A colorful kiddie-focused new Netflix series with enough charm and glittery girl power to keep suffering parents attached to their sanity for a little while longer.
This review of StarBeam (Netflix) is spoiler-free, insofar as such things matter in this case.
My five-year-old is a nightmare lately, for obvious reasons, so I did what any self-respecting parent would do in the same situation – I put her to work. I sat her down in the plush RSC offices – the living room in my house, currently – and set her to the task of critiquing StarBeam on Netflix, a new kiddie-focused animated series designed to satisfy her age group and fill her little head full of glittery girl power.
In a fortunate development, StarBeam is the alter-ego of second-grader Zoey (Nahanni Mitchell), a superhero who presumably inherited her powers from her long-time world-saving mother, WonderBeam (Diana Kaarina), and my kid is kind of a superhero fanatic. So, that helps. In the first episode – of eight, each running just over ten minutes – StarBeam and her loyal sidekicks, a seagull named Kipper (Sam Vincent) and a speedy lad named Boost (Dean Petriw), set about a pilfering pirate also voiced by Vincent and, naturally, save the day.
This is obviously lightweight fluffy claptrap, but the good news is that StarBeam did the job in my household. Aside from a bevy of annoying questions that young children seemingly can’t help but ask about everything – some of which should have been answered by the show itself, in all honesty, but let’s not get carried away with the nitpicking – my child was suitably distracted for the duration. This thing works! It’s a bright, colorful and energetic little show about girls running – and saving – the world, and that’s quite a nice message for the nippers in these trying times of isolation, homeschooling, and hair-pulling frustration.
Will StarBeam ultimately expand enough to dethrone youth-focused titans like PJ Masks, Paw Patrol, Powerpuff Girls and the like? Who knows – and more importantly, who cares? If we can spare ourselves from having to endure the same opening title sequences of the same shows repeated ad infinitum, even if we can only do it for a little bit, then we are virtually obligated to do so. Unite, parents. Together, we can buy ourselves a precious few moments of sanity, and our kids, if we’re lucky, might even find a new favorite superhero. If things go well, we’ll be buying the toys at Christmas.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.