Man, lately I have been binging some non-stop drama. For a change of pace I decided to indulge my inner-child and watch Netflix’s animated series “Carmen Sandiego.” I thought it seemed absolutely delightful that the star of one of my favorite computer games (back in the Stone Age of dial-up Internet) was teaching kids about geography in a new television series.
The children series is a fun and playful romp that parents won’t mind watching with their little ones and it’s just interesting enough that it will leave even the adults asking “Who is Carmen Sandiego?”
While Carmen travels around the world stealing priceless items back from an organization of villains, children learn about geography and quick fun facts about different countries. Children won’t mind watching this educational series as it doesn’t present things in a manner that feels overly academic.
In between her capers and day-saving stunts Carmen cracks jokes with her sidekicks Ivy and Zack and her cyber pal, Player. When she’s not fighting members of V.I.L.E, Carmen tries to figure out how she ended up being brought to V.I.L.E’s island as a child and understand her past. While Carmen is the star of the show, the series doesn’t necessarily try to pass her off as the perfect hero. Through the addition of a few Interpol agents trying to track Carmen’s movements, viewers are reminded that the world isn’t split into good and evil and allows for kids to explore morally gray behaviors. Is stealing bad? Sure. But is it bad to steal from thieves? And is it bad to steal if the money is donated to charitable foundations?
Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”) voices the spunky Carmen Sandiego and Finn Wolfhard (“Stranger Things”) voices the ever punny Player.
One season of “Carmen Sandiego” is available on Netflix. The series is targeted to children age 7 and older. Viewers might also enjoy the Netflix series “Alexa & Katie,” which follows two tween best friends as one of them fights cancer.