Kid Nation, Worth Watching?

If you missed the premiere of Kid Nation last night you can catch it online HERE.

As I watched, my cynicism took over, I wondered if this “ghost town” was really ever real. Since the last ‘new’ reality show I watched, Pirate Master, tried to weave a story about a fabled pirate, I was cynical that this place called “Bonanza City, New Mexico was real.

With a short search I found out there was indeed a town called Bonanza in New Mexico. It only lasted from 1880-1885 and unlike the town shown on the CBS show, there is nothing but foundation lines left of the real Bonanza City.

The best source of information I found was at the site

The town never lived up to its name for it didn’t live long enough. Bonanza was founded in 1880 and died about 1885. Silver, zinc and lead were the primary ores in the Los Cerrillos Hills during this period. The population of Bonanza in 1884 is listed as two hundred and declined thereafter. One has to look hard to find the traces of the town for all that is left are faint foundation outlines and rock ruins of a smelter

As I expected the town we see on the show is simply a set created by the show’s producers, but you wouldn’t expect them to be able to take over an authentic ‘ghost town’ and have 40 kids live there.

My take on the show?  It is pretty much what I expected, a show that a lot of people will enjoy, but only thanks to the producers who managed to make it both funny and dramatic.  Some examples, calling a 10 year old girl a ‘beauty queen,’  an eight year old worried he may die, the kids attempting to cook their first meal, the bullies of the town using chalk to make graffiti.

The competition to determine the class status of the kids was very reminiscent of  a Survivor type challenge but at the end all 40 kids were rewarded for completing the task (outhouses all around!).

Compelling television?  No.  Interesting enough to keep on a Tivo Season Pass?  Yes.

If it is a ratings hit it will be because it is a kid/family show, something parents won’t be afraid to let their children watch.

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