Review: NickMom block of comedy shows on Nick Jr.
When an editor here called me wondering if I wanted to review the new NickMom block of comedy shows on the Nick Jr. channel my first reaction was, "Has that started up already?" I've seen the ads for it and was vaguely interested but that channel, formerly my beloved Noggin channel, is rarely on past 4 p.m. in our household. So the idea of firing up Nick Jr. at 10 p.m. never even crossed my mind. But it did indeed get started Oct. 1, so I was able to check it out that very night.
First of all 10 p.m. to midnight? How many moms are still awake? They do replay the whole lineup after that, so nursing moms up at 1:30 a.m. may appreciate this.
So I turned to the true best friend of TV-watching moms, TiVo. Recording your favorites to watch on the odd hours you have free is the greatest invention ever and I hope the Nobel Peace Prize committee considered this for its contribution to world peace and maternal sanity.
The NickMom lineup is likable, mining the familiar laughs of kegels and kids who never listen. Except for one huge dud that besmirches the Brady name, the shows are a pleasant diversion. I just wonder who wants to watch this stuff after the kids are off to bed and you finally have some quiet time at night.
First up the night I watched was docu-reality-comedy time with MFF: Mom Friends Forever (they appear to be switching around the lineup each night, so this show may come on later some nights). Cameras follow two mom friends from St. Louis who each have two teenagers and have for years had their own Web show for moms, kind of like a grown-up iCarly. The moms are pistols and their families likeable, but I have to confess my tolerance for reality shows like this is really low and I tend to flinch when they say something I'm sure will mortify their kids.
Then it was Parental Discretion with Stefanie Wilder-Taylor. The comic's show is the closest to edgy humor you'll find in this lineup and might end up being the most promising of the night. She does a combination of standup and man (woman)- on-the-street pieces, such as asking people if their kids ever caught them, you know, giving each other a "special hug" and got a surprising number of confessions in the episode I saw. She also has some funny pieces on birthday parties and getting a mom tattoo.
Is is sad or just telling that the show I most looked forward to was What Was Carol Brady Thinking? It gives the pop-up video treatment to old Brady Bunch episodes, with an avatar of Carol Brady that make jokes during classic episodes.
I should have seen this dud coming as the Brady theme sings, "That's the way we became the Brady Bunch," and the bubble over Mrs. Brady's head says, "We considered forming a flash mob." Ba-da-bump.
It didn't get any better in the famous episode where Marsha breaks her nose. If Mrs. Brady isn't in the scene a little icon of her pops up in the corner with cracks like, "When did these kids stop saying 'bees knees?' "
I was hoping for darkly subversive and instead got blandly suburban. The show already had that quality in spades! That why we loved to make fun of it.
The night wrapped up with NickMom Night Out, a standup series with comics taking on life as a parent.
I doubt I'll be kicking back every night to watch other moms crack jokes about their kids, but I might enlist my friend TiVo to keep an eye on what Stefanie Wilder-Taylor is doing. Meanwhile, can Nick Jr. ever get it through their heads that what moms most loved about Noggin was it aired quality shows from PBS and Nickelodeon all day and night without commercials and was a nice way to calm night terrors or soothe a sick child at odd hours? We don't need another adult show.
What do you think readers, have you tuned into the mom block on Nick Jr. or will you?
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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