What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this series offers engaging singing and dancing, yet the quality of the material is sometimes sacrificed for the quantity of material. Colorful sets and the enthusiastic cast will be enticing for young viewers, but parents might find the content anemic, if not trying. Real-life videos of kids playing and doing creative things are the highlight of this program. Well intentioned and generally inviting, but not truly educational.
What's the story?
Though they should get an A for effort, the cast of HI-5 can only do so much with the material they've been given. Kimmee (Kimee Balmilero), Karla (Karla Cheatham-Moseley), Shaun (Shaun Taylor-Corbett), Jenn (Jennifer Peterson-Hind), and Curtis (Curtis Cregan) burst into seemingly arbitrary songs about random things for which the writers have composed music.
Is it any good?
For example, one song has a cast member looking at the stars and singing a song about a "saucepan" and a "starfish" that she sees in the sky. Why not take it a tiny step further to name the constellation, rather than using words that are ultimately employed as rhymes in the song? Another sequence uses repetition to drive the point home: "We will find an adventure, an adventure, an adventure," sings a cast member. Then she proceeds to sing it twice more during the two-minute skit. How adventurous is that?
Though some songs are based on real things like recycling or counting or making shapes, other songs are nonsense. When a cast member says "I am pretending to be the keeper of the night sky..." the audience understands that he's pretending, and consequently the skit is successful. But when another skit suddenly begins with the words, "I just landed on planet Move-a-Lot" and a song is sung about it, it's not as clear what's being referred to or whether the cast member is pretending. Remember, the youngest viewers are just learning the difference between real and pretend. Hi-5's writers would benefit their audience by making these distinctions consistently.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the purpose of the show -- what's the ultimate goal here? Do your kids sing and dance along to the music? What is it about this group that's so enticing?