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Melissa Joan Hart of Netflix’s ‘No Good Nick’ – ‘There is nothing like this on TV’

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Melissa Joan Hart ("Sabrina the Teenage Witch") and Sean Astin ("Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "Stranger Things") star in "No Good Nick," a new family comedy/drama/mystery from Netflix. Teenage grifter Nicole (AKA: Nick, played by Siena Agudong) penetrates the close-knit Thompson family when she appears out of nowhere suggesting she is a distantly related orphan. She intends to exact revenge on the family for unknowingly ruining her life. The first 10 episodes of season one are available now on Netflix. Melissa Joan Hart ("Sabrina the Teenage Witch") and Sean Astin ("Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "Stranger Things") star in "No Good Nick," a new family comedy/drama/mystery from Netflix. Teenage grifter Nicole (AKA: Nick, played by Siena Agudong) penetrates the close-knit Thompson family when she appears out of nowhere suggesting she is a distantly related orphan. She intends to exact revenge on the family for unknowingly ruining her life. The first 10 episodes of season one are available now on Netflix. (Image courtesy of Netflix)

A teenaged con artist determined to exact revenge on the family she believes did her wrong is at the heart of “No Good Nick,” a new Netflix family mystery dramedy starring Melissa Joan Hart and Sean Astin as Liz and Ed Thompson, parents of two high school-aged children, played by Kalama Epstein (“Jeremy”) and Lauren Lindsey Donzis (“Molly”).

When 13-year old Nicole – Nick (played by Siena Agudong) – knocks on the Thompsons’ door claiming to be an orphan and referring to the family as her closest living relatives, the Thompsons are torn over whether or not to believe her.

“I don’t think there’s another show like this on television,” Hart said in a phone interview. “It’s kind of a callback to the heyday of television when the entire family could sit in front of one TV to watch and discuss together.”

It may be impossible to tag “No Good Nick” as just one genre of television. It isn’t a traditional sitcom, even though the show has a studio audience and features a sitcom rhythm.

Unlike the vast majority of sitcoms (“Arrested Development” excepted), “No Good Nick” is carefully serialized, complete with cliffhangers to inspire binge-watching. When Hart initially read the script, she says she thought it was an adult show.

“Then when we heard it out loud, I said ‘This is a kid’s show,’” she told me. “You can’t really label this show. It’s very unique. It’s kind of like ‘Scandal’ for kids, or ‘This is Us,’ layered with ‘Game of Thrones’ Easter eggs.”

Like a mystery, “No Good Nick” uses foreshadowing to scatter clues for careful viewers.

“This girl scams us in some different way in every episode,” Hart said. “If you watch the hologram in the opening titles, you’ll notice she has something different in her hand every time. It might be a bottle of wine or a roll of hundred-dollar bills. You gradually unravel the layers to discover why she is scamming us. The writers did a brilliant job with this show.”

Of the show’s protagonist, Hart calls Siena Agudong a “powerhouse” of an actor for her portrayal of Nick.

“Siena’s character has to be likeable, but she also has to be naughty,” Hart said. “You kind of root for her to do these terrible things to the family. I don’t think the show would work without her.”

“No Good Nick” is Sean Astin’s first starring turn in a sitcom, though the genre was likely in his DNA. Astin’s mother was Patty Duke (“The Patty Duke Show”) while his father, John Astin, spent three seasons as Gomez Addams on ABC’s “The Addams Family.”

“Sean really wanted to learn everything he could about sitcoms,” Hart said. “Now he has a PhD in sitcoms, for sure.”

Twenty episodes of “No Good Nick” were filmed for the show’s first season. The initial 10 episodes became available on Netflix on April 15. The next batch of shows is due for release later this year, according to Hart. “We did the last four episodes without a studio audience, so we could go a little deeper.”

“We’re doing untraditional television in a mostly traditional way,” she continued. “It’s new and different. It has a lot of heart but there’s also a lot of mystery, and it’s funny. We’re very proud of it.”

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