Royal Pains TV Poster Image

Royal Pains

(i)

 

Hamptons-set drama is entertaining but materialistic.
Parents recommend

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show frequently dwells in an ethical gray area, with Hank's principles conflicting with what people ask him to do. But overall he means well. The series also highlights the wealthy, privileged world of the Hamptons.

Positive role models

Hank tries to stick to his principles but often finds them tested. Ed Lawson can often be sneaky and greedy. The Hampton residents are usually characterized as materialistic and entitled. Most of Hank's patients are Caucasian; the maids are usually Latina.

Violence

Some arguing and yelling. Some medical procedures are bloody, but they're intended to show attempts to save lives rather than to scare people.

Sex

Some strong sexual innuendo. People are shown in skimpy outfits and/or underwear; occasionally characters are shown getting undressed (though no nudity is visible). Breast implants are also discussed.

Language

Some strong audible language, including words like "piss" and "ass" (those like "s--t" are bleeped). Wealthy Hampton residents sometimes refer to weekend tourists as "cit-iots."

Consumerism

Hank and Jill drive generic Saabs, while other characters drive BMWs, Porsches, and other upscale cars. Products and services like Netflix and American Express credit cards are clearly featured (and discussed).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Frequent social drinking (beer, wine, champagne, mixed drinks). Frequent discussions about drug use, overdosing, and detox.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series -- which follows a principled young doctor as he faces a variety of ethical dilemmas -- takes place in the upscale Hamptons enclave and includes plenty of materialistic, self-absorbed behavior. Party scenes boast frequent drinking and discussions of drug use, and there's some salty language and strong sexual innuendo. People are shown wearing skimpy outfits and taking their clothes off (though there's no outright nudity), and some of the medical procedures could be a little disturbing to sensitive viewers.

What's the story?

Dr. Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein) is a talented ER physician at the top of his game -- until his choice to put a patient above hospital politics leads to disastrous results. His life takes a new twist when, during a weekend in the Hamptons with younger brother Evan (Paulo Costanzo), he inadvertently finds himself becoming the on-call (or "concierge") doctor for the upscale community's wealthy elite. With the help of ambitious physician's assistant Divya Sharma (Reshma Shetty), Hank quickly learns to navigate his new clients' unique set of rules. It isn't always easy to work with this kind of royalty -- especially when his personal integrity and professional ethics are challenged by his patients' need for privacy, and/or they make him an accessory to something illicit. But with the support of down-to-earth local hospital administrator Dr. Jill Casey (Jill Flint), Hank tries to remain true to himself.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

ROYAL PAINS offers an interesting peek into the Hamptons' privileged elite by creating some amusingly colorful characters who underscore the community's exclusive, extravagant reputation. And Hank's constant negotiation between serving his wealthy patients' sometimes over-the-top needs and holding on to a higher moral ground provides some interesting social commentary about the changing medical profession (an increasing number of doctors are hiring themselves out as private physicians because they're unwilling to deal with the pressures of traditional medical bureaucracy). Of course, it also underscores that some of these changes are motivated by greed. ...

Even though the show has a strong focus on ethical issues, it still manages to be entertaining. But it's best left for more mature viewers thanks to the salty language, other strong content, and materialistic values. Younger viewers may not be able to appreciate the significance of some of the show's ethical dilemmas in the first place. But for older teens and adults, Royal Pains definitely has something to offer.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the wealthy are portrayed on television. Do you think they really attend so many lavish parties and act irresponsibly? Or are these media stereotypes? How do you think people who live in the Hamptons feel about these characterizations? 

  • What messages does the show send about things like drinking and body image?

TV details

Cast:Mark Feuerstein, Paulo Costanzo, Reshma Shetty
Network:USA
Genre:Drama
TV rating:NR
Available on:Streaming

This review of Royal Pains was written by

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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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Adult Written byaesul November 2, 2011

Harmless

I personally disagree with the rating. Although it does occasionally have brief sexual references or drug/drinking content, it is very mild and not condoned nor participated in by the main characters. The show does not revolve around those things but simply explains that the main character is trying to get by in this materialistic atmosphere (he is a personal doctor, only rich people need those, therefore he is in the very wealthy hamptons). I have rarely noticed any cussing. The biggest issue is the medical scenes, which can be over the top graphic, however, they are saving people, not harming them. Be sensitive to your child's reaction to blood. Honestly, I consider it to be a fairly family friendly show with some adult themed subplots at time, overall it is harmless. The only draw back is that on occasion the characters can get annoying or the plots can be lacking. Other than that, great entertaining uplifting tv show.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byLilLill January 20, 2011

great show, but for older kids

I love this show! But sometimes there is a lot of product placement....nike, Saab, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Apple. The episode that I am watching right now has a lot of consumerism, as well as some drinking, as well as one of the charecters is maybe cheating on her arranged husband.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byKrbbup August 5, 2010

Interesting Show, but Not for Those Under 17

My family watched the very first episode and we were very upset. There was so much language and blasphemy as well as inappropriate scenes, that we refused to watch it again. However, my dad watched the next episode and it was like someone else had written it. The show focuses on a doctor who has been fired for saving a boy, but not being able to save the mayor as well. He and his brother go to the Hamptons were they are thrown into creating their own concierge practice. However, there is still scenes of inappropriate behavior, language, gross medical situations, and blasphemy. It is the doctor version of Burn Notice (only not as good) with more bad instead of good. There is lots of humor and interesting stories, but it should be watched with caution. GOD bless
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models

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