I saw a long trailer for this awhile back and thought that the show looked intriguing and quite charming, inspirational, etc. And then all of the commercials starting airing on CBS and highlighted the kids crying, upset, fighting, etc. and it just looked horrible. Still I held onto that first trailer I saw and watched the show and I'm so glad that I did. I loved this.
Kids say what they mean; you know what you get. They're real, they're honest and seeing this group of kids (who totally did have adults nearby regardless of the "No adults" slogan) work together, encourage one another, compete so healthily was absolutely wonderful. I was moved, I nearly cried, I grinned, I laughed, I thought this was wonderful and I truly hope that subsequent episodes are good.
Some details ... I loved Mike, the lead leader. That kid is just awesome. Taylor, the beauty queen is just as cute and sassy as can be. Sophia deserved that gold star and I LOVED that the council GAVE her the gold star even after she basically bitched them out. I honestly don't think that adults would have; I think they would have judged her on that and not on all she had done. I think they would have reneged on their decision to give it to her when she called them out. But these kids, they know (and how adults forget) that anger and pain are fleeting, and once the harsh feelings go away, you can be friends again -- yes, I work in daycare, can you tell? And when she called her mom with the $20,000 news, it was awesome and you know, just know, that every kid there is going to find such reserves of strength that they never knew was possible because they want that gold star, they want to call their parents, they want that $20,000. And I say good for them!
I will miss Jimmy, but I understand why he left ... which brings me to another point. I LOVE that they let the kids decide whether they want to leave or not every two days. That is good; really good. I also like the host. He interacted with the kids well, I thought they did a good job with him.
Will the kids succeed? I think they will. I was VERY impressed with the fact that they were so HAPPY about the porta-potties being picked over the TV. Kids are smart and I love that this show is showing that so clearly. I also like that while this is reality tv and all reality TV is scripted, if only by the editors, really, I find it hard to believe that this isn't more real than most reality tv because these are kids and that saying, "kids say the darndest things" is a well-known saying for a reason. There's no subterfuge; they're just there to do this.
I really, really liked this. A LOT.