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 Pure Genius is a medical drama about a cutting-edge medical facility in Silicon Valley. There's no language, drinking, smoking, or nudity, but patients' injuries and ailments are shown on-screen and include surgeries such as a heart procedure. Patients may be young children or babies; we also see their grieving families. The cast boasts extensive racial and ethnic identity. Real medical information joins futuristic, made-up gadgets and procedures, which might be confusing to young viewers.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In Silicon Valley, tech hotshot James Bell (Augustus Prew) is PURE GENIUS, but now he's taking on a brand-new challenge: the Bunkerhill medical facility. His new hospital uses only the most cutting-edge of medical techniques and procedures, boasts a staff of young innovative doctors such as Dr. Zoe Brockett (Odette Annable), who is intent on bringing realism to Bell's big plans, and Malik Verlaine (Aaron Jennings), who's working to bring top-flight health care to underserved neighborhoods. Bell's latest hire is Chief of Staff Dr. Walter Wallace (Dermot Mulroney), whom Bell's trusted with his most private secret: The whole hospital was built because Bell is suffering from a rare and irreversible neurological disease. Now it's a race to see if Wallace can save his boss -- and the difficult cases the hospital takes on -- before it's too late.
Is it any good?
This medical drama is absurd in every possible way, but the fake medical devices and treatments it comes up with are amusing enough to give the proceedings some zing. In Pure Genius' pilot episode, the team manages to resurrect a teenaged girl who's been in a coma for six months by fastening a device onto her and her mom's heads and having her mom ... think about the African safari she'd planned to take her daughter on. "Someone's invented a Vulcan mind-meld!" says Bell happily.
In another storyline, doctors monitor a pregnancy by having an expecting mom swallow a "fetal monitoring ingestible." It will go into her intestines, and that's the perfect place from which to watch the baby, unflappable Dr. Talaikha Channarayapatra (Reshma Shetty) tells the rest of the doctors (because doctors are always explaining medical procedures to each other in exposition on this show). Really? Because last time I checked, intestines weren't clear. And it's dark inside the human body. Does the fetal monitoring ingestible have a flash or something? It's all extremely ridiculous, which makes everything a little more fun than in your typical by-the-books "this plan is so crazy it just might work" type of medical drama.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the medical devices and procedures on Pure Genius. Are they possible given today's medical technology? Do they seem likely? Does that matter to your enjoyment of the show? Do shows have to be realistic to be interesting?
Families can also talk about the medical profession. What does it take to become a doctor? Does this sound like an interesting career to you?
For kids who love medical dramas
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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.
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