A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Compassion, courage, being true to yourself are just a few of the great messages exemplified here. Lahela's family makes it work -- despite all having very different goals -- thanks to communication and teamwork.
Positive Role Models
Lahela is an excellent role model, and not just because she's a teen doctor. Even if she wasn't a prodigy, she would still be a compassionate, thoughtful kid who works through difficult challenges her own way. Her parents exemplify "living the dream" in totally different ways and patiently share their wisdom.
Patients, doctors, friends, background characters are from diverse backgrounds, primarily Asian and Hawaiian. Lahela's mother is White, her father is Hawaiian. Alternative paths to happiness are shown: Lahela's father left a successful financial career to sell shave ice and flowers from a truck. Some stereotypical jokes about Asian parents and doctors.
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Violence & Scariness
Patients' wounds and injuries are shown but not in great detail. Patients are sick and sometimes die.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Dating, kissing, romantic complications. A mention of "frontal grinding" at a dance. Discussion of pregnancy. A tween says, "Puberty is coming, guys. A lot of stuff is happening. Wanna hear more?"
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Products & Purchases
Lahela mentions that she had a Doc McStuffins boom box.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Doogie Kamealoha, M.D., a reboot of the 1990s classic show Doogie Howser, M.D., is about a 16-year-old doctor living and working in Hawaii. Lahela "Doogie" Kamealoha (played by Andi Mack's Peyton Elizabeth Lee) is an excellent doctor: She's calm in emergencies, confident, and focused, but also kind and patient. As in many medical dramas, illness and death are frequent subjects, some injuries are shown, and Lahela has to deal with the deaths of beloved patients. There are some moments based in stereotypes, like a dad sizing up his daughter's date, and jokes about Asian parents. Sex jokes include talk of puberty, what happens to tattoos after pregnancy, and mentions of "frontal grinding." But overall, this excellent watch-together series is filled with positive messages, compassion, and a loving family.
Is It Any Good?
This excellent, warm series proves that reboots can actually be made fresh with a few well-placed twists. And speaking of places, Hawaii takes center stage along with the radiant Lee. She shone as Andi Mack and proves that she can carry yet another show, giving Lahela tons of humanity (not that we didn't love Neil Patrick Harris as Doogie in the '90s) while still remaining believable as an actual doctor. One of Lahela's colleagues, Charles, brings comic relief as an island newbie ("He doesn't even know when to shaka!"), and comic Ronny Chieng (The Daily Show) shows depth as Dr. Lee, a more senior doctor and mentor to Lahela.
Younger kids might be stressed by the medical setting, and the show pulls no punches when it comes to the reality of illness and the hard work doctors have to do. But tweens and teens will love seeing the Kamealoha clan, which includes two "normal" but no less loved brothers, as they all interact and have fun at the beach and at home. Is the premise just as ridiculous as it was the first time around? Absolutely, and the results are just as (if not more) enjoyable to watch.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
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TV Shows with Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Characters and Leads
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