‘Kid nation’ is an American reality show telecast in the year 2007 which failed to see a second season due to labor law issues faced by the production house as the filming allegedly involved scripted lines that technically turned the participants into child actors. When you set aside the technicalities and the niggling doubt that some of the lines spouted by the kids were written down for them by adults, one can see how this show impacts a viewer positively.
40 kids belonging to age group 8-15, hailing from different cities/towns in US assembled in a makeshift town called Bonanza city to build a functional society with four rungs – Upper class, Merchants, Cooks, and Laborers. A team of four kids form the town council on whose shoulders weigh the responsibility of making tough decisions for the benefit of their townsfolk. The four teams – blue, red, green, and yellow - are given the responsibility of their ranks depending on how their team fares in the district assignments in each episode.
During their stint in the Bonanza city, kids learn to shoulder responsibilities, work hard individually and as a team, and most importantly learn to co-habit peacefully with other kids from diverse backgrounds, learn to become each other’s support system in the long run. The positives of the show outweigh the negatives and when we see older kids offer unconditional support and encouragement to homesick younger ones, and problems being resolved by talking things out, the negatives become negligible and the positives leave a lasting impression on the young minds that watch the show.
Kids in my family are in awe of the 40 odd kids who cook, clean, make decisions, handle each problem in a mature manner, and it sure beats us parents lecturing about the same things that are relayed effortlessly through the hourly episodes. There is no short cut to success – its only hard work, sincere and honest work. This is proven when the council members meet at the end of every episode to decide on an exemplary performance by a kid who deserves to win a $20000 gold star.
The district assignments, the team challenges are fun to be part of and they test their skills as a team and their knowledge. If the entire town successfully completes the challenges within the stipulated time, they are amply rewarded. In the previous episode, they were offered a choice between ponies that would help ease their task of carrying water and letters from home. The council members had to make a tough choice but had the heart to forgo the ponies and choose the much awaited letters from the loved ones to everyone’s delight.
I am probably late in writing this article, as there are only few more episodes left to air in the only season of this show, Mon-Wed @9pm on Big CBS Love but be sure to catch them. Better late than never.