Royal Pains

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Royal Pains TV Poster Image
Hamptons-set drama is entertaining but materialistic.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

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 & representations

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.

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.

User Reviews

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 w... Continue reading
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... Continue reading
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... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySavanna22_2 August 1, 2009
I love the show

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? 

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

TV details

For kids who love dramedies

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