MSRP: $16.99
RUNNING TIME: 69 Minutes (Tee Hee)
- Green Tips from the Band
- Music Videos


The Pitch

Almost Famous meets The Goonies with a little When The Levees Broke thrown in.

News spread fast of the Miley Cyrus/R. Kelly union.

The Humans

The Wolff brothers, little kid who looks like a cross between Larry Bud Melman and Patton Oswalt, and a cast of other people who didn’t really get any dialogue so who cares.

The Adventures of Mini-Memento
performed very poorly in its short time as a lead-in to the Naked Brothers.

The Nutshell

The Naked Brothers Band heads into New Orleans to perform a concert and on the way there, young Alex Wolff accidentally is shown a copy of An Inconvenient Truth, and becomes fanatical about environmental awareness, with the band devoting all of their concert proceeds to polar bears. However, at the press conference to proudly display their generosity, an innocuous comment about Santa Claus leads to a public boycott of the band. Also happening is some tweenage romance with mistaken desires and heartsongs to enunciate what simple words cannot.

The Naked Brothers Band were very excited to get special guest director Matthew Barney for their holiday special.

The Lowdown

My initial thought when starting to watch this series of Naked Brothers Band episodes was “…the fuck is this shit?” Its premise, format, acting, plot and characters all combined to form some sort of volatile Molatov cocktail threatening to explode the content of my head all over my television set. Then after awhile I became used to its premise of a documentary crew following this more or less unsupervised group of kids around, and its propensity for dropping any pretense of being a documentary whenever one of the Wolff kids is feeling emotionally charged enough to belt out a song. Then for a short while I thought it was a brilliant repositioning of generic television trademarks into the kid’s market, and then for a long while after I tried to shake myself of the Stockholm Syndrome that led me down that deep and dark road. By the end of the program I finally came to terms with what I was watching, a show marketing for and starring tweens, featuring all the hallmarks such a show should include:  bad acting, not quite fully developed hormones, terrible music, and the beginnings of seeing the world around them. These things all feel sort of vital to the tween-to-early-teen experience, so while it feels like a stretch to say it, this show is something of a genuine representation of being a stupid kid with shitty taste on the cusp of figuring out there’s a whole world of legitimately fun things to soak in.

“What, how do you think our band got this name?”

The acting here is weird, because I can’t tell if these kids and their terrible acting is being protected by the show’s conceit, or if the acting is terrible and loose in order to evoke the documentary vibe the premise has set up. I think the latter is probably giving too much credit, but I’d prefer to think that the show-runners are trying to make a brilliant postmodern commentary on how infantile the artificial relationship barriers are in most primetime sitcoms by transposing these efforts into a much more youthful subsect. Again though, for a show that makes hay out of the phrases “butt bath” and “horse poopies”, I may be looking for something that simply isn’t there.  But it beats the hell out of simply watching the episodes, which would’ve been torturous on a purely surface level. There’s bits and pieces here and there that suggest the adults behind the show are trying to liven it up for themselves and plant some references (the most obvious in this set being the Beatles “bigger than Jesus” comment) for the kids to get a little lesson in the history of better things and its also nice that there’s a solid message of environmentalism crossed with social activism and acceptance of others, but there isn’t enough to combat the badness that dominates the majority of the runningtime. Unless you’re a tween (and if that is the case, how the fuck did you find this site?  Ted Levine fanzines*?), avoid this. If you have a tween, try forcing your taste on them. Worst case scenario, they start to resent you. Best case scenario, they at least try to hide their viewing of such television from your withering elderly gaze.

“…one time on tour after a gig I was heading back towards the bus when I felt something on the back of my neck.  I looked up and sure enough there was Peter Gabriel standing on the roof of the bus laughing.  When I asked him what was so funny, he said to me, and I remember this with crystal clarity, he said: ‘Hey Phil, did you feel me coming in the air tonight?’ Still wear a beret after every concert because of it.”

The Package

The cover art is floating torsos and I don’t know why the older naked brother is yelling at me as it should really be the other way around. The show looks and sounds like a show shot on digital without much in the way of action outside of the musical numbers. For special features you get a handful of ‘music videos’, which are just hastily edited together with footage from the episodes over the songs. An unnecessary feature. Faring a little better is the green tips from the band, which shows that their heart is in the right place (besides the hands of Mola Ram, that is), even if the tips are of the garden variety (boilerplate, not actual gardening tips).

4.0 out of 10

These lucky fans were the only ones to see the band on their famed ‘Event Horizon’ tour.