If you’ve watched Nickelodeon for more than a minute in the last month or so, chances are you’ve seen one (or twenty; who’s counting, really) commercials for their upcoming series, The Naked Brothers Band, starring “rockstar” pre-teen brothers Nat and Alex Wolff. They had me at the tagline: “Real brothers. Real music. Not really naked.”
The original movie—which happened to win Best Family Feature Film in 2005 at the Hamptons International Film Festival—was the brainchild of one Polly Draper, who is the boys’ mother. The movie’s press page features this excerpt from Variety.com (back when the movie was released):
Polly Draper’s independent quasi-mockumentary, “The Naked Brothers Band,” spins her two young sons’ modest neighborhood rock band into a fictional chartbusting phenomenon sweeping the country. Conceived as a cross between “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Our Gang” two-reelers, pic’s sped-up whimsy, soon succumbs to the kids’ precocious charm and the potent charisma of 9-year-old leader/songwriter Nat Wolff….This bouncy, feel-good kidpic, with targeted release strategy, could rock peers and parents alike.
It’s two years later, and the Wolff boys are older but no less entertaining. Spinning out an entire series from the quirky film was a natural follow-on, and Nickelodeon is every inch the proud papa:
“The Naked Brothers Band is kid-genius at its best,” said Tom Ascheim, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Nickelodeon Television. “The entire production showcases the Wolff family’s musical and dramatic talents while delivering an amusing, behind-the-scenes glimpse at being a kid rock star. We are simply ecstatic about it!”
So what can you expect from the series, which kicks off with the original movie this coming Saturday night (January 27th), then airs as half-hour segments each Saturday thereafter?
Throughout the season, Nat, Alex and their pals will share the screen with celebrity guests including VJ Matt Pinfield and George Lopez. The former turns up in the first regular episode, “VMA’s,” on February 3, when the band is nominated for its first video music award. The kids find themselves relying on their horoscopes to determine the outcome and face the added pressure of host Pinfield’s pessimistic take on their fate.
As for the musical element of the show, series’ Executive Producer Albie Hecht says, “Nat Wolff’s soulful and catchy original songs will be a hit with kids and adults alike. We think the music and the videos will even inspire other real kids to go after their dreams, writing their own songs or shooting their own homemade-style music videos.”
From the clips I’ve seen, Naked Brothers looks to be the closest thing to a tween version of This is Spinal Tap as you can get. Which is to say: It looks absolutely hilarious, and the humor doesn’t come from kids being little adults. It’s funny because the kids are very much real kids. (And as an added bonus, the music is actually pretty good.)
So set those TiVos and get ready to add a new show to the roster of offerings you can watch with your kids without wanting to chew off your own arm to escape.