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Red Band Society 1.01 “Pilot”

September 27, 2014

This is a series that I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time now.  The story takes place in Los Angeles at Ocean Park Hospital where a group of sickly teenagers are being cared for.  One of the caretakers is Nurse Jackson, played by Octavia Spencer.  Nurse Jackson is a quick minded individual whose sharp tongue one-ups everyone that surrounds her.  Someone who appears as a possible challenge to Nurse Jackson is Kara Souders, played by Zoe Levin.

Kara happens to be one of my favorite characters in the show so far.  She’s a cheerleader whom at the beginning of the first episode, collapses in the middle of practice.  We immediately come to understand that she’s not one for having friends, but rather minions that follow her…but even THEY don’t show up when she gets taken to Ocean Park which forces her to do some unwanted reflection on her life choices.  The first episode strongly carries her story along with another individual who is new to the hospital, Jordi Palacios, played by Nolan Sotillo.

Jordi admits himself into the hospital in his own sneaky way and manages to get the attention of one of the best doctors available, Dr. Jack McAndrew, played by Dave Annable. Through Jordi’s effort and determination, he manages to convince Dr. McAndrew to accept him as a patient.  Jordi needs his leg removed because he has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma.  He gets placed into a room with Leo Roth, played by Charlie Rowe, whom at first does not want a roommate.  But they soon discover a bond between them when Jordi learns that Leo has already lost a leg.

As Jordi and Kara settle in, we get introduced to other characters that have their own sets of issues.  Dash, played by Astro, suffers from cystic fibrosis while Emma Chota, played by Ciara Bravo, has anorexia.  The last main character introduced is Charlie, played by Griffin Gluck, who is pretty vital to the story because despite being in a coma, he is our narrator. This is one aspect of the show that I thought was uniquely interesting.  How can a show run on a narrator who is in a coma?  Well surprisingly, it just works.  Charlie helps get us comfortable with the hospital and its environment from the very beginning.  Much like the rest of the characters in the show, it’s sad news to find out that Charlie is in an extremely sucky situation.  But the show doesn’t feed on the fact that they are suffering.  It feeds on the fact that they are ALIVE; maybe even more than they ever were.

“Everyone thinks that when you go to a hospital…life stops.  But it’s just the opposite.  Life starts.”  – Charlie

What I like about this show is that we are given a fantastic group of characters that are all so different, but at the same time have a sense of unity about them.  Take a look at one of my favorite moments from the Series Premiere.

“We few…we happy few we — band of brothers.  For he today that sheds his blood with me, shall be my brother.”  – Leo Roth


As I reach the end of this review I want to stress just how much this show needs to be watched!  I just read that the second episode had a devastating decrease in viewership and this is not a show that needs to fall under my curse of cancellations!  So let’s help make it last!  Tweet about it, share videos, watch it!  This is a sincere and genuine show that has characters that you will care about and that’s a rarity!

For now, I’ll leave you with a video of the cast explaining their characters in further detail. For more reviews and news on Red Band Society stay tuned to my blog!  And you can catch all new episodes on Wednesdays at 9/8c on Fox!

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