Parents' Guide to


By Jill Murphy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Excellent, but the ER is no place for children.

TV NBC Drama 1994
ER Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 8+

Great show

I was 8 when this showed premiered. It had a huge impact on me. Only Positive. Made me want to be a nurse. I enjoyed watching the characters juggle their job with realistic personal struggles. I had no issues dealing with the show's content. For parents who are mentally incapable/fearful of addressing real life situations with their kids and prefer to have their kids learn about such things from their peers instead... It's not worth watching. But I talk with my kids about everything in life, age appropriately, not hide it from them. Nor do I think I'm superior for making different life choices than others. I don't pretend to be more "moral" than anyone else. I teach my children to love and respect others, not be judgy. They enjoy learning about real life. Not everything is happy rainbows and jelly beans. They are fine living in the real world and not a bubble. So, my family and I enjoy watching this show together and discussing things and hoping our favorite patients and characters pull through things. Most episodes are PG. So glad it's on Hulu now. IMO, great family show.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 10+

Speaking from my own experience..

While I generally agree with the comments on here, regarding how ER is inappropriate for young teens and below, I started watching this show when it was originally airing on TV. I was very young at the time (definitely less than 10 years old), and this show had a huge impact on my life and interests. Far from being scarred or corrupted, it ignited my passion for medicine, which I am now pursuing as a career! The characters, in particular Carter and Dr Green, are wonderful and complex. They stood out as role models back when I watched it initially, and still do to this day. I promise it's not the end of the world if your kids catch an episode or two! It might even serve them well.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (8):

This series is an excellent medical drama that has remained popular for good reason, but it's not appropriate for kids. With its emotionally wrenching scenes, images of graphic and bloody injuries, focus on death and disease, and heavy plots that range from domestic violence to abortion, ER is just too intense for tweens and many younger teens.

In addition to all the death and tragedy, episodes often focus on the ER doctors' personal lives, which involve affairs, love triangles, addiction, terminal illness, and more. In fact, the doctors have nearly as many problems as their patients. For example, Dr. Green (Anthony Edwards) dealt with a brain tumor, remission, a new baby, a new marriage, and a return of his illness in a matter of two seasons. Still, the show's impeccable writing and memorable characters made it a mainstay on NBC for a decade.

TV Details

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