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StarBeam Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Creators: Loris Kramer Lunsford, Jason Netter
Stars: Nahanni Mitchell, Dean Petriw, Terry Klassen
The Gist: StarBeam’s secret identity is Zoey (voice of Nahanni Mitchell), a second-grader with a bevy of Supergirlish powers, ranging from flight to creating forcefield bubbles to gale-force breath. They must be genetic — she’s the daughter of Wonderbeam (Diana Kaarina), a career superhero, although the identity of StarBeam’s father isn’t revealed in the first episode, a detail perhaps reserved for a future mega-arc fraught with intense psychodramatic developments.
This debut, however, keeps it light as a quarter-ounce of cotton candy. The pirate-guy Captain Fishbeard (Sam Vincent) is flying around town in his floating pirate ship with his lizard buddy, stealing shiny things — gold coins, car keys, candelabrae, disco balls, etc. — for his treasure stockpile. He eyeballs the bell in the town’s tower, but it ain’t gonna happen under StarBeam’s watch, nosirree. She flies into action with her sidekick pals, a seagull named Kipper (also Sam Vincent) and a boy named Henry (Dean Petriw), who, as the hero Boost, slides around all quicklike in some nifty “go sneaks,” deploying miscellaneous gadgetry. While Wonderbeam is off saving the world from genocidal space aliens or corporate entities or whatever (the show skimps on these details), Zoey is supervised by her Gramps (Terry Klassen), who’s absolutely complicit in putting the kid at the forefront of the town’s security. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Seems like a lot of responsibility for a second-grader, but StarBeam is a strong, self-sufficient modern young woman. Captain Fishbeard immobilizes Boost with a giant ball of smelly chum, so StarBeam chants a cutesy rhyming mantra about doing her best before she liberates the bell from the bad guy’s possession, uses it to debilitate his ship and then generates a big pink bubble to stop the ship from plummeting to the earth and crushing the citizenry to death. Hooray!
Our Take: StarBeam likely will entertain/distract your pre- or grade-schooler for 12 minutes at a crack, which is just enough time for you to exit the room and freak out about the President’s latest obfuscatory clown show of a COVID-19 briefing. Whether this bright and cheery cartoon exists to be more than just the latest opportunity for adults to briefly hyperventilate over the State of Things before compartmentalizing their rage and fear so they can function as parents and preserve their children’s innocence for just one more day, gasp pant, remains to be seen.
That said, the series looks almost exactly like Paw Patrol, but thank the deity of your choice it isn’t as screamingly loud (scream with me: PAW PATROLLLLLLL! GO! GO! GO! GO!; repeat 666 times), and it’s similarly benign, but with one notable conceptual difference: where the dogs are all dudes save for one measly female, StarBeam runs the show in her world. No tokenism or sexist patriarchy here, pal. It’s girl power all the way. I’m not sure StarBeam is going to dethrone Wonder Woman or the Powerpuff Girls from the upper tier of female representation in youth-oriented superhero television, though. Will it eventually grow into a goliath franchise resulting in a gritty live-action billion-dollar blockbuster cinema trilogy directed by Lynne Ramsay? Eh, probably not. But the show, unlike Everything Else, is fine, just fine.
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