Recently, in a beautiful run-in with serendipity (OK, or maybe just those Netflix recommendations that pop up on my TV), I noticed that there was a new kids show called Julie’s Greenroom. And upon further investigation, I realized that this show stars none other than beloved theater legend Julie Andrews.
Obviously, I had to watch.
In the 13-episode series, Andrews plays Ms. Julie, director of Wellspring Center for the Performing Arts. The show centers around Ms. Julie and her trusty (and also incredibly talented) assistant Gus as they mentor students (lovingly referred to as “Greenies”) in all things theater and the arts. I immediately knew my kids would love the show, as they both have a flair for the dramatic themselves; but after watching all of the episodes too, I can say for certain that I’m I loved it just as much — if not more — than they did.
1. Um, hello — it stars Julie Andrews.
I repeat: JULIE ANDREWS. I could just drop the mic right now and end this list right here. But I’ll keep going: Julie Andrews is hands down my “if you could meet any person, who would you choose” pick. Her voice is literally the soundtrack to my childhood. Mary Poppins, Fräulein Maria, Queen Clarisse … you can do no wrong in my eyes. It’s a joy to be able to introduce her to my own children and it is lovely to watch her giving back with something that will truly inspire the future generation of artists.
2. It’s fun, but it’s also educational.
My kids think TV shows are the best thing since sliced bread (even though they have no idea that unsliced bread was ever a thing), but their choices are sometimes questionable. It’s not that they choose shows that are inappropriate, but they just don’t always have a ton of value. It’s fun, but it’s fluff.
I’m always a fan of any show that is fun for them, while still having an educational component. This show is a primer for the arts, and kids will learn plenty of great vocab words along the way. (In fact, one of the characters named Spike likes to store them away in his “word bank” notebook,) There are also plenty of interpersonal skills to be learned, like how to cope when you don’t get your way (e.g. when one of the characters doesn’t get the part she wants in the play) or how to work through making a mistake (improv!), or how it takes teamwork and different talents to make a project come together.
3. It has all the Jim Henson nostalgia you can handle.
The students attending Ms. Julie’s school (the “Greenies”) are actually puppets of the Jim Henson persuasion, and they are wonderful. My kids adore puppets and it’s pretty hard not to love ones that have been created by The Jim Henson Company, the same group that created Kermit the Frog and Fraggle Rock. The nostalgia is real, guys.
I also really appreciate the thought and attention to detail that went into creating puppets that represent inclusivity. Puppets of different ethnicities and abilities all working together as a team — just what our kids need to see.
4. It offers a sneak peek into the arts, without the commitment.
I don’t know about you, but as a parent I want my kids to be exposed to every possibility for their future. Maybe they’ll be into soccer, or maybe ballet. Maybe they’ll paint masterpieces, or be in an orchestra. The only issue with this though, is that being exposed to all these possibilities, requires time … and money. Letting my kids try out ballet classes and piano lessons and theater camp means trekking all over town to take them to said activities and it costs money to participate. I’m happy to invest in my children’s interests, but it can kind of feel like taking a shot in the dark as I try to walk them down the path of discovering what makes their heart sing.
Julie’s Greenroom is a great way to give kids a sneak peek into theater to gauge their interest before shelling out cash for that theater camp. Throughout the series, the Greenies go through the process of creating a play from start to finish. They explore playwriting, improv, costuming, ballet, and more, and it’s a great way to watch and see what may spark you child’s interest.
5. You’ll love the celeb cameos.
Julie Andrews on her own is definitely reason enough to watch this show, but the celebrities who make guest appearances are pretty fantastic, too. Carol Burnett, Alec Baldwin, Ellie Kemper, Sara Bareilles, Titus Burgess, and Josh Groban are just a few who pop by to help drive home the theme of each particular episode. Seeing them teaching valuable lessons in the performing arts on a kid-friendly level is pure magic.
6. You get to share in something you love with your kids.
If the performing arts are something that’s near and dear to your heart, then this show is an absolute must-watch. There’s just something so special about bonding over a shared love with your kids, and Julie’s Greenroom makes this introduction to the arts approachable, inclusive, and fun, as it proves that the arts really are for everyone.