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 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.
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- Kids say
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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
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