Judge David Johnson has gotta get up and go-go.
I've been looking for a friend like you…
Previously: I had been working on my review for Season One of The Fresh Beat Band, a kid-friendly Nick Jr. show that stars four perky, young musicians named Shout, Marina, Kiki, and Twist. The quartetvlives in a small town seemingly made of plastic, spends their days sucking down smoothies and singing about sucking down smoothies, and attends music school. And then suddenly I wasn't at my desk. I was looking up at the real faces of—
"—the Fresh Beat Band???"
I shake the cobwebs out of my head and survey my surroundings. I'm in bed, wearing bulky green pajamas. Above me, Shout, Marina, Kiki, and Twist are staring down.
"Come on silly, we're going to be late for music school!" Marina squeals.
"Yeah man, what are you doing lounging around?" asks Twist. "Miss Piccolo promised to teach us how to play the washboard today!"
Still dazed, I climb out of bed.
"Yeah, guys, I'm sorry, where am I?"
Kiki laughed. "Looks like someone hit the smoothies a little too hard last night! Time to get up!"
I get up and pull on a green and yellow outfit from a closet filled with dozens of the same outfit. Meanwhile, The Fresh Beat Band is singing a song about getting dressed in the next room.
I emerge from my bedroom.
"There's been some kind of mix-up here guys," I say. "I don't belong here."
"Of course you do!" Shout shouts.
The Fresh Beat Band then begins to sing a song about alienation. It's a long song. Assuming this is some kind of dream, I opt to get started on my review The Fresh Beat Band: Season 2, hoping some of the work will lodge itself in my subconscious. I find a huge plastic tangerine laptop and boot it up. In the background, the Fresh Beats continued to sing. I start typing.
Season 2 is just as energetic and infectious as the first. The Fresh Beat Band is a lively kids show and something I readily admit not hating. In fact, I almost like it. Lord knows my two-year-old daughter can't get enough of these kids. Four discs worth of episodes, with each show following a tried-and-true game plan: our heroes engage in some lightweight plots that involve putting on a circus, singing in the rain, washing their car, and performing a musical about their mixed-up wardrobes, while breaking into song. You'll hear plenty of recurring numbers, though each episode is capped by an original composition. It all plays into the idea of repetition for the little ones and it works!
The episodes are given rudimentary technical treatments: standard definition full frame, Dolby 2.0 Stereo audio, and four music videos as extras. I recommend this—
"WE HAVE TO GO TO MUSIC SCHOOL!"
The booming voice jars me from my train of thought. Who? What?!
"NOW! MUSIC SCHOOL!"
Another voice. A deep, gravelly sound. I look up—met by four grotesque, distorted faces with blood-red eyes and gaping mouths rimmed with razor-like teeth.
"MISS PICCOLO DEMANDS IT!"
I'm so terrified I can't even summon a scream.
"naa naa naa naa naa naa lets go bananas!!!!"
I clamp my eyes shut, awaiting whatever horror is coming.
I open my eyes.
I'm back in my house. On my laptop is a nearly-complete draft of a review for The Fresh Beat Band: Season Two. On my desk: a banana. I don't know where it came from.
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