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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 thought-provoking Canadian drama about researchers working on scientific solutions to a wide variety of problems (including troubling issues like bioterrorism) is on the tame side, content-wise. It focuses more on science and ethical debate than sex and violence; the basic theories are grounded in reality, but the team's ideas sometimes go beyond accepted fact. Expect some talk of human sexuality (in the context of research rather than romance) and some drinking and drugs.
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What's the story?
David Sandstrom (Peter Outerbridge) is the head scientist at NORBAC (North American Biotechnology Advisory Commission), a research institute that studies bioterrorism, pollution and climate change, genetic advances, unidentifiable illnesses, and other cutting-edge topics. When the authorities are stumped or overwhelmed, they bring in Sandstrom and his team, who usually uncover some previously unseen connection and quickly develop an experimental treatment that dramatically saves the day.
Is it any good?
On paper, REGENESIS sounds much like other medical/investigation procedurals -- a bit like ER without the frantic emergencies or CSI with less crime and more investigation. Plenty of scenes feature researchers at work in the lab, discussing big, complicated theories and abstract concepts ... and then conveniently solving a major scientific problem in less than 55 minutes.
What makes this series different -- and in some ways more interesting -- is its focus on the big picture. When the NORBAC tackles something, they aren't just solving a single problem -- they're using the opportunity to ask intriguing and important ethical questions. Solving a pollution crisis, for example, is an opportunity to discuss the ways that mankind is damaging Earth; identifying a gene that triggers homosexuality leads to questions about eugenics and social control; and investigating an epidemic opens the door to examining bioterrorism. While other shows follow the progress of individual patients or try to solve specific crimes, ReGenesis wants to save the world.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about scientific ethics. The researchers work at the cutting edge of science, where there's sometimes a gap between what's possible and what's acceptable. Do you think the characters' theories make sense? Do you believe that social problems have biological causes? Is there a "fix" for every issue? How does the science on this show compare to that of other shows, like CSI?