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

The Fresh Beat Band

The Fresh Beat Band

Spring 2014 Television
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Producer: Nickelodeon
Rating: TVY

Ever since The Fresh Beat Band's 2009 premiere on Nickelodeon, this fictitious musical group featuring Shout, Twist, Marina, and Kiki has experienced very real success, offering everything from CDs to live stage shows in addition to the popular half-hour television series.

The program, aimed at preschoolers, makes the most of ordinary plotlines. The gang gets a dance lesson! The gang wonders why a pink shoe is sitting on the counter at their local hang-out! The gang makes pizza! This situation-comedy approach focuses a lot more on the comedy and a lot less on the situation, which is just a vehicle to give the kids reasons to dance and sing. But preschoolers—and even parents—won't mind because The Fresh Beat Band members really are talented. They display powerful singing voices, strong dance skills, catchy original songs, and a knack for physical comedy. In addition to that, Shout, Twist, Marina and Kiki are just really likable. They model admirable character traits such as friendliness, helpfulness, and compassion, all valuable messages for little viewers to absorb along with the music. The situations usually resolve as a result of friends helping friends and then everyone celebrates by singing the group's signature songs "Great Day" and "Another Perfect Day."

With so many programs competing for kids' attention —and so many entertainment franchises competing for parents' money—it might be easy to suspect The Fresh Beat Band is just another marketing machine. But don't be so quick to dismiss this one. It offers a whole lot of toe-tapping fun and the kind of feel-good glow you get after spending time at a really good party.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2014 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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