Pure Genius

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Pure Genius TV Poster Image
Made-up medical advances in absurd hospital drama.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Preserving life and health is the ultimate goal on this show, but the rules of science may be bent or broken to make it happen.

Positive Role Models & Representations

All the doctors on the show are caring and dedicated; James Bell can be a bit of a brash risk-taker, while Walter Wallace can be stodgy and thoughtless. Women are seen in positions of power, and the cast boasts good racial and ethnic diversity. 


Ailing or injured patients may be children or parents; difficult topics such as abortion or deadly diseases are discussed on each show. Medical procedures are seen briefly; a heart beats through a bloody hole in a woman's chest. 


Most of the (young, attractive) doctors on the show are single; expect flirting, dating, kissing, and references to sex, though that isn't the focus of the action. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byNLoftin July 26, 2017

Great Show

I think this show was great and had many interesting ideas. I would say it is probably better suited for older teenagers and adults, rather than younger childre... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byI Review February 6, 2017


This is a great show in my opinion (the storyline/plot and everything) but the ideas for medical procedures are sometimes a bit far-fetched.

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?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love medical dramas

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