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Reality in Brat Camp

Published July 14, 2005 in Television
By Beth Rodio | Image from official site
Brat Camp Brat Camp
I'm not really clear why anything with the word "brats" in the title would appeal to anyone. Is a show about teenage brats supposed to satisfy some paternalistic voyeur in us who wants to watch adults whip kids into shape? If so, don't watch "Brat Camp."

Brat Camp: Fun Like an Enema

OK so you know those "Montel Williams" shows where parents send their troubled teens to boot camp to change rebellious behaviors? Well, don't get all excited, "Brat Camp" isn't run by tough sergeants yelling maggot and forcing teens to drop and give him twenty. A group of nature-loving, let's talk about our feelings hippies run it, and try to grind the kids down by making them go on hikes and eats lentils. At least, I think that's the idea.

For an hour I watched kids whine about their parents, then hiking, then having to shower outside, then eating beans and rice, and then about each other. Not only was the show annoying, it was patchy. The story spent the first forty-five minutes or so introducing the teens and their problems and showing how cold desert hiking made them complain and act like the brats in the dubious title of the program. The next thirteen and a half minutes focused on one or two campers and their problems. Finally in the last minute and a half, we saw the teens sitting around a fire and laughing with no clear idea of why they were suddenly happy and friendly except that they had turkey. The editing was so obvious it made "Joe Millionaire" look like Quentin Tarantino directed it.

The worst part of the show came about when (and I can't believe I am even typing this, never mind someone aired it) someone pooped outside instead of in the port-a-potty. One of the hippies called a camp meeting and tried to make someone confess, explaining about ecoli and hygiene. When no one did, he brought them to the offending waste and made them stand around it, urging the "phantom dooker" (their term, not mine) to come forward. Finally he had them all close their eyes and someone confessed anonymously (until of course he told everyone who it was). Finally we got to watch her bury her poop.

Maybe off-season reality shows are to be avoided.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Beth Rodio
Sources: Image from official site

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