A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Lives are being saved (and occasionally lost) in a high-stakes environment that forces characters to make tough ethical decisions every day. But most of the main characters seem emotionally callous (or otherwise "damaged") as a result.
Positive Role Models
Most main characters lean on vices (prescription pills, alcohol, emotional numbness, etc.) to get through the day. They're good at what they do and have strong, independent personalities, but they don't always make the best decisions when it comes to their personal lives.
Violence & Scariness
Plenty of graphic, bloody scenes involving war fantasies, fistfights, and medical procedures. A man has a glass bottle stuck in his chest, a bartender cuts his arm in a fight, etc.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Discussion of extramarital affairs and instances of casual sex involving main characers. Some passionate kissing and making out.
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Some use of words like "damn," "bitch," and "hell," plus more descriptive, sexually oriented terms, including "scrotum head."
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Products & Purchases
The main character mentions she's taking Paxil, but it's not a major plot point.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Main characters routinely retreat to a local watering hole to relieve job-related stress after hours. The heroine's parents are alcoholics and hide bottles of liquor around the house. Some secondary characters smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this adult-oriented medical drama includes a strong female character who's still dealing with emotional battle scars after serving as a nurse in Iraq, where she cheated on her husband. Expect to see plenty of bloody and rather graphic medical procedures, as well as characters involved in adulterous relationships. There's also a fair bit of salty talk (from "bitch" to "broke-ass" to "scrotum head"), and some characters use alcohol to manage stress.
Is It Any Good?
If you lived under a rock and had never seen a medical drama, Mercy would seem fresh and new. Having the Paxil-popping Callahan come from working in Iraq is an interesting concept, and the other characters are well cast and likable. But the truth is, the series has so much in common with other hospital shows that are already on the air that it will probably have to fight for its life.
If you don't have access to Showtime's far-superior (and adults only) Nurse Jackie, the staff of Mercy Hospital will probably entertain you. Another plus is that you could technically watch it with younger teens, although it certainly isn't a "family show." But if you're already hooked on Jackie ... or Grey's Anatomy ... or, less likely, HawthoRNe ... it won't tear you away.
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.