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 while this lighthearted medical show usually keeps blood to a minimum, some close-up surgical and trauma scenes may be too much for younger kids or anyone with a weak stomach. That said, the show's humor-tinged take on the often complicated and confusing world of medicine will enlighten and entertain curious tweens and up, explaining procedures like MRIs and biopsies and diseases like epilepsy in a way that non-MDs will easily understand. Anatomical terms like "penis" and "buttocks" are common when the topic calls for it, so expect a few giggles -- and maybe some questions as well.
What's the story?
DOCTOR*OLOGY offers an insider's look at the medical world, coupling factual information with tongue-in-cheek humor from funny guy Leslie Nielsen, who plays a veteran doctor trying to help his aspiring-MD nephew, Robert (David Lawrence), choose a specialty. The two hop from "ology" to "ology," talking with professionals to get a better understanding of the intricacies of each practice -- and educate viewers at the same time. Episodes spotlight fields like dermatology, hematology, immunology, and urology. At each stop, real-life medical experts discuss the highlights of the research and procedures they use to diagnose and treat patients -- and, more often than not, poor Robert is subjected to multiple demonstrations of the tests.
Is it any good?
True to form, Nielsen plays the lovable dolt, asking oddball questions and generally wreaking havoc on the medical equipment -- and his unsuspecting nephew. Each episode also has an underlying storyline between the two stars that ties all of their visits together, whether it's Uncle causing Robert to break a high-tech testing machine or both of them getting involved in the disappearance of a transplant organ. If slapstick's your thing and the medical world intrigues you, you'll definitely find a winner in Doctor*ology. And even if the humor is a bit hokey for your taste, there's still a lot of fun and fascination to be had learning about the medical world in this lighthearted style. After all, where else will medical explanations include terms like "funky," "helmet thing," and "putz around"?
But you'll probably want to preview the show before inviting your tweens to watch with you, since some scenes of blood and organs may set squeamish tummies in motion, and certain segments include discussion of topics like male and female genitalia.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the popularity of medical series on TV. How does the credibility of a show like this compare to that of dramas like ER or Grey's Anatomy? How does Leslie Nielsen's involvement affect your opinion of the show? Are you more or less likely to take it seriously? Why? How accurate do you think the show's information is? Families can also discuss the procedures they see on the show. Does seeing the process make you more or less nervous about undergoing medical procedures yourself? Why is it important to be knowledgeable about the medical issues you face?