Untold Stories of the ER
By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Medical reality show's reenactments can be very bloody.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series shows how emergency room staffs do their best to help patients, but these real-life stories are sensationalized for entertainment purposes aren't intended to be educational.
Positive Role Models
The emergency room doctors and other staff members are committed to saving lives, no matter how strange their patients or their symptoms are. Some of the doctors seem a little insensitive, while others seem a little too emotional.
Violence & Scariness
The dramatizations feature patients yelling, screaming, and/or trying to attack emergency room staff. Burns and bloody injuries (cuts, bullet wounds, etc.) are clearly visible; some patients have knives and other objects penetrating their heads, necks, chests, and other areas of the body. Bloody surgeries featuring blood shooting out of veins, organs hanging out of the body, and other traumas are also reenacted. Some patients die.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The breasts and genitals of patients who are in various stages of undress are completely blurred. Occasional births, as well as discussion of pregnancy and birth control.
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Reenactments contain scenes in which patients use inappropriate language, but words are bleeped, and it's difficult to make out what they're saying.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Frequent references to alcohol-related accidents, drug addiction, and potential drug overdoses. Patients in pain are often given morphine; over-excited patients are often given Ativan. The importance of quitting smoking is discussed.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this series -- which features sensational reenactments of interesting and/or strange events that have occurred in hospital ERs across the country -- has lots of images of bloody injuries (knives embedded in chests, acid burns, bullet wounds, and more) and graphic surgical procedures. Dramatizations sometimes feature some bleeped language; nudity is blurred. Alcohol and drug-related injuries are discussed frequently. Overall, the series isn't intended for young children, and sensitive viewers of all ages may also find some of the scenes difficult to watch.
Where to Watch
Based on 4 parent reviews
psuedo seizures not fake!
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What's the Story?
UNTOLD STORIES OF THE ER showcases some of the most interesting, bizarre, and/or frightening stories from hospital emergency rooms around the country. To tell each tale, the show combines narrations by A.V. Kennedy with both first-hand accounts from doctors and re-enactments of key moments. Brief interviews with patients, various hospital staffers, and other witnesses are also included.
Is It Any Good?
Although each story is based on actual events, Untold Stories of the ER borders on the sensational by featuring actual staff members, patients, and family members re-enacting their experiences in the emergency room. As a result, the performances range from being extremely realistic to badly over acted. Some of the real doctors' reactions to the incidents they're describing in their interviews seem a little extreme, too.
Younger and/or more sensitive viewers may have a tough time watching the dramatic scenes of bloody wounds and emergency surgeries featured on the show, while others may have a hard time with the stories about patients who die while in treatment. Bottom line? Some folks may find this sort of thing entertaining, but it's definitely not for the squeamish.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about dramatizations and reality shows. Do you think that a show that mostly features reenactments is presenting "reality"? What makes it different from a drama?
Why would doctors, patients, and other people be willing to share their stories on television? Do you think that a doctor who tells a story about a patient is violating a patient's privacy? What are the benefits of sharing stories like these? Disadvantages?
- Premiere date: April 12, 2004
- Cast: A.V. Kennedy
- Networks: Discovery Health Channel, TLC
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: February 16, 2023
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