tek's rating: ½

Odd Squad, on PBS, weekdays (check local listings)
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A live-action kids' show that debuted in 2014. It's kind of a cross between Fillmore! and Mathnet, and... I dunno. There are any number of paranormal investigation shows I could name (whether about kids or adults), but really it's more sort of surrealist.

Anyway, there's this organization run by kids, called Odd Squad. I suppose the squad has any number of agents, but the show focuses on Olive (a veteran agent) and her new rookie partner, Otto. (One of the odd things about this show is it's unclear how old anyone actually is. There are adults in the show, and all Odd Squad agents are kids, but some of those kids may actually be their apparent age, and some may be much older than they appear... but are still really kids. I guess.) Olive and Otto investigate odd things that happen, which involve math in some way. The show's aimed at ages 5-8, so the math involved is terribly simple (sometimes I feel like the things the show teaches are so simple that people must be born knowing them instinctively). But the cases themselves are still fun, because as I mentioned, they're kind of surreal, and totally redonkulous, so the show is fairly hilarious. It's also surprisingly clever... even if there are some twists to the stories that I totally see coming, there are others that surprise me. Anyway, um... there are a couple of other regular characters, including the head of the squad, Ms. O, and a scientist named Oscar. And others.

Oh, I should also say that the agents have all sorts of gizmos (created by Oscar) that let them handle some bizarre problems very quickly and easily, without needing to do any investigating, or even using any math. But the main cases are more complicated, and often involve teleporting to the "mathroom" to do some calculations. And aside from teleporting, agents sometimes use "squishinator" pneumatic tubes to get around (which are operated by kids similar to transporter operators from Star Trek, all of whom have Irish names. In fact, every agent in Odd Squad has a name starting with "O," so it's obviously easy for characters to have Irish surnames, but I do think that's probably a nod to Star Trek characters.)

Aside from the actual cases, there are other random segments on the show, which can give more information about the Odd Squad, both in the present and the past. And stuff. I'm not sure what else to say, but it's really fun and quirky and crazy and totally corny-but-cool. There were like a couple of TV movies I never saw, and I think after the first one Olive and Otto were replaced by other characters, but I never got to see that far into the series.

kid stuff
PBS Kids