The release of The Fault In Our Stars led the way for projects about people affected by cancer and other diseases including, Red Band Society. Fox’s Red Band Society is a television series that follows the lives of a group of teenage patients living in the pediatric ward at Ocean Park Hospital. The show is filled with dark humor, sarcasm, yet talks about the daily lives of teenagers faced with serious problems from an eating disorder to osteosarcoma. The series is filled with both comedy and drama. If you haven’t watched it yet you need to. With only 6 episodes released so far, you’ll have no problem catching up. Here are five reasons why you NEED to watch Red Band Society!
1. Ensemble cast
Academy Award winning Octavia Spencer, known for her role in the film The Help, plays Dena Jackson, the head nurse of the pediatric facility. Seemingly scary on the outside, Nurse Jackson has a soft exterior and deeply cares for the teenage patients. There’s also Dave Annable who’s known for his role in the ABC’s television series Brothers & Sisters, who plays Dr. McAndrew, the “Hot doctor.” The majority of the cast represents the young Hollywood generation. Although the cast is super young, most of them have already made a name for themselves. Zoe Levin, who plays the cheerleader, has appeared in various films including one starring alongside well-known actors such as James Franco and Emma Roberts.
2. Similar yet different to The Fault In Our Stars
If you liked The Fault In Our Stars then you’ll definitely love Red Band Society. Both are about teenagers that are diagnosed with deadly diseases with one exception – Red Band Society isn’t as depressing. Unlike watching The Fault In Our Stars (I balled during a majority of the movie), Red Band Society is more comical and light-hearted. There definitely are scenes that are very emotional (like when Kara realizes her chances of getting a heart transplant are slim) but it’s definitely more comedy based.
3. There are no villains or cliques
A great thing about the show is that there is no real antagonist in Red Band Society. Although some of the characters are described as the “Mean girl,” the “Rebel,” “The Girl Next Floor” (play on the Girl Next Door) – there are no cliques. Although they may have existed outside the hospital, these stereotypes are removed at Ocean Park. Even “Mean girl” Kara befriends the group and becomes part of the “Red Band Society.” The teens are bonded not only by their bracelets but also by their friendship. They understand what each other is going through because they’re experiencing it themselves.
4. Based on the award-winning Spanish series, “Polseres Vermelles”
Red Band Society is based on the critically acclaimed Catalan television show Polseres Vermelles. The show was created by Albert Espinosa and is loosely based on his childhood experiences as a hospital patient. Espinosa was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 14. He spent 10 years of his life in and out of hospitals battling the illness and lost a leg, a lung, and part of his liver.
5. It’s unconventional
Red Band Society has a refreshing approach on teenagers with serious illnesses. There’s a scene in the pilot episode where the guys attempt to buy alcohol and condoms for their illegal rooftop party using their illnesses to seek sympathy from the cashier. In a hospital full of sick kids, it’s nice to see some comic relief on such a heavy topic. Although these teenagers are diagnosed with serious diseases, they’re still living their lives, going to school, and cracking jokes while trying to overcome adversity.
At the end of the day, the patients are just regular teenagers - experiencing their first loves, their first heartbreaks, and creating lasting friendships. Red Band Society is quirky, unconventional, and unlike any series that’s on television right now. Check it out for yourself and catch up on the series online before the new episode airs. Watch Red Band Society every Wednesday on Fox at 9PM!