Combat Hospital

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Combat Hospital TV Poster Image
Predictable medical drama mixes war with a little gore.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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 & Representations

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
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

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.

User Reviews

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Teen, 14 years old Written byJenniMarie August 20, 2011

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 yo... Continue reading

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?

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?

TV details

For kids who love drama

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