Much maligned of late, CBBC has responded with several ambitious, innovative and entertaining programmes - Roy, Horrible Histories, Sorry, I've Got No Head - the latest of which is My Almost Famous Family.
Cheerfully chucking together elements of The Partridge Family, The Brady Bunch and pThe Monkees and infused with the cheesy spirit of High School Musical, the show is a musical comedy about the Swanns, aka Perfect Harmony, a multi-talented, Anglo-American family who win a stab at fame as the house band on a teatime TV chat show.
Episode one saw Perfect Harmony fall foul of the show's teenage host Annabelle, an adolescent anti-Christ clad in bubblegum pink, and her scheming, cringing, fawning manager /mother. Annabelle is a splendid, scene-stealing monster and I sincerely hope the series doesn't go spoiling things by giving her any redeeming features in later episodes. Meanwhile, in a separate sub-plot, the Swann's teenage brainbox Toyah is forced to choose between careers in classical and rock music.
It is all very jolly, colourful, energetic, entertaining, funny, frivolous and slick. That the comedy was broad and the musical numbers slightly underwhelming can be easily overlooked amid all the exuberance.Harry Venning, The Stage, 21st September 2009
Saturday morning family comedy with a musical twist. This all-singing, all dancing comedy featuring the Swann step-family is a Partridge Family or Brady Bunch for the 21st Century.What's On TV, 12th September 2009
This chirpy, if slightly hackneyed, new comedy for children centres upon the Swann family: half African-American, half English, all musical, and with big ambitions for their six-piece group, suggestively titled We're in Perfect Harmony. Discord, needless to say, awaits them in the wings, as they bag a gig as the house band on a popular television chat show and start becoming almost famous, which, as any modestly successful pop musician will tell you, isn't as easy as it looks.Pete Naughton, The Telegraph, 12th September 2009