“Red Band Society” is the greatest show of our time. Or, let us rephrase, it is the greatest show that airs at 9 p.m./8 p.m. central on Wednesdays on Fox. “Red Band Society” tells the story of a bunch of tweens and teens living on the children’s ward of a hospital in Los Angeles. Why do they all live in the hospital (even when they get better)? Who knows? Not us! But we watch anyway.
The main action of the show revolves around Leo, Jordi, Dash, Emma, and Kara. They are taken care of by the sometimes-friendly nurses and doctors (and no parents!) that work on the pediatrics floor. And finally, there is Charlie. Charlie is the lovable “coma boy” who narrates the action of his conscious friends throughout each episode. Think of this show as the love child of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Glee,” only without music. Although at one point, Octavia Spencer’s character, the tough yet caring Nurse Jackson, breaks out into “Midnight Train to Georgia,” revealing her past life as a professional backup singer. And, in our dreams, Charlie will wake up crooning a tune.
We have to say, “Red Band Society” is a bit all over the place. For instance, sometimes Mandy Moore shows up! And sometimes, Ricky from the fan favorite “Secret Life of the American Teenager,” shows up still playing a teenager, even though he looks like he is 35 years old. But really, the show’s issues lie deeper than this. They include rushed character development, arbitrary reasons for plot setups, and freakishly beautiful sets considering it takes place in a hospital. Seriously, Emma’s hospital room is straight out of a “Teen Vogue” photo shoot, and their schoolroom is nicer than any classroom at Wesleyan. Finally, the pretty nurse has the most precisely tailored scrubs! They cinch at the waist! She looks sexy in them. It’s not fair. How does she have the time when she’s busy saving the precious lives of children? Maybe she got them tailored between getting drunk with her colleagues and chaperoning some of the patients to their homecoming dance. Because that makes sense.
On the other hand, the show sure knows how to hit an emotional beat. We often find ourselves extremely invested right when the soaring music cues us to. We truly care about the characters we are given the time to enjoy. For instance, the show often spotlights Kara, the mean-girl who literally needs a new heart cause hers is just so darn rotten. Think Veruca Salt from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” if Veruca had more sex, did more drugs, and had power-lesbian moms. But because we have been given the time to watch her grow, we have really come to enjoy her and root for her.
But really, we just love Leo. Leo is the founder of the Red Band Society—oh, we should mention what that is. In the pilot, Leo, being the sexy, compassionate, caring leader he is, brings all of our leads together on the roof of the hospital (cause it totally makes sense that they would be on the roof). In that moment, he hands each of them one of his many red hospital bracelets and thereby creates the bond between them that is the Red Band Society. It might not make total sense, but it is definitely powerful and makes us feel something. We’re not exactly sure what that is, but it’s there!
Despite the show’s many flaws and the fact that it is in danger of not coming back next year, we love it. It is filled with adorable, sad, loving teens who just want to get better and have some sex. And the fact that they are under the watchful, loving eye of Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer definitely does not hurt. We love the members of the Red Band Society, but we are not yet sold on “Red Band Society.”