A lot or a little?
Parents' guide to what's in this tv show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the title character in this animated sci-fi series is indeed nothing but a head. Leaving aside the fact that it's rather improbable that a mechanical head would prove a successful super spy (this is science fiction, after all), it's more than a little odd to see Screw-On Head in action. The show also dabbles in black magic, vampires, and demons, which might be scary for young children.
What's the story?
Few modern historians are aware that the bravest, most dedicated agent serving President Abraham Lincoln was a mechanized head. At least, so goes the premise of the comic book-based animated sci-fi/adventure series THE AMAZING SCREW-ON HEAD. When human agents were too afraid to pursue the forces of evil who used the dark arts to threaten the safety of the world, Screw-On Head (voiced by Paul Giamatti) would save the day. With his dedicated manservant Mr. Groin (Patton Oswalt), his talking dog Mr. Dog, and a variety of replaceable robotic bodies, Screw-On Head would fearlessly take on the dreaded Emperor Zombie (David Hyde Pierce).
Is it any good?
This unusual series, based on a comic book by Mike Mignola, is certainly original, but being different doesn't necessarily make it interesting. Mignola is a comic industry star -- his popular title Hellboy was made into the entertaining 2004 film -- and devoted comic fans may make Screw-On Head a cult hit, but others may just find it odd.
Even the basic premise -- that a mechanical head is a super-agent -- works better on paper than on TV. The dialog is witty, and the voice actors make it even better, but the show can be hard to watch. Depending heavily on blacks, greys, and browns, the animation is faithful to Mignola's signature artistic style -- which, while well-suited to a comic book with dark themes, doesn't translate all that well to color television screens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the value of loyalty in relationships. Screw-On Head is aided in his missions by his devoted manservant, Mr. Groin, and his talking dog, Mr. Dog. Screw-On Head is never reluctant to jump into danger, and he expects his companions to blindly do the same. Is it fair for him to expect his companions to risk themselves for the greater goal? Is there anyone you'd willingly put yourself in danger to help?