If you're the parent of a young child in 2011, an absolute constant in your life is likely the Transformers, those famous "robots in disguise" who have remained ensconced in the pop-culture firmament since the mid-1980s.
Not unexpectedly, my five year-old son, Joel, is a Transformers fanatic, but he has developed a special affinity for one particular branch of the Transformers universe: Beast Wars.
We've watched the other, more-widely seen Transformers cartoon series together, but -- at the risk of offending the purists -- the original show often bores me to tears. There are so damned many Autobots and Decepticons to keep track of, and, well, I just can't seem to do it. There seem to be hundreds of them, and their personalities (save for a few, like Starscream) seem kind of interchangeable to someone who is watching with one eye while fixing his son breakfast or lunch, or getting things together on a school morning.
My feeling about Beast Wars: The toys are great, but -- incredibly -- the TV series is even better.