Here’s a trailer for Kid Nation, a new reality TV show.
TV Week website has an interesting article about how CBS was able to put this show together. If the large number of comments to TV Week’s post are any indication, this show is sure to draw lots of attention. Maybe if it was labeled a documentary instead of reality TV it would be less of a lightning rod for controversy. It has some interesting potential; however, I’m cautious because reality TV has a tendency to unnecessarily trivialize things and manufacture drama. I’ll reserve my opinion until after I learn more and actually watch a few episodes.
Maybe its because I am a product of a youth sail training program which I entered as an adolescent at the age of 13 and left as a mature young adult at 17, but I’m not at all upset by having children participate in Kid Nation. Regarding work, sailing on a tall ship required long hours and hard work and it remains to this day one of the most powerful and empowering experiences of my life. These kids were in a controlled environment which was probably safer than the one which many returned to after filming was over. Certainly it was safer than that which the vast majority of America’s youth live in today.
It’s dangerous to underestimate what kids are capable of accomplishing and even more dangerous to overprotect them from unique and valuable experiences that will benefit them for a lifetime.