House TV Poster Image

House

(i)

 

Gripping medical/moral drama isn't for kids.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters often face moral dilemmas as they weigh the diagnosis and care of a patient vs. violating the rules and working outside the system in order to do so. Ethical questions regarding these decisions are often discussed.

Positive role models

Dr. House is an excellent doctor with terrible bedside manner and an addiction problem. The doctors often bend hospital rules and/or lie in order to help their patients and/or their colleagues. Wilson and Cuddy often try to help steer House in the right direction.

Violence

Occasional arguments lead to shoving, punching, and other events. Descriptions of the effects of deadly diseases are frequent.

Sex

Contains some strong sexual innuendo. Dr. House often makes sexist remarks about some of his female colleagues. Storylines sometimes follow characters’ romantic relationships.

Language

Words like "hell," "crap," and "damn" are frequent. Dr. House consistently berates his colleagues and patients.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking and smoking is visible. Dr. House's reliance on prescription painkillers is a recurring topic.

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?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Cast:Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard
Network:Fox
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of House was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byMusicgirl23 July 1, 2011

An excellent show, but make sure that your children are sure of their beliefs

As a 20 year old introduced to this show by my father when I was 15, I have had time to grow and love it's positives. HOWEVER, I do agree with the rating of 14+ and even then, I would say that if your children are immature, unsure of their beliefs or uneducated about drugs, sexual behaviour, or other things that it might be wise to either discuss things, or wait a year or two. I'm saying this because I know that I was fine with it at 15, but I would say that some teens wouldn't have been. Until you are able to see that tv is just that, tv, and not something that happens in the real world, as a parent, discretion is warranted. If House were always cutting, then it would not be 'human', but there are a number of instances of extreme humanity, including an episode in which he lied to the transplant committee so a woman with bulimia could receive a new heart. I have at least half a dozen friends with eating disorders and if at some point now, or in the future, they needed a transplant, I pray that they will never be rejected. Just like I would freak if someone rejected me because I have a history of depression. But that's another rant. Know your children, know how strong their are in their beliefs, and you should be fine. If you feel unsure, best to wait, or discuss it. There are plenty of good balancers, in the fact that in the end, House is human, and that's what we need to see in everyone.
Kid, 12 years old September 8, 2010

Great for older kids but not for young kids

This is a great tv series to watch for older kids. There are a bunch of sexual jokes, and some nudity. House isn't a good role model. He lies and is rude, but saves people lives.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written byLeggoMyEggo July 14, 2011

"Everybody Lies" But This Review Is Honest To The Core

Perhaps my favorite show. I began watching it for the first time when I was 13. Yes...perhaps a bit young in some eyes for watching House down Vicodin or as the main case of the episode has a unexplained seizure. It wasn't until I hit high school though that I fell in love with the show. It's literally a crime mystery put in a pair of scrubs. I'm a really big fan of learning human psychology and understanding how people think, which makes not only Dr.House but the majority of his cases and colleagues excellent subjects. I love the continuity of the show and the almost perpetual jerk-ness of House that makes every scarce moment of humanity in him that is exposed cherished. Occasionally they bring up real world politics or current affairs that gives the show a sense of realism. This show has made Hugh Laurie one of my favorite actors and celebrities, I was astonished to find out he's actually English. I have never seen someone fake an American accent so flawlessly. Every episode seems to have this sense of deep insight on the morality of humans that draws people in. Not for people who are easily insulted by some of House's behavior nor those squeamish to surgery/blood/organs...well you get the idea. Occasionally I will recognize a med. term they use and I get a real kick out of it when I do, otherwise the terms are only to be understood by someone who is either in the medical field or takes Latin. Regardless, this show can be enjoyed anywhere from mature tweens and up. I highly recommend giving it a shot.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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