Fox’s new series Red Band Society premiered last night to mostly positive reviews.
The Washington Post reported that the show was captivating enough, even with some questionable events that wouldn’t happen in real life. The show starts with the narrator, Charlie (played by Griffin Cluck), a comatose boy who is still aware of his surroundings. He is in a coma after being in an accident with his father, which is why his father is forbidden to see him. He becomes the central voice for the kids at the fictional Ocean Park Hospital.
One of the first patients the viewer meets through Charlie is Kara (Zoe Levin), a pretentious, me-first cheerleader who is taken to the hospital after collapsing during cheerleader practice. Kara immediately begins treating staff and other patients with disdain. It is found out later that Kara has an enlarged heart, requiring a replacement. However, Kara has engaged in some questionable activity (smoking, drugs?) that may bar her from the waiting list for a replacement heart. The cast includes Leo (Charlie Rowe), a cancer patient whose leg has been amputated; Emma (Ciara Bravo), a brilliant student with an eating disorder; Dash (Astro), a would-be Lothario with cystic fibrosis; and Jordi (Nolan Sotillo), who arrives from Mexico pleading for cancer treatment. Mandy Moore will also have a recurring role in the show.
Entertainment Weekly reports that the staff is also a bit quirky, also. The hospital is headed by Dr. McAndrews (David Annable from Brothers & Sisters), whose life is his patients. Nurse Jackson, beautifully portrayed by Academy Award-Winner Octavia Spencer, gives out tough love, but isn’t afraid to instill fear if a velvet hand won’t work. Nurse Brittany (Rebecca Rittenhouse), meanwhile, is tormented by Nurse Jackson. Then there’s the wildcard, Ruben (Griffin Dunne), a millionaire who has agreed to leave his wealth to the hospital upon his death, which may not be anytime soon. Ruben is sometimes a hypochondriac, which makes his choice of residence appropriate, but his true raison d’etre most likely won’t be revealed until later.
The central point of the show is gathering a group of characters the viewer will feel some connection to, hence the different cliques and types of teenagers in the show. Mix that with the gut-wrenching realities that come from actual hospital cases, and the drama could fuel itself with story topics for years.
Red Band Society is on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.
[Image courtesy of Ciara Bravo Daily}