Reality Recapped

Kid Nation

CBS opens it?s first reality farm team

After hearing stories of kids being burnt, beaten and bleached, I was nearly positive I wouldn?t go near the eye network?s latest reality offering ? Kid Nation. In addition to the rumors of neglect, stories spread like wildfire that began to make the show look less than credible. How dare someone suggest ?reality? television is anything less than 100% real!

Morals be damned, I just had to watch ? and so did roughly 9 million of you. Kid Nation was a surprisingly interesting show; even though it?s blatantly obvious the settlement is hardly a ghost town. For starters, the host (Jonathon, the only adult ever seen on camera) lets the Kid Nation council (consisting of 4 of young ones) in on a little secret. Apparently, the previous tenants of this ghost town couldn?t make it work, but they pass down secrets to the tykes so that they can. Amazingly, the book has gathered no dust since the late 19th century, and it even contains ?Survivor? style bandanas to help separate the kiddos into districts (red and blue ? hmmm ? green and yellow). These 4 districts then divide into classes, ? Poor (labor), working class poor (cooks), middle class (merchants) and the elite rich (upper class). The wee ones are then paid based on class and let loose to spend their riches on what any self-respecting kid would: candy, soda, toys and more candy.

By the end of the first show, the kids also learn another secret ? each week one of them will be awarded a gold star worth $20,000. The council awards star #1 to the hard working head cook of the bunch, 14 year-old Sophia. While some of the children don?t seem too eager to work around the town, once the twenty grand twist is revealed, they?re out for blood. Even the 15 year-old town bad boy decides he?s going to get the next gold star.

Other highlights (?) of the show included the adorable little 8 year-old Jimmy deciding he can?t hack life away from his parents and packs it in, council member Taylor (age 10) declaring, ?I?m a beauty queen, I don?t do dishes?, and the clan agreeing that, given the choice, they?ll take 7 new outhouses over a television, thank you very much. Wise pick since the previous ratio was 40 to 1.

If nothing else, Kid Nation will give you something to talk about. Message boards all over the net are on fire with parents debating the show, and after only one installment being aired thus far, you can surely expect much more. Fans of William Golding?s Lord of the Flies might enjoy the nod towards the 50?s literary classic, but keep in mind these kids have camera crews, doctors, shrinks and more just out of our line of sight. I?m still keeping an open mind; we?ll see how these reality-stars-in-training do over the coming weeks.

Big Brother snubs Little Sis

In other reality news, Dick Donato, the 44 year-old bar manager from under some dive in Hollywood, became the winner of Big Brother 8, solidly beating out his sometimes-estranged 21 year-old daughter, Daniele. These two have had more publicity than they deserve this summer, so I?m not going to waste my pretty little fingers on them, other than these next few sentences. Then I?m done, I?m walking away for good?are you listening Mr. Moonves?? I?m sure my boycott of the summer reality show is really going to cause him a lot of sleepless nights. Good.

Never before has such an ugly personality won this game, or participated for that matter. Evel Dick (a moniker he gave himself) has tried unsuccessfully for the past three seasons to secure his place in the house, and this was his lucky year. He spit, farted, burped, yelled, cussed, and snot-rocketed his way through the three months in captivity, belittling each and every housemate, strutted his man-boobs and a plethora of terrible tattoos for all the world to see, and for this he takes home a cool half-mil. Come on, people!! Do none of you houseguests watch previous seasons of the show before you step across the threshold?? You all bought into his lies (YES! Big surprise, he was lying to you!), fell for his deals, expected him to uphold them, and somehow thought even though he had just called you a fat, worthless pig, he was now going to hold your hand in happy-sappy friendship until the final three. At least the reining Big Brother Master Manipulator, Dr. ?Evil? Will Kirby, took the time to schmooze you before plunging the knife in. It?s a game built on lies and deception, pleaseeee! OK, off my soapbox and done with my rant?.just remember the first rule of ?Reality Club? is ?We lie in reality club!?

Survivor China

Survivor turns 15

Wrapping up this installment of all things reality we?ll go for the CBS hat trick. Survivor 15 (yes, 15) kicks off tonight in China. They?re touting it as a huge first for the show, but I don?t recall ever seeing Survivor: Portland, so I?m thinking they are almost always out of the country. Yes, I get that it?s China, and it probably took a lot of wheel greasing to film over there, but I?m guessing the middle of nowhere in China looks a lot like the middle of nowhere in Mexico, the South Pacific, or even Portland for that matter. I guess we?ll see, tune into CBS tonight at 8:00PM to watch the very awe-inspiring opening ceremonies.

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