Friday, September 21, 2007

Family Friendly TV During Family Hour? Maybe...

I was watching the previews for a new CBS television show called Kid Nation, where a bunch of children end up stuck out in the middle of nowhere by themselves. From the initial description it sounds a lot like Lord of the Flies... but then the previews went on some more and it seemed more like a controlled reality television experiment. Besides, if a television show really wanted to recreate the Lord of the Flies experience for television, a) it would probably get a lot of protests, b) not too many parents would let their children be sent off for such Lord of the Flies experiment unless they really wanted to get rid of their kids, and c) Lord of the Flies reality TV would probably involve CPS.

The television show has adult cameramen and medics on staff (although hidden), so I guess that keeps the kids from killing each other. The television show seemed fairly tame, so I let my daughter watch the show. Here are my findings:

The show is pretty good, kid-friendly television, for the most part. The kids have to deal with things like homesickness, working together to win challenges, and they end up with assigned duties like cook, laborer, or storekeeper depending on what team they end up on (four teams competed for the different spots; the fourth team became the "upper class" and get to help out however they feel like). None of the kids are sent home, although they can go home if they choose, but one kid per episode can win a gold star worth $20,000... which is a lot more than the first Survivor competitors to get voted out get.

There was only one thing that I found wrong with this show. There were several instances of blasphemy (oh my g__). The kids on the television show ranged in age from 8 to 14, and I'm sure that many of them have far worse potty mouths at home or even off-camera, but I did find it bothersome. I suppose that most of the kids on the show don't see anything wrong with that phrase, as most of them were probably brought up in homes where that wasn't considered cursing. At least it allowed me to have a conversation with my daughter about how that is not a phrase that she should be using.

I suppose that Kid Nation is more family friendly than most television that has been on during this time slot lately. I think that I will allow my daughter to continue to watch it, but it reminds me of the movie Time Changer, where a professor at a Bible school from 1890 travels through time to the present day and goes to see a movie. He comes running out of the movie theater yelling "stop the movie! There's been a big mistake! They are blaspheming the Lord!" or something along those lines. I'm not particularly fond of this aspect of the television show.

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