Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



The Fresh Beat Band

The Fresh Beat Band

Spring 2012 Television
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Rating: TV Y
Review:

If someone decided to make a prequel to The Wiggles, or maybe The Monkees, it might end up looking a lot like The Fresh Beat Band. This half-hour live-action series, aimed at kids aged 2 to 5, airs on Nick Jr., and it follows the adventures of a fictitious teen band called The Fresh Beats. Shout, Twist, Marina, and Kiki meet up at a school for music, and each day they tackle the problems they encounter with a string of big musical numbers.

Each episode follows the same basic formula: The teens sing about a problem they're facing; they sing about working as a team to solve the problem; they sing about how they solved the problem; and they sing the show's signature closing song, "Great Day."

Young kids will connect with the dilemmas that drive the simple plots: A Fresh Beat is having trouble learning how to double-dutch jump rope; a Fresh Beat searches for a missing violin; a Fresh Beat wants to go to a party but has to study first. The cast frequently speaks directly to the camera, asking viewers questions or stressing key pieces of information, for example, explaining the definition of "practice."

Although episodes do offer clear and positive take-away messages about friendship and character development, the half-hour is more musical revue than traditional situation comedy. The Fresh Beats are all about singing and dancing and to their credit, they're actually quite talented. The choreography is interesting and challenging and the songs are the boppy pop kind that will stick in your head whether you want them to or not. In fact, The Fresh Beats gained such a faithful following that the band embarked on a string of concert tours across the U.S. last year. The Fresh Beats have talent and their sound is (dare I say it?) fresh, and even though it's not the most complex or thought-provoking program your kids will ever watch, it's a nice, light-hearted music-and-dance break.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is a writer, teacher, and TV producer with 8 Emmy awards and 20 Emmy nominations to her credit. She has worked in the television industry since 1987, producing children's programming, informational features and documentaries. Catanzarite lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and twin sons.

Look for this product at:
Nickelodeon/MTV Networks
http://www.nick.com

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