Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Punky Brewster * Fun Reboot with Original Characters & A Gaggle of New Kids

A follow-up series to the 1980s sitcom about a young foster child named Punky. Punky Brewster (Soleil Moon Frye) is now a successful photographer with a gaggle of her own adopted kids, both inspired by her beloved adoptive dad Henry. Her savvy teen daughter Hannah (Lauren Lindsay Donis) is helping her learn online dating after a recent divorce, while her younger sons Daniel and Diego (Oliver de los Santos, Noah Cotrell) can’t stop bickering. She’s still best friends with Cherie (Cherie Johnson), who runs the orphanage and hopes the Brewsters can help out with Izzy (Quinn Copeland), a troubled kid with a running-away streak, not unlike young Punky. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “I love that the show maintains all of the original characters, while also adding new characters, primarily Punky’s children. Punky’s family reflects the reality of today’s diverse family structure including divorced parents, biological and adopted children, different races as well as a very diverse set of personalities.” Giana N. adds, “Punky Brewster is an amazing show with great messages and entertaining concepts. It’s a show that makes you laugh, and gives you an old familiar feeling, especially if you are a fan of the original show. This new Punky Brewster has the potential to be a favorite!” See their full reviews below.  

Punky Brewster (2021)
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Punky Brewster is so much fun to watch! This iconic show from the 1980s is now rebooted with ten new episodes and even includes some of the original cast.

The new Punky Brewster is about the original Punky Brewster (Soleil Moon Frye) who is now grown up, with kids of her own, living in Chicago. While photographing the children at her old adoption center, she meets a girl named Izzy (Quinn Copeland) who reminds Punky so much of herself. Punky’s long-time friend Cherie (Cherie Johnson), also from the original show, asks her to watch Izzy until Cherie finds her the perfect family. Once they find the “perfect” family, will Punky let her go?

Knowing that this show is a reboot, I recommend watching the original series to appreciate all of the comedic references and become familiar with Punky’s backstory. Although it’s not necessary to do that and still enjoy the show.

PUNKY BREWSTER — Pilot Episode — Pictured: (l-r) — (Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/Peacock)

I love that the show maintains all of the original characters, while also adding new characters, primarily Punky’s children. Punky’s family reflects the reality of today’s diverse family structure including divorced parents, biological and adopted children, different races as well as a very diverse set of personalities. The show includes not only the original star of Punky Brewster, Soleil Moon Frye, but also her best friend Cherie Johnson. Soleil Moon Frye provides so much energy and fun by displaying a more carefree nature and frequently screaming “Punky Power” (my favorite).

The importance of family, acceptance and having a place to call home are the key messages in this show. Like the original series, Punky Brewster covers several serious topics such as child abandonment, divorce, bullying and gender nonconformity. 

I give Punky Brewster 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Adults will enjoy it, too. Punky Brewster is out now on Peacock, so look out for it!

Punky Brewster
Giana Nesmith, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 9

PUNKY BREWSTER — Pilot Episode — Pictured: (l-r) — (Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/Peacock)

Punky Brewster is an amazing show with great messages and entertaining concepts. It’s a show that makes you laugh, and gives you an old familiar feeling, especially if you are a fan of the original show. This new Punky Brewster has the potential to be a favorite!

Punky Brewster is a reboot of the ’80s sitcom Punky Brewster. It focuses on a now grown-up Punky (Soleil Moon Frye), who is a single parent of three kids after her divorce from Travis (Freddie Prinze Jr.). At the local children’s adoption center, Punky meets a little girl named Izzy (Quinn Copeland) who reminds her of herself when she was younger. When Punky’s best friend Cherie (Cherie Johnson) asks Punky to look after Izzy while she searches for the right family to adopt her, Punky grows very fond of Izzy and finds it hard to let her go. Izzy makes a connection with Punky as well and finally feels like she has a family.

PUNKY BREWSTER — Pilot Episode — Pictured: (l-r) — (Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/Peacock)

I really like how they use some references from the original show, such as Punky wearing two different shoes, and her catchphrases “Holy Macanoil” and “Punky Power.” Even though the show is a reboot, you don’t need to watch the original show to know what happened with Punky because they bring it up in a couple of episodes. I also like how the set is made to look like the rooms in the original show, such as the tree house from the original series. Punky’s oldest daughter, Hannah, has a room that looks just like Punky’s old bedroom. My favorite character in the show is Izzy because, even though she is a foster kid and doesn’t have much, she is very humble and, in each episode, we see how she teaches the family lots of things. In one episode, the kids feel like there is not enough room in the house for Izzy, but with Punky’s help, they decide Hannah will share her room with Izzy and they learn to be grateful for what they have.

Each episode has a great message; the one that stands out the most is that it’s okay to be different and to be true to yourself. You should know that in a couple of scenes Punky and Cherie are drinking adult beverages.

Punky Brewster is an incredible show to watch! I give it 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Punky Brewster is out now on Peacock. Go check it out!

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