Season hasn't even officially started yet but I'm already shifting into grab-bag mode. Spoilers of varying lengths for, in order, "Kid Nation," "Back To You" and "Gossip Girl" coming up just as soon as I call home...
I am shocked -- shocked! -- by "Kid Nation." All that pre-premiere fuss, and it seemed perfectly innocuous! Who ever would have predicted that? (Oh, wait.) Now, obviously the controversy about this wasn't quite the same as for, say, "Survivor: Race Wars," in that the stuff people are unhappy with -- the allegedly back-breaking, unsafe labor conditions -- can very easily be edited around without us ever seeing it. But in terms of the other major complaint, thus far, none of the kids seem all that scarred by the experience. Even the kid who went home was able to describe his reasons pretty damn logically for an eight-year-old, and he spent all four days with the other kids stroking his ego and telling him he was cool and should stay.
But is this a show I ever want/need to watch again? Not particularly. I appreciate that, except for the two oldest guys and that girl who said beauty queens don't wash dishes, all the kids are trying hard and being nice to each other, but bogus civilization-building -- even on the set of the great "Silverado" -- mixed up with scaled-down "Survivor"-style challenges doesn't do much for me.
I basically said my piece about "Back To You" in yesterday's column, but now that it's aired, I'm curious about two things: 1)Did anybody like it more than I did?; and, more importantly, 2)Is there anyone who hadn't figured out about the true nature of Patty Heaton's daughter long before it occurred to Kelsey? (In the original version of the pilot, by the way, father and daughter shared a peanut allergy, ala "October Road.")
I also largely exhausted my opinion on "Gossip Girl" with today's column, but I do want to talk about a couple of things: 1)The washed-up rocker dad's band is called Lincoln Hawk, which was the name of Sly Stallone's character in the epic underdog arm wrestling movie "Over the Top" (one of many glorious pieces of the film can be glimpsed on YouTube); and 2)While I won't object to having Kristen Bell still in my TV life in some way, I'm not sure the Gossip Girl narration works if it's supposed to be taken literally as what you'd find on her blog, as opposed to a Mary-Alice Young-type omniscient narrator. If Dan's a complete social zero, for instance, how does Gossip Girl know he's in love with Serena from the start? Why is she speculating about Chuck and Cindy Lou Who's dalliance at the party before the party's even over? Not a big problem -- my oldness is a bigger barrier -- but something I'll keep an eye on for however long I wind up watching this show.
What did everybody else think?