Combat Hospital

Common Sense Media says

Predictable medical drama mixes war with a little gore.

Age(i)

2
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9
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Conflict, death, and danger are all around, but there's a pervading sense of teamwork and cooperation conveyed with a generally serious tone. The team consists of doctors and nurses from a variety of countries, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Positive role models

The doctors and nurses in the medical unit do their jobs with intelligence, courage, and compassion. That said, some Middle Eastern characters come off as two-dimensional, and there's at least one doctor who isn't really a "team player."

Violence

Visuals include explosions, bloody surgeries, deaths, etc.

Sex

Mild sexual innuendo; one character worries she might be pregnant, etc.

Language

Words include "damn," "badass," etc.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One character keeps prescription drugs and a flask of vodka in his room; everyone else seems too busy to indulge.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this medical drama series is built around the idea of conflict -- it's even in the title -- but the visuals aren't over the top in terms of gore. That said, some of the surgeries are bloody, with close-ups of incisions, etc. There's also some low-level language (including "damn" and "badass") along with some light sexual innuendo and some references to alcohol and prescription drugs.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

Set in and around a NATO military hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2006, COMBAT HOSPITAL follows the chaotic lives of doctors and nurses working in a war zone. When surgical newcomers Maj. Rebecca Gordon (Michelle Borth), a Canadian, and Capt. Bobby Trang (Terry Chen), an American, report for duty at the hospital compound, the harried head of the multinational medical unit (Elias Koteas) makes it clear that he needs all the help he can get. But there's no time for hesitation -- or sleep -- with bombs and shrapnel exploding all around them.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

In spite of its serious subject matter, there's something about Combat Hospital that feels like a gag, or at least like one of those trumped-up TV shows they slip into real movies for the sake of comedy. Maybe it's because the title's so literal … and oddly reminiscent of the heavily satirical Adult Swim series Childrens Hospital. But it also doesn't help that the first few minutes are filled with enough clichés to make you wonder whether it's OK to laugh.

For the record, it's not. Or, more importantly, you're not supposed to, because the producers set out to create a serious series about a serious subject. (They even meticulously modeled the set in Toronto after a real-life NATO Role 3 Hospital in Kandahar.) But whether it's a function of a weakly scripted pilot or two-dimensional characters who have yet to be fully realized, Combat Hospital's earnest launch feels like a serious misfire.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the topical nature of this series. How well does the show reflect the realities of war? How do the images you see on the show compare with those on the news?

  • How does this series compare to other medical dramas in terms of blood and guts? Does it seem gratuitous? How does placing the action in a violent setting affect the show's overall tone?

  • What kinds of tensions exist -- and why? -- between visiting doctors and local residents? How does the show explore cultural differences?

TV details

Cast:Luke Mably, Michelle Borth, Terry Chen
Network:ABC
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Combat Hospital was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byJenniMarie August 20, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

LOVE IT!!!

I really love this show!! Obviously it is a war show so there is blood, but it is not gory. I watch it every Tuesday!! Now, I would not recommend sitting your 8 year old down in front of the TV with it on, but that is up to you. There is some sexual content but not a lot, and the language is mild.

What other families should know
Too much violence

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