Empty10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 26
There isn't a whole lot to reviewing a preschooler series, really. The primary qualification for being a positive show for the under-age-5 set is that it not, you know, tell kids that the world is big and scary and we're all gonna die soon in a flash of nuclear energy a la "24." That, and no Teletubbies. As soon as you add a Teletubby to the mix, you're on shaky ground. Thankfully, none of these issues crop up in "Blues Room," a live-action "Blues Clues" spinoff running on Nick Jr. (Nickelodeon's weekday morning kiddie block) that arrives as a 10-episode series of half-hours. It invites kiddies into an interactive playroom featuring the grown-up Joe (Donavan Patton), doggie Blue and her baby brother Sprinkles, the latter two being puppets who speak directly to the kids at home. The opener invites tots on a playdate to Old McDonald's Farm (e-i-e-i-o).
The show originally premiered as a five-episode series of specials. It passed that test and now here it is back with double that number. It's all very cute and cuddly, featuring additional characters with names like Polka Dots and Roar E. Saurus. On the opener, they do farm chores. In the second, they learn about shapes in a spoof of a detective caper. The gang does it best to try to teach kids stuff in a fun way, but what's best about "Blue's Room" is that the education takes a back seat to good ol' fashioned fun. It's mostly silly and charmingly interactive, and for that Nick deserves kudos. Making an effective and unobtrusive show for young-uns is a deceptively difficult undertaking, but this network makes it look easy.