Better late than never. The teenage drama series, Red Band Society, first aired on Fox on September the 17th. Of course, many people are well aware that the series is a remake of a Spain television series, Polseres Vermelles. Obviously, this isn’t the first time American networks have remade foreign shows and many times unsuccessfully or with inferiority. Having not seen the original, I cannot speak to which is better. Regardless, both shows are based on Albert Espinosa’s real life story, which is covered in his memoir. Alright, enough with all that.
The show is based around a group of sick teenagers living in a hospital. Right away, the show deliberately introduces each of the characters, which is quite effective. Many shows take awhile, before you’ll begin to recognize characters with their on-screen names. The pilot focuses mainly on Jordi, played by Nolan Sotillo, and Leo, played by Charlie Rowe. Jordi scams his way into the hospital and is informed that he’ll need to have to his leg removed to fight off cancer. Leo, who is a long-time resident, has already gone through the same treatment. The two become roommates and obviously bond quite quickly.
Along the way, the show introduces us to a few new characters and explain each of their conditions. For instance, Emma (Ciara Bravo) is suffering from an eating disorder. Kara (Zoe Levin) is the stuck up cheerleader that has an enlarged heart. And don’t forget Dash, played by Astro, who has cystic fibrosis. And last but not least, the narrator of the story, Charlie ( Griffin Gluck), who is actually in a coma during the pilot. I won’t mention the doctors or nurses, because they were basically filler and uninteresting during the opener.
So how was the pilot? Overall, the pace was good, despite spending a little too much time on the nurses. The dialogue isn’t bad, but some of it is definitely cringe worthy. Phrases like, “cray cray” are definitely a put off. Don’t expect realism here. The patients look and act too healthy, not to mention the total freedom of the hospital’s patients. Of course, it is a television show and I can overlook it. The acting was believable and good enough to keep the show interesting.
Overall, I felt the pilot was effective. Despite a cheesy romance here and there, the episode was heartfelt and left me feeling sad for Leo mainly. If the show continues in the same manner, he will definitely be the one to watch. I’ll continue watching and you should too. It deserves an 8 out of 10.