TV Review: “Polka Kings” Premieres Tonight On REELZ Channel

"Polka Kings"


“Polka Kings” is an original, half-hour reality series taking viewers on an incredible journey with The Chardon Polka Band in their foot-tapping quest to achieve mainstream status while bringing polka to the masses with a modern twist to the happiest music on earth.

If a friend were to come to you and exclaim, “Hey bud, I got two tickets to see U2,” I think most people would jump at the chance. Now, if that same friend came to you and exclaimed, “Hey bud, I got two tickets to a Polka concert,” the words out of your mouth would probably be…”Um, I’m not feeling too well so why don’t you go without me but thanks for thinking of me.” Yeah, they would have been the exact words out of my mouth too so suffice to say, after watching the premiere episode of “Polka Kings,” which premieres tonight on the REELZ Channel, I was quite taken aback, literally.

I can’t speak for anybody else but for me, the word “Polka” invokes images of Chevy Chase in “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” as he manages to turn a Polka stage performance into an all-out street brawl but I am very open-minded so in watching “Polka Kings,” I was very pleasantly surprised as to the actual sound of the music and the cast of characters themselves, a vibrant and energetic bunch to say the very least. The group call themselves The Chardon Polka Band and they are out of Chardon, Ohio and led by the band’s charismatic and energetic leader, Jake Kouwe.

Jake has dreams of taking Polka to the next level and they even team up with a local rap band and call the subsequent musical style, “Ralka.” The Chardon Polka Band are really very good and they play a theme song throughout the episode that is actually quite catchy and had me humming it out loud long after the show had ended. Jake is adamant on getting their particular style of music out to the masses and they even play a gig at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado who has been host to a multitude of famous musicians including Jimi Hendrix, U2, The Dead and even The Beatles.

The rest of the band are made up of Emily Burke (saxaphone), Paul Coates (sousaphone), Mike Franklin (banjo) and Pops Magooch (drums). “Polka Kings” is lively and energetic and as good as their music is, the band themselves are absorbing and extremely likable which makes the whole show very easy to watch. There are so many bad reality TV shows out there that shouldn’t have even gotten on the air but “Polka Kings” is funny and endearing and I actually look forward to watching the next episode.

“Polka Kings” premieres tonight at 9:30pm ET / 6:30pm PT on REELZ Channel

James McDonald

Originally from Dublin, Ireland, James is a Movie Critic and Celebrity Interviewer with over 30 years of experience in the film industry as an Award-Winning Filmmaker.
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