Saturday, September 20, 2014

Red Band Society Premiere Review

Season Premiere: September 17, 2014 on Fox

With the success of The Fault in our Stars in both print and film formats, it's an easy decision to premiere a show about teens with cancer. And if there's one thing about teenagers, they are stubborn, but in the case of Red Band Society, their obstinacy means survival.
The cast of medical characters includes a short-tempered yet compassionate nurse named Nurse Jackson (Octavia Spencer) and a handsome and straightforward doctor named Dr. Jack McAndrew (Dave Annable).
Dave Annable as Dr. Jack McAndrew

Octavia Spencer as Nurse Jackson

While Octavia Spencer is enough of a reason to watch any show, it is the cast of teen characters who will keep you returning every Wednesday night.

Griffin Gluck as Charlie Hutchison
Charlie Hutchison (Griffin Gluck) is the narrator of the show who introduces us to the cast of characters. Charlie is in a coma. Charlie tells Kara (more on her later) that he believes the smell of pizza will wake him up.

Leo Roth (Charlie Rowe) is a patient who has undergone leg amputation for cancer. While the show never says, Leo's baldness suggests he is now undergoing chemotherapy. Leo is sneaky and hides his true feelings behind humor.
Charlie Rowe as Leo Roth

At the beginning of the show, he has his own room, but Jordi Palacios 
Nolan Sotillo as Jordi Palacios
(Nolan Sotillo) becomes his roommate after being admitted for cancer in his leg and an upcoming amputation. Jordi is charming and vulnerable and quickly catches the eye of Leo's crush Emma Chota (Ciara Bravo). 

Emma is intelligent and subdued, but she's living with an eating disorder, and he constant insecurities make her come across as snobbish. 

Speaking of a snob, Kara Souders (Zoe Levin) is a high school cheerleader who passes out during practice. Incredibly cold hearted, she treats everyone around her as her personal servant. At the end of the episode, she learns that she has an enlarged heart and will eventually need a heart transplant. As if that isn't enough of an inconvenience for her, her blood tests show a slew of drugs in her system, and she's moved to the bottom of the transplant list. She doesn't play the vile cheerleader role for too long, and the characters around her realize there may be more to her than her bad attitude. For Emma, Kara is new competition for the boys's attention.
Zoe Levin as Kara Souders
Ciara Bravo as Emma Chota

Astro as Dash Hosney
With every group of teens, there is that one character that doesn't get a lot of credit and seems to be more of a minor character. For this show, that character is Dash Hosney (Astro) who is Leo's best friend and fellow troublemaker. Dash is in the hospital with cystic fibrosis, and he uses his weak lungs to trick nurses and doctors to get his way, though usually it doesn't work. His character provides the comic relief for the show, and Astro's performance proves that he has no small role.

Red Band Society is one of those shows that will suck you in because of its emotional premise but will keep you coming back because of the talented cast of actors and actresses.

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