Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Henry Danger

Henry Danger

Spring 2017 Television
Ages: 6 - 12 yrs.
Producer: Nickelodeon
Rating: TV G

Some experts say having a job is good for tween and teens because it helps them build confidence. Others say it puts too much burden on kids trying to balance their schoolwork and social life.

For 14-year-old Henry Hart, both theories hold true. That's because Henry answered a help-wanted ad and suddenly found himself working as Kid Danger, the official sidekick to his town's superhero, Captain Man. There's one catch: Henry gets to battle villains and help protect the town of Swellview on a daily basis but he has to keep his new identity a secret and that makes life a tad complicated for this average teen.

As tween sitcoms go, Henry Danger understands its tongue-in-cheek sweet spot and stays in that lane. Simple, and often silly, plotlines are driven by conflicts Henry faces when he tries to solve a problem or fight a villain while still maintaining his secret identity. In "I Know Your Secret," a series of notes suggests someone is on to Henry's secret identity but complications arise when it turns out to be Henry's close friend and Captain Man wants to use a high-tech device to tamper with the friend's memory. Oh, and the tanning salon Henry's sister is running out of their house makes things a little thorny.

In "Hour of Power," a criminal escapes from prison and, much to Henry's shock, it turns out to be Captain Man's old sidekick-gone-bad, Drex. Henry battles his own insecurities as he takes on Drex but after some initial setbacks that include tranquilizer darts and a huge vat of cake batter, Henry acquires superpowers by inhaling the combined venom of a lizard and spider. The ultimate showdown between Drex and Kid Danger takes place on a playground.

In the two-part episode titled "Danger & Thunder," Captain Man and Kid Danger are surprised to find a villain they believed they had vanquished is still alive. He's known as the Toddler and he's called a meeting of other supervillains to form a plot that will bring Captain Man down once and for all. With the help of Phoebe Thunderman (a crossover character from another Nickelodeon sitcom The Thundermans), they take on the villains, culminating in a fight scene atop a moving train.

As one might expect to find in a superhero comic book, Henry Danger sets are cartoonishly bright, especially Captain Man's secret lair known as the Man Cave. The musical score manages to be melodramatic and ironic at the same time, and fight scenes are cleverly staged and edited to minimize violence and maximize sight-gags. As Captain Man, actor Cooper Barnes maintains the voice, posture, and attitude of a righteous and toplofty superhero. Young actor Jace Norman holds his own as Henry, a.k.a. Kid Danger, playing off of Barnes' comic hero with just the right facial expressions, inflection, and comic timing, and he squares off against villains with appropriate swagger.

If your tween is looking for a little escapist entertainment, don't be surprised if Henry Danger is the sitcom of choice.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2017 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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