Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.

doogie kamealoha tv





Kristin Smith

TV Series Review

Sixteen is a hard age. There’s so much drama. Emotions are in full swing and life can feel constantly complicated. 

Now add to that being a child prodigy and you’ve got yourself a full plate. 

Just ask Lahela Kamealoha. 

At the age of 6, Lahela had a perfect score on her SATs, breezed through high school in nine short weeks, attended the University of Hawaii at 10 and then graduated medical school by 14. 

Now, she’s a 16-year-old doctor, working at a hospital where her mom is her boss and many patients can’t seem to take her seriously. After all, she looks so young. And placing your life into the hands of any doctor, let alone one who’s barely old enough to drive, can be terrifying. But Lahela is both intelligent and confident, and when given the chance she always shows her patients that they are in the best of care.

While that certainly gives Lahela a confidence boost, she’s still young. She still struggles with self esteem. She still works at getting along with her dad, mom and two brothers. And she tries to find time to hang with her best friend while making room for her crush, Walter, all while attempting to balance an extremely demanding career. 

Will there ever be time to just be a teenager? Perhaps. And finding that balance is exactly what Lahela is trying to do. One day at a time. 

From Genius to Genius

Disney+ presents their latest kid-focused drama called Doogie Kamealoha, pulling from the 1980s television series, Doogie Howser, featuring the young Neil Patrick Harris. 

This new rendition is all about 16-year-old Lahela, her medical career and her desire to figure out what it means to be both a teenager and a genius. If the plot sounds similar to the original, that’s because it is–with a few extra wrinkles. 

Lahela has a loving, over-protective mother, Clara, who is also her boss; her free-spirited, kind-hearted dad, Benny; Kai, her girl-crazy teenage brother; young brother Brian Patrick who constantly makes it known that he’s going through puberty; high-energy, best-friend, Steph, who climbs through Lahela’s bedroom window nearly every day; and Lahela’s long time crush, Walter. 

As one might expect, there’s plenty of drama in each 35-minute episode. Patient stories and accidents can be heartbreaking. Lahela can be rude and arrogant toward her parents. Lahela’s brother, Kai, brags that he’s kissed over 45 girls, something his mother finds impressive. Hospital residents represent various sexual orientations, and there’s even the use of one profanity in the pilot–unusual for a kids-oriented show on Disney+.

It’s not all sunshine and fun times on this island, and parents should know that some content concerns roam freely in this medical, teen-focused drama.

Episode Reviews

Sept. 8, 2021: “Aloha-The Hello One”

Lahela turns 16, but she struggles with the freedom she has as a doctor compared to the restrictions her parents place on her at home. 

Lahela stops to help a bloodied man who has just been in a car accident. We see and hear her put his leg into place. An elderly patient dies after a complicated surgery. 

Lahela goes to a high school dance with her crush and elsewhere the two share a kiss. Lahela calls her crush a “hottie” multiple times. Lahela and other women wear cleavage-baring tops. Men, women and teens swim at the beach in all sorts of beach garb. Lahela’s mother tells Lahela that her TikTok videos have too much “hip action.” 

Lahela’s younger brother talks about going through puberty. An elderly patient tells Lahela that he tried many things when he was younger, hinting at something inappropriate that is never explicitly mentioned. Lahela’s friend, Steph, crushes on Lahela’s brother and tells Lahela she is going to “frontal grind” with him at the high school dance. 

The word “h—” is used once.

A resident jokes about throwing up in their mouth from fear. Lahela is rude to her parents. Lahela begs her mom to extend her curfew past 11 p.m. and is disrespectful when her mom tells her no. A patient calls his son in-law a piece of “garbage.”

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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