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 this medical drama deals with life-threatening illnesses that are often depicted graphically. Characters routinely work their way around hospital regulations in order to save patients, a practice that raises complex moral dilemmas that may confuse younger viewers. They also drink, smoke, curse, use drugs, get in arguments, violate rules, and lie. The show also contains some salty language ("crap," "damn," "hell") and some sexual innuendo. House’s addiction to painkillers is a recurring theme.
What's the story?
HOUSE follows the professional and personal trials of the gifted but bitter doctor Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) as he literally does whatever it takes to diagnose and treat the sick. As he obsessively rants, terrorizes patients, and browbeats his medical team, including Robert Chase (Jesse Spenser), Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison), Eric Foreman (Omar Epps), and Remy Hadley (Olivia Wilde), he fights with supervisors like Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) in order to bend the rules to help his patients. Luckily, oncology department head and friend James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard), helps him navigate through the ethical dilemmas.
Is it any good?
The intelligent and compelling series combines drama and humor that raise significant ethical questions about the medical profession. Adding to the generally exceptional production values, the cast is believable and compelling. As the title character, Hugh Laurie is strangely charismatic, drawing viewers in despite his surliness. The plotlines surrounding the characters’ personal lives also make it fun to watch.
It’s definitely entertaining, but the show’s strong sexual innuendo, language, as well as its complex subject matter makes it a better choice for older viewers. The show's gallows humor is prevalent throughout, as well as often-gripping medical detail -- House is not for squeamish viewers. But for folks looking some good dramatic TV, this one is sure to please.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the responsibility of doctors and medical professionals toward their patients. Is Dr. House's violation of hospital rules justified? What about his rudeness toward patients and peers?
Discuss the representation of the medical field, which in the show is often straightjacketed by bureaucratic regulations. How accurate is this representation?
For kids who love drama
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.