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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Transplant is a drama about a Syrian man who unexpectedly gets a job as a doctor in a prestigious hospital emergency room after immigrating to Canada. The show is low on sexual content (although young, attractive doctors are definitely available for romantic complications), cursing, and drinking/drugs (although drugs may be referred to as a part of medical care, like in a scene when a jittery woman is asked if she's used cocaine). Violence, though, can be intense, with sudden accidents accompanied by grievous and gory injuries. We see patients with bloody wounds, gory shots of a man using a power drill to relieve pressure in an injured man's skull, a young child choking to death, and more. Some patients die -- we see their dead bodies and loved ones grieving. Language is infrequent and includes "hell." Doctors and nurses are frequently heroic, and use empathy, communication, and compassion to treat patients and respond to their needs. The show's lead character is a Syrian man and Muslim, and the rest of the cast is diverse in terms of gender, age, race, religion, and ethnicity.
What's the story?
In this series' double-edged title, Bashir Hamed (Hamza Haq) is a TRANSPLANT both to Canada, where he's recently immigrated after suffering travails in his native Syria, and to Toronto's (fictional) York Memorial Hospital, where ER lead doctor Jed Bishop (John Hannah) spots Hamed's abilities and offers him a job. Once ensconced at York, Hamed uses his skills honed in crises while providing unique insight into his patients' cases. Working alongside him are intense, nervous Magalie Leblanc (Laurence Leboeuf), unsentimental June Curtis (Ayisha Issa), and family man of faith Theo Hunter (Jim Watson), all of whom soon realize that Hamed is hardly an average emergency doc, and that his intuition and skills are vital to their success.
Is it any good?
Bashir Hamed's status as a Syrian refugee and shadowy background add some juice to these proceedings, but otherwise this is a fairly rote medical drama. Viewers who just can't get enough of scrubs, dense medical-gobbledygook dialogue, and sudden plot complications announced by the arrival of a gurney piloted by running doctors may be pleased with Transplant, because there is wheat within the chaff. With his expressive face and natural gravitas, Hamza Haq makes a creditable leading man, and it's certainly delightful to see a character of Middle Eastern extraction who's playing a hero instead of a terrorist. Hamed's relationship with his young sister Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus) feels touchingly authentic, and we're definitely interested in learning who this guy is, and what exactly drove him and Amira to emigrate.
However, between the moments of intrigue are dull spots that will remind you of every other medical drama you've ever watched. There are elements of House (with doctors intuitively and instantly grasping the root of a patient's mysterious ailment), of ER (with shameless drama milked from the suffering of sympathetic sick people), and of Grey's Anatomy (hot young doctors looking for love). And none of that is bad, it's just been done before, so to make this type of drama work, it has to shake things up somehow. Leaning on Bash's background just isn't enough, no matter how appealing Haq is as an actor. This drama needs a shot of adreneline; otherwise, the prognosis is meh.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether or not they think the situations presented on Transplant are realistic. How do the doctors cope with their highly stressful jobs, make tough decisions, and deal with life-and-death situations on this show? How do you think it mimics real life?
How accurately does the show portray the medical profession? Do you think the medical drama and personal problems are overblown for the sake of viewers' attention, or is it rooted in reality?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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