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The Naked Brothers Band aired from February 2007 until June 2009 on Nickelodeon.
This bright musical romp , a kind of Monkees for modern preadolescents , followed the exploits of a real New York-based preteen band built around fully clothed brothers Nat and Alex Wolff. According to the story the boys began the band in preschool, enjoyed great success and then faded. Now they were trying to stage a comeback before reaching high school. Nat ( keyboards) was the lead singer and chief songwriter, Alex ( drums) his frisky little brother, Thomas ( Thomas Batuello(cello)) a longtime friend, David (David Levi(keyboards)) a pal since preschool, Qaasim ( Qaasim Middleton (electric guitar)) a newer member and Rosalina ( Allie DiMeco(guitar and vocals)) a slightly older girl who played ten instruments and on whom Nat had a crush. Cooper( Cooper Pillot) was a chubby kid in suit and glasses who was their " manager," Michael ( Michael Wolff) their nutty, accordion- playing dad and Jesse ( Jesse Draper) their chaperon.
There was a lot of running around and yelling, bright colors, and donning of loud outfits for their performances . In real life Michael Wolff was a successful musician who had been bandleader for the Arsenio Hall Show ; the series was the creation of his wife, actress Polly Draper, who introduced the band in a 2005 independent film.
A Review from Variety
Naked Brothers Band
(Telepic -- Nickelodeon, Sat., Feb. 3, 8:30 p.m.)
By LAURA FRIES
Filmed on location in New York by Nickelodeon Prods. in association with Kidzhouse Entertainment and Worldwide Biggies. Executive producers, Albie Hecht, Polly Draper; producer, Ken H. Keller, Caron Rudner; co-executive producer, Michael Wolff; writer and director, Polly Draper.
Nat - Nat Wolff
Alex - Alex Wolff
Thomas - Thomas Batuello
David - David Levi
Qaasim - Qaasim Middleton
Rosalina - Allie DiMeco
Cooper - Cooper Pillot
Dad - Michael Wolff
Jesse - Jesse Draper
Just about every parent thinks their kids hung the moon and has the extensive collection of homevideos to prove it. Former thirtysomething star Polly Draper makes a convincing argument that her offspring actually do have talent with the whimsical new series "Naked Brothers Band." Draper and her musician husband, Michael Wolff, take the home-movie concept one step further by teaming with Nickelodeon to introduce to the world Nat and Alex Wolff, the front men of the Naked Brothers Band.
Fully clothed and musically inclined, Nat (11) and Alex (8) are the undisputed stars of this mock rockumentary show. Plugged months in advance with an Internet push to rival that of "Snakes on a Plane," the Naked Brothers Band already has swarms of young girls buzzing about the eponymous show.
The fake mythology of the band was established in Draper's 2005 movie, which won the audience award at the Hampton Film Festival and debuted last week on Nick.
Truth is, Nat and Alex are actual musical prodigies (dad was bandleader for "The Arsenio Hall Show"). The fake stuff is that they formed a band in preschool, added their musical prodigy friends to the mix, made it big and burned out before Nat hit puberty. The series picks up with the band enjoying success a second time around.
Part "This Is Spinal Tap," part "A Hard Day's Night," the band does its best to re-create the frenetic whimsy of the Monkees while maintaining its kid-like sensibilities. The plots are of little consequence and, like the Monkees, the show is an amalgam of silent movie shenanigans, musicvideos and cartoon-like antics.
Still, satire for kids is tricky business, especially when the target audience is still grappling with issues regarding truth and imagination vs. reality. This fake rock 'n' roll world these young kids are thrown into makes for a creative premise, but often puts the stars a little too close to adult situations.
While Draper handles these issues carefully, it still feels a little icky when former Nick and Disney stars are plastered on tabloids for being, well, plastered.
The physical comedy and grossout humor works, although at times, "Naked Brothers Band" can feel like an inside joke gone awry.
The songs, actually written by Nat, may not top the charts, but they're far more tolerable than Kidz Bop and are hard to shake once the show is over.
Amazingly, all of the kids here real musicians. If Draper really wants to create a show business legacy, she should sell her secrets on how to get kids to practice their musical instruments.
A Review from The New York Times
A TV Family Bound by Blood and a Band
By FELICIA R. LEE
Published: January 25, 2007
The Naked Brothers Band, an ebullient mock documentary about a kids rock band, is both a movie and a new series on Nickelodeon and a tween fantasy in which no one over 18 has much sense. The brothers have a classic bubble-gum sound, live in a very 21st-century video world and are the real-life offspring of entertainers from two television shows that had baby-boomer appeal.
