TV review by
Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media
Decker TV Poster Image
Intentionally awkward, hilarious send-up of action shows.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Violence and rough, action-movie-hero talk abounds, but beneath the show's broad, ridiculous comedy style is a subtle critique of our culture's glorification of war and extreme political views.

Positive Role Models & Representations

These characters are buffoons, many of whom act in ill-advised ways -- for laughs.


The show is parodying the action genre, so expect to see guns galore -- Decker holds one to the president's head and asks him if he wants his "brains splattered all over this desk." People are thrown from buildings and catch on fire. In one scene, Decker throws a bomb that's about to go off into the air, and it explodes into the shape of an American flag (clearly taken from a stock photography website). Violence is presented comically, and with low-rent special effects.


Damn, hell, ass, and many variations on the word "s--t." Decker is constantly telling the president to "grow some balls" and calling him a "p---y."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Decker is shown ineffectually destroying a "poppy field" he says is being grown to make heroin. (It's actually a patch of random weeds.)

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Decker is an offshoot of the popular YouTube comedy series On Cinema, hosted and co-created by Tim Heidecker (Tim and Eric) and Gregg Turkington (Gravity Falls). The titular character, Special Agent Jack Decker, is a super-conservative spy who considers himself to be the last real patriot. He is often shown verbally (and sometimes physically) abusing the "ineffectual liberal" president Jason Davidson (Joe Estevez). There's some racially charged content, like when a terrorist character is depicted by a blonde, blue-eyed actor clad in a headscarf and speaking faux-Arabic gibberish. There is frequent violence, though it is purposefully made to look low budget, and therefore isn't very realistic. The show, like many Heidecker-helmed productions, features intentionally horrible effects and comically wooden performances, but there is an underlying commentary being made about political extremism and pop culture's love of violence that may be lost on younger viewers.

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What's the story?

Special Agent Jack DECKER, a narcissistic bad boy prone to extreme violence as well as hyperconservative political rants, is constantly being called upon by the U.S. government to save its citizens from an onslaught of ceaseless terrorist plots, such as when the Taliban plot to blow up the Super Bowl. He is often assisted on these missions by film buff and expert code-cracker Special Agent Kington (whose name is forever being mispronounced as "Kingston" or "Klington"). The agents report to President Jason Davidson, who -- in a cheeky nod to The West Wing -- is played by actor Martin Sheen's real-life brother, Joe Estevez.

Is it any good?

If your local public-access station scraped up a few bucks and tried to make their own version of 24 or Mission Impossible with volunteer actors from Craigslist, it might look something like this -- but it wouldn't be half as funny. As with a lot of Adult Swim shows, the format and style can be an acquired taste, and some folks just won't see the humor in it. The dialogue is stilted and constantly flubbed, the special effects make generous use of green screen and clip art. Heidecker channels action stars like Steven Seagal with his constant squinting and pouting, and scenes set in the poppy fields of Afghanistan were clearly filmed in a Los Angeles park. Decker doesn't just fight foes like ISIS "mano a mano" -- later seasons find him facing off adversaries like Dracula.

Pushing the tough guy act to these ridiculous extremes is exactly what makes the show so funny. Heidecker and Turkington are pros at this form of comedy, which cloaks itself in such over-the-top awkwardness and ludicrous production values that the casual observer might not notice this goofy satire is actually making some pretty salient points.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the production values of Decker. Why would the creators make such an effort to make their show look so low budget? Would the series be as amusing with higher quality special effects? Why or why not?

  • What are some ways this show parodies legitimate, mainstream action shows like 24? How can you tell something is parody or satire? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love weird comedy

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