The oppressed townspeople finally revolt, and Mike and Taylor lose their seats
Credit: Monty Brinton

”Kid Nation” recap: The voters have spoken

Viva la revolución!” indeed.

Randi, dear Randi, sweet, rational Randi: As the lone female vote for Zach, you showed the strength and courage the rest of the girls in your district did not. You chose change — not for change’s sake, but for Bonanza City’s sake. You proved that every voice should be heard, and every vote counts. All of which is to say, Whooooo!

We’re friends, right? Good, I need to share: I was ashamed of myself for glorying so completely in the defeat of a prepubescent girl. I was embarrassed at how excited I was that Pageant Princess Taylor got her walking papers shoved in her face. I almost started to think less of me. (No, f’real…almost.) But then I found a rationalization that had the dual benefit of being logical and making me seem less ghoulish: I wasn’t happy because PPT has to sit in the cheap seats from here on out. No, I was glad for two reasons: (1) The system works. (2) We’re seeing the rise of a thoughtful, charismatic, ethical, and, frankly, cool little dude.

I know there’s a huge Jared fan club, and if this were about picking the next great cult TV show writer (he’s got it in him, he does!), then I’d be a Jared junkie too. Respect. But there was always something about Zach that spoke to me. From day one he’s proven himself to be a conscientious citizen, a fearless thinker, and an orator of promise. As someone who majored in government in college, and comes from a family that truly esteems political service, I put a premium on those qualities. Nice to know that a majority (even the slimmest possible majority) of the Yellow District pioneers did too. Yep, even PPT. Anybody else think she looked almost relieved when she lost? Anybody else pleasantly surprised at how gracious she was in defeat? Taylor, this may have been your finest hour in the city. Well played, little dictator.

Since we’re passing out pats on the back, let’s all give Greg an ”atta dude” for rising to the occasion and finally getting his $20K worth of recognition. The guy’s a worker; he puts that brute strength to use when it counts; and last night he was actually emotionally generous, for a change. When the politicking got out of hand, and a little girl’s campaign poster was pogo-sticked into the dirt, Greg was there to play big brother. Now don’t hate, but it didn’t hurt that Greg’s PR makeover hit at precisely the moment that nearly everyone else in town was at their worst. Oh, you know it’s true. Consider:

The food fight: Apparently, this is why they so desperately needed that microwave cocoa — so they could pour it all over each other. Lovely use of limited resources, kids. Way to conserve. (Come on, don’t look at me like that. Today it’s cocoa, tomorrow petroleum.)

The reward: [Insert exasperated, expletive-laced interjection here.] Look, we get it: You kids think you’re doing what adults would do in your situation, picking the ”right” thing over the ”fun” thing. Fact is, if adults always chose ”right” over ”fun,” there’d be no need for Zovirax, In-n-Out Burger, Guinness, or pay-per-view. If you don’t treat yourselves every once in a while to more than just a happy-hour root beer, you’ll turn into people we don’t wanna party with. Besides, what the hell do you care if Host Wassisname thinks your breath smells? Tell him to stick it.

NEXT: Dirty politricks

The Campaign — Electorate Edition:

In which we finally met Markelle only to discover that he’s Karl Rove, minus the subtlety. Ripping posters down? Pogo-sticking them into pulpy submission? That’s illegal anywhere outside the city limits of Bonanza, hon — not to mention dirty pool. And for the love of God and electoral reform, did it not occur to you that picking on little girls might result in at least one backlash vote for Taylor? Think, son! [And sorry for mistaking your gender in my first draft.]

The Campaign — Candidate Edition:

Laurel: Nice, putting together a party machine that Tammany Hall would envy, then managing to come out looking squeaky-clean, to boot. Didn’t think she had it in her. Liked it better that way.

Anjay: How, how, how did he keep his seat? Up until now he’s seemed a benign, if ineffective, leader. But for the first time this kid had me hoping there was a nice, kindly therapist skulking off camera somewhere. He went all extra Charlie Brown to Olivia’s Lucy, as she baited and manipulated him into one tizzy after another. His explosion of ”Shut up!” was about the most literal translation of ”Good grief!” ever uttered by a non-cartoon.

Mike, duuuuuuuude. Losing in a landslide to someone the producers didn’t even think was all that important to edit into the show before? Harsh! If you wanna cry, baby, then you cry. We understand.

All in all though, what needed to happen happened, and Bonanza City looks like it might finally be in good hands. Which makes what I have to say now marginally less sucky: This is the last official TV Watch on Kid Nation. I know! I’m sorry! It’s not you, it’s me. And by ”me,” I mean the ratings. We have to face the facts that there just aren’t that many people tuning in to this show besides us. I’ll keep watching, though, and if anything major happens, I’ll jump on it in PopWatch. Promise.

So, for the last time, thanks for hanging with me, TV Watchers. What’s on your minds?

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Kid Nation
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