Polly Draper is the mother and Michael Wolff is the father of the telegenic team: the singer-songwriter Nat Wolff, 12 ( the girl magnet is his shy character's nickname), and Alex Wolff, 9, who plays a flamboyant drummer in a do-rag. The two play the stars of the six-member band. The film has its television premiere on Saturday, and the series begins Feb. 3.
Ms. Draper, whose Naked movie and series credits include creator, executive producer, writer and director, will be forever etched in many memories as Ellyn Warren in the 1987-91 show thirtysomething on ABC, considered a ground-breaking look at yuppie angst. The boys real-life father and Ms. Draper's husband, Mr. Wolff, is a musician and composer who was the bandleader and musical director for The Arsenio Hall Show from 1989 to 1994. In Naked, Mr. Wolff plays a geeky, accordion-playing TV father to his real-life sons. He is also the music supervisor and co-executive producer of the series.
This thing had a life of its own, Ms. Draper said during an interview on the set of Naked, a cavernous studio in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. She was watching a scene in which the band makes a video. Nat and Alex were very young when they climbed out of the bath one day, Ms. Draper recalled, and both announced, We're the Naked Brothers Band! as they danced around the apartment. In preschool, Nat formed a band with his best friends.
Nat decided he wanted to film his own sitcom, so we did a film called Don't Eat Off My Plate, Ms. Draper said. I pretended to interview his friends and do a documentary. And that was the beginning of the Naked Brothers movie, roughly a five-week adventure in 2004 using mostly friends and family members, with a budget under $1 million. ( We would sneak into locations and run, Ms. Draper said.) The movie won a family feature film award at the Hamptons International Film Festival in 2005. It then came to the attention of Nickelodeon, which acquired it for broadcast with minor changes and developed the series.
At first we were intrigued by the idea, but we weren't sure that kids would understand the vague tongue-and-cheek of it, said Tom Ascheim, executive vice president and general manager of Nickelodeon. Then a bunch of us took it home to our own children, and they loved it.
Naked Brothers also appeals to adult stargazers. Look for cameos by the thirtysomething cast in the film, as well as by Mr. Hall, Uma Thurman, Julianne Moore, Cyndi Lauper and other stars. Snoop Dogg pops up in the first episode of the series. After all, in Naked Brothers, the band is world-famous.
That TV family lives in a colorful apartment in New York City, where the boys attend Amigos Elementary School and Alex eats peanut butter for breakfast when they're not hopping into limousines, having food fights and shaking it in front of screaming fans. The real-life family lives in Manhattan, where the boys attend private school and so far lead much quieter lives, despite a recent rash of attention as the publicity machine cranked up.
It's got a lot of irreverence and a lot of reality, Ms. Draper said of the family's creative venture. While the Naked series and movie are her first shots at directing, her screenwriting debut was in 1999 with The Tic Code, a theatrical film starring Gregory Hines that was informed both by her husband's childhood struggles with Tourette's syndrome and by his passion for jazz.
For the series, I write him like a kid, Ms. Draper said of Mr. Wolff, and the kids like the adults. The adults make total fools of themselves, and the kids love it.
Nat, who has his mother's enormous eyes and has been writing music since he was 5, is his own man when it comes to music, his father said. It's art, so we don't interfere.
The film tells the story of the band's origins and introduces most of the main characters. The series features Cooper (Cooper Pillot), a boy manager in a suit and big glasses; Rosalina (Allie DiMeco), the electric bassist and Nat's crush; and their spacey, miniskirted baby sitter and tutor, Jesse (Jesse Draper, Polly Draper's niece).
Rounding out the band are the guitarist, Qaasim (Qaasim Middleton), who favors Jim Hendrix-like Afro wigs; the cellist, Thomas (Thomas Batuello); and the keyboardist, David (David Levi, who has known the Wolff brothers since preschool).
Alex and Nat seem pretty much the same in real life as they are on television: chatty, guileless, fun-loving. In a giant room in the studio, they shot hoops with their friends after filming an episode in which Nat does not want to kiss his leading lady for a video because of Rosalina. Nat goofed during the shoot and kissed her, though, explaining to his mother that he thought he was following directions.
It's good, Alex said when asked how it was to work with his mother.
