A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Drugs and sex are often glamorized on-screen, even as we see the consequences of the characters' mistakes.
Positive Role Models
We follow characters who are intending to do good yet are trapped in a murky criminal milieu. Most characters are complicated and do both good and bad things, for reasons that aren't easy to understand.
Violence & Scariness
Intense blood and gore, including very graphic surgeries, on-screen shootings and stabbings, and a bruised and bloody woman who has been beaten (offscreen) by her boyfriend. Characters are frequently in mortal danger. Injuries may be sexually graphic.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Very graphic talk about sex includes discussion of oral sex, sexual injuries, prostitution, and masturbation. Characters have consequence-free casual sex.
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Curses include "You look like s--t" and "That's some good s--t," referring to drugs.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters use drugs on-screen: smoking joints, sniffing cocaine. One character passes out after doing cocaine and is revived to the beat of snappy music. Many characters drink on-screen, talk about "needing" a drink, and get drunk, sloppy, and violent.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rush is a tense drama about a disgraced doctor who's become a medical fixer for criminals and ne'er-do-wells. The show's main character is an alcoholic and drug addict; we see him frequently drinking, acting drunk, and using drugs such as marijuana and cocaine on-screen, sometimes at inappropriate places such as a child's birthday party. This character also is a womanizer who engages in casual sex. There are vulgar references to sex, including oral sex, prostitution, and masturbation, sometimes in very graphic terms. Characters curse frequently, sometimes at each other, calling each other names such as "a--hole" or referring to drugs as "really good s--t." Drugs and alcohol often look glamorous on-screen. Violent images include stabbings, gunshot wounds, domestic violence, and graphic operations are seen in every episode as Dr. Rush is called upon to care for injured people.
Is It Any Good?
The problem with Rush isn't that it's poorly written or badly acted. It's that all the plot elements seem cribbed from other movies and television shows. There's a scene in which a drug addict snorts, dies, and has to be revived in a flash that recalls Pulp Fiction. There are drug-scoring scenes you'll recognize from Goodfellas. There are bespoke suits such as on Suits and case-of-the-week contretemps such as on Royal Pains.
And so, though Rush is stylish, clever, and occasionally amusing (Rush keeps mood CDs in his car, such as one labeled "Ironic happiness" that begins with Debbie Gibson), it also feels warmed over. It sure is nice to see Hamlin in action, though, and Larenz Tate, too. He broke through with Menace II Society in 1993, playing an unrepentant but magnetic thug. Here he plays an earnest doctor who's mostly on-screen to give Rush someone to lie to. These fine actors deserve more original material.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.