No Good Nick takes the family sitcom genre to a whole new level.
This post for No Good Nick Season 1: Part 1 is spoiler-free.
No Good Nick’s (2019, created by Keetgi Kogan and David H. Steinberg) trailer got me intrigued by the premise of the show. It follows Nicole “Nick” Patterson (Siena Agudong) who one day poses as a distant relative and appears at the Thompson family’s doorstep, but what the Thompsons don’t know is that Nick is up to no good and is trying to scam them of their money.
Family sitcoms, or multi-cam sitcoms in general are never my first choice of shows to watch, as I tend to get bored by the episodic nature of the genre. I had assumed that No Good Nick was going to be like any other family sitcom that has aired on American television networks before, so it was kind of surprising to me when the show followed a serialised format and there was a twist revealed at the end of “The Catfish” (S01E01).
I appreciated the serialised nature of No Good Nick, as it made the show more exciting and bingeable to watch, as one wouldn’t know what to anticipate in each episode. I kind of expected this show to have a “Season 2” or “Part 2” just solely based on the fact that Netflix titled the first 10 episodes as Part 1 of the show. No Good Nick was actually filmed back-to-back for Season 1, but the other 10 episodes will only be released later this year. I guess this is how Netflix is marketing their multi-cam sitcoms for their platform—and it definitely works out well in my opinion.
Melissa Joan Hart and Sean Astin are honestly the best parents—they respectively play Liz and Ed—anyone could ever have. They are goofy, cool, and funny. They make a great pair and they both give their characters much personality. With little room to give an emotional performance, apart from the time Liz loses her family heirloom, the closeness of the family is what makes No Good Nick enjoyable to watch. One of my favourite scenes is when the parents make their kids Molly (Lauren Lindsey Donzis) and Jeremy (Kalama Epstein) plus Nick have a “Chore Auction”, where the kids have to bid for the amount of allowance they are willing to earn in order to do a certain household chore—lowest bid wins in this case.
There are moments that make No Good Nick feel like you’re watching a Disney Channel or Nickelodeon show—most of those scenes, in my opinion, are when the kids are interacting with one another. And when they’re all at home, the show feels mostly like a standard family sitcom, except it contains more darkness than lighthearted humour. Nick’s no good schemes, which she is constantly plotting, makes this show feel refreshing and different from other family sitcoms.
The teen actors who play the kids are cringey at times, especially Agudong who plays the titular character Nick. She’s always “acting” because she’s trying to pull off this big scam on the Thompson family, so sometimes her expressions come across as overly exaggerated. But for a multi-cam sitcom I think it kind of works, however if this show was more dramatised I think Agudong’s exaggerated moments would probably be too much.
There is also a slight issue of diversity in this show. The main Thompson family is white, and Nick is clearly biracial, but however, the show fails to dive deeper into her family background as it’s unclear where she’s really from or who she really is. No Good Nick ended on a huge cliffhanger, so I’m hoping that Part 2 of Season 1 would drop on Netflix sooner rather than later, and address some of the issues I’ve mentioned.