It's better than working with anyone else, he added. She's your mom; she's not an authority. You don't have to behave. Alex aspires to be a professional skateboarder.
For Nat, music is the big attraction. He has performed off Broadway in Getting Into Heaven and The Heart of Baghdad and was a regular at the Improv Comedy Club. He figures he has written about 150 songs. I always loved it, he said. I love the Beatles. I know every Beatles song. I wanted to be like them.
It's all based on reality, Nat said of the story lines. It's not like work. It's things we might say or do or want to say or do. I like the feeling of creating something that wasn't there. If we have another season, I'm totally getting ideas. Nat and I are going to get a camera and make a film.
We have actually become way better friends working together, Nat offered.
We have? said Alex.
Albie Hecht, the other executive producer of the series, said he thought the brothers would be big after he saw the enthusiastic audience reaction to the film at the Hamptons International Film Festival.
They're just real: real brothers, real friends; it's all the stuff kids do when they're hanging out on the playground, Mr. Hecht said. The idea that you're watching a documentary is so much fun. Then you put them into that fantasy of being a world-famous rock band, and that's the sauce that makes it work.
An Article from The New York Times
Famous for Playing Rock Stars
By JACQUES STEINBERG
Published: September 22, 2007
Nat and Alex Wolff, the young brothers who star in the Nickelodeon series The Naked Brothers Band, were fidgeting on a purple couch on a Brooklyn soundstage the other day. They were preparing to record a scene for the show's forthcoming second season when a booming voice came over the loudspeaker.
Both of you, it said, try to smile more.
The voice was that of their mother, the actress Polly Draper. She was neither directing that particular scene nor visible to them (she was perched on a canvas chair in front of a monitor, behind a wooden set wall). But as the show's creator, most frequent director and, in effect, head writer, she seemed almost omnipresent as she poured her suggestions into a microphone in front of her, sometimes even stopping the action midway.
For Nat, 12, and Alex, 9 as well as their father, Michael Wolff, who plays their father on the show it was just another day at a most unusual office, as a family equal parts Von Trapp and Partridge labored to replicate the runaway success of their show's first season, which began in February and ended in June.
During that period, the series, a mock documentary in which two real brothers who are musicians play characters who are also brothers and musicians, quickly became one of the most popular among viewers in the age range it targets, 6 to 11. Its initial 10 episodes, in their premiere showings, each drew an average of about 1.3 million viewers in that age group, according to Nielsen Media Research.
That performance ranked as one of the fastest starts in the nearly three-decade history of Nickelodeon and placed Naked Brothers within striking range of Hannah Montana and Cory in the House, two popular series on Nickelodeon's main rival, Disney Channel.
Children, and perhaps even some parents, who have found themselves wanting more Naked Brothers will probably get their fill in the next few months. Nickelodeon will introduce two new episodes in October (the first, a one-hour special titled Battle of the Bands, makes its debut Oct. 6), and a soundtrack of more than a dozen songs from the first season will be released on Oct. 9. The new season, which centers on the lead-up to a mock tour, is scheduled to begin in early January.
And you know, I'd like to talk about my album, Jazz, Jazz, Jazz, which came out in July, said the elder Mr. Wolff, an accomplished musician who led the band on The Arsenio Hall Show. He had briefly, and showily, interrupted a family interview, much as his character would on the show.
Setting aside that tongue-in-cheek attempt at one-upmanship, the last few months have brought valuable lessons for Nat and Alex about what can happen when art imitates life, and life then imitates art.
In the show we play huge, famous rock stars, said Nat, the lead singer, keyboardist and principal songwriter for the band, whose real music is played on the show and which takes its name from some tub frolicking in the boys earlier years. After the show came on, people began to really treat us like huge rock stars. They'd scream on the street, and we'd look behind us to see what they were screaming about, because we didn't realize it was us.
If that was a thrill, some aspects of fame have not been. The family, which lives in Lower Manhattan, has had to keep changing its unlisted phone number, and those of the boys cellphones, the better to outwit their ardent admirers. Alex, the band's drummer, attended a dance recently at a friend's school and at one point felt a sharp tug on his scalp. A girl had yanked out a clump of his long, brown curly hair.
I was like, What? he said, his mouth pantomiming his stunning disbelief.
