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

The Fresh Beat Band

The Fresh Beat Band

Spring 2011 Television
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Network: Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon presents The Fresh Beat Band, a half-hour live-action program targeting preschoolers. Marina, Kiki, Twist, and Shout are The Fresh Beats, a band of four friends who go to music school together. The show's simple storylines focus on the friends' adventures outside the classroom.

The program is billed as a "musical sitcom", and the cast displays solid singing and dancing skills when the plot inevitably leads them to break into peppy musical numbers. The storylines are never very complicated. In "Singin' in the Rain", Marina brainstorms new song ideas, working with her friends to use a rainy weather forecast as inspiration. In "Circus Mojo", the Fresh Beats pitch in to put on a show when the regular circus performers are delayed. The situations lend themselves to plenty of slapstick comedy and silly jokes, and the actors flash mega-bright smiles as they ultimately figure out that teamwork and positive attitudes are enough to solve most of the problems they encounter.

The Fresh Beat Band offers bright sets, kicky costumes and a likable cast that probably will appeal to preschoolers. The songs are bouncy and lyrics impart a positive message, as in the song "Friends Give Friends a Hand," but plot lines are very light, serving mainly as stepping stones between musical numbers. If you're looking for a deep educational viewing experience for your preschooler, look elsewhere, but when it's time for a little dance party break with friends, The Fresh Beat Band is a harmless, enjoyable, tuneful treat.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2011 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

Look for this product at:
Nickelodeon/MTV Networks

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