Bailey Kipper’s POV (CBS, 1996)
This will probably be the final imported children’s sitcom that I’ll review. This one was shown around the same time as Fudge (that I reviewed recently), but most of the others from the 90s are simply too sickly or inane for my liking, so sorry if you were expecting a review of Saved By The Bell, or even Cousin Skeeter. This one attracted me because it had a rather interesting idea.
Before I go any further though, I would just like to say that I think the name Bailey Kipper is terrific. The show was in a Saturday Morning slot on American TV, before coming to CBBC’s main afternoon strand in 1998. The opening sequence where Bailey rapped about the scenario while all of the cast did a dance was rather embarrassing, but the rest of the show was definitely very enjoyable.
Bailey Kipper is an 11-year-old boy who is rather smart and likes to let his imagination run wild. His dad works at a local TV station and sometimes brings home pieces of technical kit. Bailey then uses this equipment to create his own TV channel where he can keep a close check on his family and friends, because of small cameras hidden around the house (and even on people) in the shape of eyeballs.
Bailey then edits all of this footage together in a special secret room and enhances it with various visual and sound effects to create a video diary of what people have been up to, including his dad Don, mum Vickie, older sister Robin, younger brother Eric, and even the dog, as if he was directing their lives, and they were totally oblivious. Episodes centred around various things such as a day at school or relatives visiting. It is rather weird watching this show back now knowing that I’m closer to the ages of the parents than the children!
The idea of constantly keeping track of someone predated all of the Big Brother-style shows, and watching things from various people’s perspectives was also fairly similar to the idea of Channel 4’s sitcom Peep Show (which at the early development stage was also planned to be called POV). The situation the family were in was rather similar to the later more famous sitcom Malcolm In The Middle.
Bailey Kipper’s POV was a quirky idea that was put together very well, it’s a shame that there were only 13 episodes in one series, they definitely could’ve expanded on the idea, and it deserves more credit. The show was repeated on CBBC until as late as 2002, but there has been no DVD release. Don’t expect a revival of the show any time soon though, because Michael Galeota, who starred as Bailey, died in 2016 aged only 31.