Brian Lowry over at Variety.com has a great commentary on the whole Kid Nation brouhaha.
For those outside of the loop CBS basically created a series where they sent a bunch of kids aged 8 to 15 off to create their own little society in the desert. The parents signed these intense contracts that gives CBS complete control of the situation, but now people are crying foul because there’s a question of what kind of environment these kids were in. Was it safe? And could they be deemed to have worked an undue amount of hours.
CBS has since revealed that there may not be all that much reality involved in the show, so of course the kids weren’t overworked or in actual dangerous situations (there were some injuries however).
In Lowry’s article he points out that this might be the first time that a company like CBS has admitted that there isn’t a heck of a lot of “reality” in their “reality” television, and he questions how it will affect ratings…
Which is laughable at best. I don’t know who he talks to, but I don’t actually know anyone who watches reality TV. At least not anything like Kid Nation. Maybe this is just a Canadian perspective, but I can’t stand those shows – they’re so obviously fake it actually makes my head hurt to watch 5 minutes of a show. So You Think You Can Dance is one thing – it’s more of a competition anyway – but I would rather chew on nails than watch this contrived crap.
Maybe American viewers aren’t as savvy as Canadians, or maybe I’m just not part of the demographic that watches “reality” television. Either way, I can see every string dangling and I’d much rather tune in to Heroes, Lost, The Simpsons, or God help me, So You Think You Can Dance.