audiences, need new ideas for shows and I think “Kid Nation” did it!” Kristin Spahr, sophomore biology major, said.

The show is being attacked by the New Mexico state legislature for the kids violating state and federal laws. Even one parent went as far as complaining to the New Mexico authorities that their child was put under conditions that were abusive and harmful, according to the NY Times.

The children and show, Kid Nation, are being questioned about whether child labor laws and child safety laws were violated during the show. A contract was signed before the start of the show to ensure this type of matter would not happen. In the contract, the children and parents acknowledge that they have to do whatever the show’s producers tell them and whenever 24 hours a day seven days a week.

“I think to say that children’s laws were violated is completely absurd. The children, the parents and the producers all knew what they were getting themselves into and because a few parents realized what their children were going through and want to make a rant about it, it’s unjustifiable,” Timmy Kloeblen, sophomore business major, said.

In the show the children of “Kid Nation” were very political, economical and some even corrupt. The show, in its progression, showed some kids grouping together, some kids stepping up as leaders, backstabbing and going behind other’s backs. All these words normally do not pertain to children and it is remarkable how children can change their whole entire mindset when faced with a situation like “Kid Nation.”

But with those kinds of responsibilities come new problems and dangers, and the producers of Kid Nation were well aware that this was a possibility. To ensure the safety of the kids and the producers of the show, parents and children had to sign an agreement on diseases/illnesses. The agreement holds the parent and child solely responsible for any “emotional” distress, illnesses, sexually transmitted diseases, H.I.V. and pregnancy, according to the NY Times.

The show “Kid Nation” aired on television Sept. 19 on CBS, and even though it has been ridiculed and blamed for violations of children’s well beings, the show is truly one of a kind and has an abundance of viewers that eagerly watch every week.

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Mike Bieker

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