A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this documentary series provides a very real and unflinching look at events on an average day in the busiest emergency room in London, England. The camera does not turn away from occasionally graphic injuries and the techniques doctors use to treat those injuries. Squeamish viewers who are uncomfortable with the sight of blood should watch very cautiously. For older teens, the series provides a compelling look at the realities of the medical profession.
What's the story?
London's King's College Hospital is one of the busiest emergency rooms in England, serving 60,000 people daily and treating 350 of them in the major trauma unit. For the documentary series 24 HOURS IN THE ER, crews utilized filming techniques perfected on reality series to wire the King's College ER with over 14 miles of camera cable, 70 remote cameras, and a crew filming 24 hours a day for 28 days. The resulting series provides an unprecedented glimpse into the true reality of the life and death scenarios faced many times a day by these medical professionals.
Is it any good?
Throw a Nielsen box in any direction and you're likely to hit a medical show. Whether a sensitive drama about flirty doctors or a sensationalized reality-style series about outlandish medical events ("I was pregnant and I didn't know it!"), medicine is big on TV. 24 Hours in the ER manages to carve out some unique ground by focusing on the unvarnished reality of day-to-day medicine in one of the UK's most active emergency rooms.
The production team basically wired London's King's College hospital like the house on Big Brother, with discrete cameras and microphones throughout. This helped them capture moments big and small -- the arrival of heavily-injured extreme trauma patients brings an avalanche of hands into the unit to assist, while at a quiet counter, a doctor grabs a very fast bite of food before rushing away to continue work. At a time when TV doctors seem too busy hooking up with one another or chatting with ghosts to perform actual medicine, 24 Hours is a compelling change of pace.