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

The Fresh Beat Band

The Fresh Beat Band

Spring 2013 Television
Ages: 8 - 16 yrs.
Producer: Nickelodeon
Network: Nickelodeon
Rating: TV PG

The Fresh Beat Band follows the adventures of Shout, Twist, Marina, and Kiki, a band of friends attending a music school. This half-hour live-action series, loosely following a situation-comedy format, is aimed at kids aged 2 to 5, and it uses simple storylines and light rock tunes to teach lessons of friendship, cooperation, and problem-solving.

First and foremost, it must be noted that this fictitious musical group really does have talent. Acting skills and line-delivery are on-point for preschoolers, they demonstrate great mastery of physical comedy, and they're energetic and accomplished dancers during the musical numbers. The songs are catchy, the lyrics don't sound forced, and the editing during the musical numbers contributes to the program's high-energy, fun feel.

While stories do have morals, the plots are never complicated. Song-and-dance numbers are always the vehicle for exploring solutions to the problem of the day. In "Royal Wedding," the Fresh Beat Band tries to reunite a royal couple that's reached a stumbling block in their relationship. They celebrate nature and eco-friendly habits in "Keeping It Green." And in "The Wizard of Song," the show takes inspiration from The Wizard of Oz when one character is displaced by a tornado and must find her way back to her regular life. Each episode includes signature songs "Another Perfect Day" and "Great Day."

The Fresh Beat Band is successful because it knows its mission and sticks to it. The characters make great entertainment and great role models for little kids because they're friendly, they're helpful, and they're moral. And they do it all while singing and dancing so joyously that little kids will probably bounce along to the music, if not actually get up off the couch and join in.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2013 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.

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