Imaginative and frenetic, this Nickelodeon series co-created and voiced by “Saturday Night Live’s” Amy Poehler has the kind of crazed energy and inventiveness that isn’t associated often enough with girl-oriented children’s fare. Poehler’s Bessie Higgenbottom is a committed Honeybee (like the Girl Scouts, I guess) determined to claim every possible merit badge, which she pursues while drifting into superheroic flights of fancy in which she can leap tall buildings. The concept should strike a receptive chord with kids and won’t have parents gnashing their teeth.
Not quite 10, Bessie wears her Honeybee uniform at all times, believing that claiming all the badges will transform her into the super-powered Mighty Bee — a barrel-chested caped crusader, who she becomes in her “Brazil”-like fantasies. (Yes, that may be the first comparison of a Saturday-morning show to Terry Gilliam’s dark epic.)
Bessie roams the streets of San Francisco flanked by her adoring little brother Ben (Andy Richter) and dog Happy, whom she acquires in the premiere. The second adventure involves her first roller-coaster ride — an event that takes her fancifully shooting into space and burning up on re-entry.
Working with Cynthia True (who wrote for “The Fairly OddParents”) and Erik Wiese (an alum of “SpongeBob SquarePants”), Poehler has ginned up a plucky heroine to whom girls will almost certainly relate — nerdy, enthusiastic and semi-oblivious to the slights directed her way by peers, with a Looney Tunes look and feel.
At a time when so many children’s shows stoop to conquer, “The Mighty B!” opts for a more elevated approach — like that aforementioned roller-coaster jaunt, taking a free-spirited jump off the tracks and trusting its audience to hang on for the ride.