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Dead Tree Alert: A Kid Nation Divided

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Mad Men Watch will be slightly delayed today, and this time it really is due to deadlines and fall-screener backlog. (Get used to that excuse. You’ll be hearing it a lot for a few weeks.) In the meantime, I refer you to my column in the brand-new TIME print magazine, about the Kid Nation Kontroversy. You’ve read a version of my take here on the blog, but the angle is slightly different here: the running theme, in current pop culture, that kids’ lives are taking over their parents lives. Or, as the summary in the Wall Street Journal’s Informed Reader puts it:

Some TV viewers and child-welfare advocates are up in arms over new CBS reality show “Kid Nation,” which deposits a group of kids in a desert town without parental supervision to see how they cope. But the hubbub might stem as much from the show’s repudiation of the notion that children need their parents around them all the time to survive…

For a different vision of parent-child relations, Mr. Poniewozik points to another new television show, AMC’s “Mad Men,” set in the 1950s. [sic] The adults and children lead very separate lives. That is far from ideal behavior, admits Mr. Poniewozik. But he wonders if it might be better for exhausted parents and coddled kids to more often go their separate ways.

Wow, this Mr. Poniewozik sounds like a real tool. Actually, though, this manages to sum up the theme of my column better than my column did. Memo to self: get The Informed Reader to write next column.