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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 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.
What's the story?
Is it any good?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?