Mindful of the dark side of fame, Ms. Draper, herself well known for the show Thirtysomething, and Mr. Wolff have taken steps to ward off the later-in-life meltdowns of former child stars like Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. Production for the series is crammed into the summer and early fall, so the boys can return to school well before Thanksgiving. Neither boy has been permitted to see a review for the show, or to use Google to see what is said about it. And neither can go on any other auditions.
In the bargain, the entire project has brought a lot of togetherness and an expanded definition of parenthood. It falls to Mr. Wolff to help Nat produce the songs he composes, mostly at the family's piano. But Nat, whose influences range from the Beatles to Sting to Motown, has set strict boundaries, including that his parents not tweak his lyrics.
In the new song I Don't Want to Go to School, written on a day when Nat persuaded his mother to let him stay home, he included this lyric: You can't deny me of my freedom.
Ms. Draper gently explained that the phrase was not grammatically correct, and that deprive me might work better. He said, Too bad, it doesn't sound as good, Ms. Draper recalled. The lyric stood.
To an adult visitor who spent several hours on the set recently, Ms. Draper's various suggestions over that loudspeaker Nat, put down the feather boa was one of the most memorable would seem to take a cumulative toll. Asked, out of earshot of their mother, if they were ever tempted to rebel, Nat and Alex said no.
We haven't actually had many directors, Nat said. So it seems kind of natural. And any time we've had another director, it seems odd. You know, You mean you can't sit on that director's lap?
Sometimes at home, Alex said, she'll forget she's our mother. So she'll be like his voice became a megaphone Honey, get me a P B & J. And then she'll say she's sorry.
Asked how she balances her various roles, Ms. Draper said: We all joke about it. They ask, What's it like to direct? I say, It's the same as in real life.
They don't listen to me as a mother, she explained, laughing. And they don't listen to me as a director. So I just feel right at home.
An Article from The Knoxville News-Sentinel
Published on May 23, 2008
Naked Brothers Band's success follows the script
By TERRY MORROW
THE KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL
This is how "Naked Brothers Band" star Alex Wolff rolls.
"I'm wearing the same pants as yesterday," admits the 10-year-old Nickelodeon actor, recalling something he said to his mother earlier in the morning.
Turns out that during the cross-country trip he and his brother, Nat, have been taking to promote "The Naked Brothers Band" series (8:30 p.m. Saturdays) and new CD ("I Don't Wanna Go to School"), a tube of toothpaste exploded in their suitcase. Their clothes had paste all over them -- as well as a fresh minty taste.
That's life as a young rock star. One minute you're sleeping in your hotel room before meeting the fans. The next moment you have toothpaste all over your favorite T-shirt.
"Naked Brothers" came out of an idea from the siblings' mother, writer-actress Polly Draper. She penned a script about her sons becoming huge rock stars. The project ended up as a mockumentary for Nickelodeon. It got such a great response that Nick executives turned it into a series.
From there, "The Naked Brothers Band" series has emerged as an out-of-the-box hit for Nickelodeon. The show's popularity has translated in other ways for the brothers Wolff: The boys, who sing their own material and play their own instruments, have become real-life pop stars.
In real life, Nat and Alex aren't that different from other boys their age. Alex, in particular, has a quick wit. Nat is more focused and a natural straight man for his brother's one-liners.
The boys nicknamed themselves "Naked Brothers." They used to call themselves that as tykes coming out of the tub.
Draper says the appeal of the show is "aspirational."
Kids "feel like they know them. They like them," she said.
The Wolffs write their music when they can fit it in between filming and going to school.
Nat wrote "I Don't Wanna Go to School" one day when he said that very line to his mother. She said he could stay home if he wrote the song. He did. She made him go anyway.
A third season begins production this summer in New York, and "Polar Bears," a made-for-TV movie starring the Naked Brothers, premieres June 6.
To watch clips of The Naked Brothers band go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Naked+Brothers+Band+tv+show
For an episode guide go to http://www.tv.com/the-naked-brothers-band/show/68555/summary.html
For an episode list go to http://epguides.com/NakedBrothersBand/
For more on The Naked Brothers Band go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Naked_Brothers_Band_%28TV_series%29
For the official site go to http://www.nick.com/shows/naked_brothers_band/index.jhtml
For The official website of Nat and Alex Wolff go to http://www.natnalex.com/
For a review of The Naked Brothers Band go to http://www.commonsensemedia.org/tv-reviews/Naked-Brothers-Band.html
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtFmM21bO38 and for the music video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2RhJE4gtoI
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Keywords: Naked Brothers Band