A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Though the tone is satirical, the drama often outweighs the comedy, and the show's outlook is largely pessimistic. Major themes includes corruption, betrayal, and government conspiracy.
Positive Role Models
The main character is a smart, independent, and compassionate Washington outsider. Though she learns to play politics (and sometimes twists the truth) to get the information and assistance she needs, she tries to hold others accountable for their actions in pursuit of truth and justice.
Violence & Scariness
Unsettling visuals include bugs crawling into people's ears, chunks of brains falling out of someone's head, and a person's skull exploding; some blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A married senator with a pregnant wife is having an affair with his female aide. Sex is implied with bare skin, but no sensitive parts are shown.
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Characters use words such as "damn," "ass," "crap," and "screw."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking. A secondary character begins the show with a serious alcohol dependency, drinking directly from bottles of liquor stashed in his office, and so on.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that BrainDead is a sci-fi-infused political satire with a comic twist that blames America's out-of-control behavior on an infestation of -- wait for it -- space bugs. Some visuals are downright disgusting (from an exploding head to a mass of brain material falling out of someone's ear), and characters use words such as "damn," "ass," "crap," and "screw." There's also regular social drinking (plus a character who drinks heavily in the pilot) and implied sex, with bare skin in bedclothes but no sensitive parts shown on-screen.
Is It Any Good?
Instead of smart satire, this promising but tone-deaf "comic-thriller" aims to explain America's problems away via an absurdly implausible metaphor: alien infestation. Maybe it looked funny on paper, but the joke falls particularly flat in the face of terrorism, discrimination, and gun violence, not to mention a contentious presidential election that's fanning the flames of a city -- and, more broadly, a nation -- that's already on fire.
Will BrainDead make you laugh? Maybe, though it largely eschews comedy in favor of its farcical sci-fi plot. But one thing it won't do is teach you much about the way American politics actually works or how we've arrived at our current delirium. True analysis of the American mind would be far too frightening -- and rather unfunny indeed.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.