Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Laboring Children

Tonight is The Pony's best TV night. He loves that Wipe-Out show where people bounce off giant red balls into the water. After that is I Survived a Japanese Game Show. The Pony and HH love to watch them.

The #1 son and I opt for Nick's lineup, with a kid Ghosthunter show and a kid Survivor show and a kind of kid Cash Cab only it's on a roller coaster and not a cab, and a kid Junkyard Wars. Who in their right mind would let their kids go on these shows? Let's break them down.


The Othersiders. OK. I let my kid go hunt ghosts in Basementia last Halloween. He and his school newspaper staff had a sponsoring teacher with them. That was not on TV. It was just desperately seeking everyday, local Missouri ghosts, for stories for the paper. See? It was educational. It stimulated their critical thinking skills. Nothing to worry about. It's not like a show that needs to make a profit, and the more the kids are scared, the more viewers the show will have.

Survive This. No way would I let my kid on this show. It's like a group Survivorman. They send eight kids out in the wilderness to live off the land. They started at a turned-over bus and got a few minutes to salvage what they thought they could use. Then they had to build a shelter. Each day, the host comes in to ask if anybody wants to quit. It gets harder. They have to move camp. They have to forage for food once their bus supply runs out. They have to keep the fire going. They have to take a nighttime hike.

Here's the deal. The first day, a city slicker chick tried to open a pocket knife with her teeth. I closed on her lip. So she sat an hour or so with a big honkin' heavy pocket knife dangling from her lower lip, waiting on a paramedic to open the knife and release her. Idiot. I try to keep my boy's idiocy a secret. I don't want it on national TV. Then they had to find food. Some caught grasshoppers. Some caught frogs. The two smartest ones were sent to find edible plants. Good luck with that. Who wants to try one of these pretty stems? Not me. The smart boy caught a pheasant or some fowl by chasing him and landing on him in the brush. While cleaning frog's legs, he cut himself on the inside of the knee. You know, that fleshy area beside the kneecap. Blood poured out through his pants. "I'm OK." He danced away from the kids trying to help him. The Boy Scoutish boy told him to sit down so it would clot. Smarty kept moving around. He was probably in shock. No mention was made of his injury on the next episode. I wanted to see if he got stitches or a tetanus shot. Oh, and on the night hike, the emo girl sprained her ankle.

I'm not sure all those kids will survive.

BrainRush. They put a kid in the front seat of a roller coaster with the host of the show. He asks them five or ten questions while they are flying at a death-defying speed and spinning upside down and sometimes puking. The one to get the most questions right is the winner. I don't remember what they win. Meh. I don't care for this show. I don't like roller coasters. But it is like kiddie crack for the #1 son.

Destroy Build Destroy. Again, meh. I liked it fine when it was Junkyard Wars with adults. But all these kids do is: 1) Choose how to break the other team's junk, like explosives or dropping it or crushing it, and 2) Tell the adult builders the plan to build it, and 3) The winner gets to blow up the loser's junk. It's boring. But then, I'm not a 14-year-old boy who likes to watch things go boom.


I cordially invite those Jon and Kate haters to watch these shows. Then let's decide who is really abusing kids and needs a hotline call to the Division of Family Services.

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