Dr. Pimple Popper

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
Dr. Pimple Popper TV Poster Image
Kind celeb doc pops pimples in gross but entertaining show.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Most patients featured have extreme and exotic medical conditions, and many have been misdiagnosed by other doctors before meeting Dr. Lee. The underlying message of Dr. Pimple Popper is that there's hope and help available. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Beyond simply being an accomplished medical professional, Dr. Lee is compassionate and understanding with her patients, and diligent in getting them the medical help they need. She seems to connect with many of her patients on a human level as well as on a professional level, and works to make the medical process feel less daunting.

Violence

No violence present in Dr. Pimple Popper, but a lot of medical incisions and hard-to-watch human body stuff.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dr. Pimple Popper is a medical reality show that follows social media star Dr. Sandra Lee, aka "Dr. Pimple Popper," as she attends to patients with extreme dermatological conditions, like giant cysts or other skin growths. Most of these conditions need to be "popped" in one way or another, which means they will get cut open and pus, blood, or other biological material will be removed. Though there's no traditionally objectionable material in Dr. Pimple Popper -- no violence, nudity, drinking, drugs, or profane language -- it's not necessarily easy to watch, as the frequent medical incisions, injections, blood, and other bio-waste can be extremely disgusting, even traumatic. It's a real love it or hate it kind of thing, and viewers will know right away which camp they're in. 

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What's the story?

Dr. Sandra Lee has become internet-famous thanks to the YouTube channel she runs under her nickname "DR. PIMPLE POPPER," which features her "popping" various forms of acne and other skin conditions. They're like dermatological unboxing videos. Each episode of the show features Dr. Lee attending to various patients with extreme dermatological conditions, like giant cysts that have grown so large that they interfere with the patient's everyday life. Segments focus on the patients' backgrounds and how their medical conditions have affected their lives, then follow them to Dr. Lee's office where they receive treatment and follow-ups. True to the show's name, most of these medical conditions require "popping" of some sort, meaning that Dr. Lee extracts pus, blood, and other biological material from them on camera.

Is it any good?

For those who don't enjoy the sight of blood and pus being excreted from the human body, Dr. Lee's show is more valuable than entertaining. Dr. Pimple Popper very quickly falls into a pattern, and most of the segments and diagnoses are very similar to one another. Usually the only variation is in what exactly comes out of the patient's body.

That being said, there's something extremely compelling about the way Dr. Lee operates. She is extremely caring toward her patients -- qualities that are rarer than expected in doctors -- and often takes on patients who have been suffering with extreme conditions for long periods of time with no end in sight. Even though the pimple popping premise may seem silly, it's often revelatory to see the compassionate and diligent Dr. Lee successfully treat these mysterious ailments and improve her patients' quality of life. For people who have had bad experiences with doctors or health issues, watching a good doctor at work can be extremely powerful.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Dr. Pimple Popper treats patients. How does Dr. Lee remind you of other doctors you've encountered? How is she different? Do you think she's good with her patients?

  • Why do you think Dr. Lee chose this very specific area of medicine? How do you think she began to take on extreme cases like the ones on her show?

  • What do you think the experiences are like for Dr. Lee's patients? How do their lives seem like they're affected by these medical conditions? How do Dr. Lee's treatments help them in their everyday lives?

TV details

  • Premiere date: January 3, 2018
  • Cast: Sandra Lee
  • Network: TLC
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: NR
  • Available on: Streaming

For kids who love reality TV

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