The Influence of Horror Films on the Antics of Children in the Camp
How it works
The TV show I watched and analyzed, which is designed for young children, is called Bunk’d. Bunk’d was shown on the Disney Channel in the afternoon on Sunday, October 7.
The show was about a group of kids at Camp Kikiwaka during Halloween time. This particular episode started with the kids at camp watching a horror movie and ended with a prank thought up by Timmy, to get back at Gladys for kicking him out of camp. Zuri and Tiffany, two of the campers, went missing in the woods while they were supposed to be gathering wood for the campfire.
Jorge ran to tell Gladys, only to find out that the missing campers didn’t phase her. The only explanation for this behavior was that someone might be the reason why campers were missing. The campers suspected Murphy to be the “killer”, before finding out that Timmy was the mastermind behind the prank. All the campers joined in on the fun to help execute the plan. Later on, Gladys went to pay the chef, Murphy, and ended up being the victim of the prank. She ran into Ravi in the woods, and he led her to the barn, where everyone else was waiting for her. They chased her around the camp and all the campers were portrayed as being “dead”. At the end, she begged for help, and Timmy revealed himself. Gladys told Timmy he could come back to camp, and then she fainted. All of the campers went to have a campfire. When Gladys woke up, she went to join them. She approached Timmy and told him she would spend every second with him when he returns to camp, and he ran away.
The main characters of this episode were Emma, Ravi, and Zuri Ross; Lou; Xander; Jorge; Tiffany; Gladys; and Murphy. Emma is portrayed as a camper who is spoiled but caring, and very knowledgeable about fashion. Ravi is shown as mature and rule-abiding. Zuri likes money and is sassy. Lou, one of the counselors, loves the country lifestyle and is very kind to the campers. Xander, another counselor, is in love with Emma and wants the campers to have fun. Jorge is portrayed as not being as smart as the other campers and is messy. Tiffany is very smart. Gladys, the owner of Camp Kikiwaka, is portrayed as not liking kids. Lastly, Murphy is the chef at the camp, who the kids initially suspect to be the “killer”.
For the most part, I believe the characters reinforce gender stereotypes. The males, such as Xander and Murphy, exhibit aggressive behavior. Xander, for instance, punches through a door, and Murphy is accused of being the killer due to his hostile demeanor. At the beginning of the episode, the campers watch a horror movie. All of the girls are scared and scream, while the boys remain unflustered. Many females, including Emma, care a lot about fashion and strive to look presentable, whereas Jorge appears indifferent about his appearance. The character that does not reinforce gender stereotypes is Gladys. Despite being the owner of the camp, she displays a disliking for children. When being chased by the “killers,” she admits to having fantasized about hurting all the kids so that they don’t harm her. Given her position of responsibility over all the campers and counselors, one might expect her to be respectful, not rude.
There are some instances of violence in the show, predominantly verbal altercations. When Jorge rushes back to camp after witnessing Zuri and Tiffany’s abduction, he alerts the other campers about their disappearance. One of the campers says to him, “You were clearly running, so you must be telling the truth.” Murphy sings a song about “kids being jerks” while he is cutting up some food forcibly. During Timmy’s prank, several scenes depict “dead” campers. A case of physical violence occurs when Xander punches through the door to chase Gladys during the prank.
The show also portrays instances of prosocial behavior. All of the campers collaborate to prank the camp owner. Lou and Xander assist the new campers. Following rules, an element of prosocial behavior, is exhibited by Ravi. The entire team, comprising the chef and counselors, work together to transport items to the lake for a barbecue and campfire.
I have watched this show in the past while babysitting children but never paid enough attention to notice all the inappropriate jokes and shocking details. I would recommend this show solely to children above approximately eight years old. My reason for this is that there are rude comments, some inappropriate language, negative jokes, and many depictions of “dead” individuals. Emma talks about imagining a shirtless actor. In another scene, two puppets are shown fighting over Gladys, and she refers to a third puppet joining the fray later, which could be perceived as a sexual innuendo and is inappropriate for young viewers. Also, Gladys makes several remarks about her dislike of children. There is a risk that young viewers may associate camps with fear and intimidating camp leaders.