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 mature medical drama deals with intense subjects like grave illness and death. Adult relationships, including allusions to casual sex, are a part of the subplot. Characters sometimes yell at one another or debate fiercely about controversial subjects, like the rights of fetuses. Some adult language is used.
What's the story?
In glossy medical drama 3 LBS. (the average weight of the human brain), two brain surgeons take opposing approaches to their work while saving lives. Stanley Tucci plays Dr. Doug Hanson, one of the world's top neurosurgeons and also an eccentric, gruff, socially stunted man. His new protégé, Dr. Jonathan Seger (Mark Feuerstein), is an empathetic listener who meditates regularly and believes in intuition and the soul. Together they work in a New York City hospital, taking on complicated cases and performing procedures that seem like miracles. Each episode focuses on a different patient, and viewers learn fascinating facts about the brain while following the doctors' and patients' moral and emotional travails.
Is it any good?
With its high production values and strong cast, 3 LBS. is easy to watch and has some touching moments. Several dreamy scenes per episode add mystery and, often, beauty. But don't expect this medical drama to break any new ground. It's good -- but familiar -- stuff. (Hanson is clearly from the same TV character gene pool as Hugh Laurie's Dr. House, for one thing.) That said, the show does tackle some controversial subjects -- as in an episode in which a pregnant woman's tumor threatens her life, and she must make treatment decisions that could harm the fetus.
Meant for adults, 3 Lbs. addresses the potentially frightening prospects of losing your senses, the ability to communicate, or even your life. Relationships are also a running subplot, and Hanson is a flirt with the potential to be a womanizer. Save this one for after the younger set is in bed, and consider watching with teens to monitor the show's content.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the brain. Did the show teach you anything about the brain you didn't already know? What questions do you have about how the brain works? What would be the worst sense to lose -- sight, smell, touch? What sets this medical drama apart from other shows in the genre?