Royal Pains

Common Sense Media says

Hamptons-set drama is entertaining but materialistic.





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.


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


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.


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."


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.

Parents say

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.

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
TV rating:NR
Available on:Streaming

This review of Royal Pains was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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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, okay 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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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bychristo26 May 17, 2010

Fun show, good for 13 and up...

This is a fun, fun show, one that explores morals and bad behaviors. There's some banter about sex, but it's harmless.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written byMusicislove62 January 23, 2011

The good and the bad cancel each other out

Royal Pains has some implied sex, and there is definitely some product placement. Additionally, there is some social drinking; however, the drugs and severe drinking are portrayed for what they are: dangerous, stupid, and hazardous to important relationships.This show provides both good and bad messages, the message given when Hank making concessions of his principles is a bad one, but it is usually in the interest of saving a patient's life. Additionally, there are also positive messages, such as Hank's judgement call in the pilot to save the kid instead of continuing to aid a stable hospital trustee, and Hank's pro-bono work is also quite positive. Additionally, while some of the role models are bad, like Eddie R and Paige's father, some of them have redeeming qualities, like Tucker (the teenager with an irresponsible father) and Adam (the rich guy who gave a kidney to his housekeeper). And then, there are the characters who rest in the gray area, like Hank, Evan, Boris, Divya, Jill, Dr. Emily Peck, Paige, Mrs. Newberg, ect... who don't prove to be positive or negative role models. There is nothing wonderful with the show, but there is also nothing that can't be balanced out.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
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, 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


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