“Red Band Society” gives refreshing look at terminally ill teens


Photo from FOX.

Described as “‘The Breakfast Club’ set in a hospital,” “Red Band Society,” a new FOX show about a diverse group of teens with different illnesses, gives a unique and refreshing perspective to children who live in a hospital.

Immediately the show invokes laughter in the audience with extremely realistic and relatable introductions of the main characters, starting with egotistical, mean-girl cheerleader Kara Souders, played by Zoe Levin. The irony of her character is that she’s being treated for an enlarged heart, but her past usage of drugs and alcohol puts her at the bottom of the waiting list.

“How do you tell a girl who needs a heart that she never really had one?” said Charlie, the narrator of the show who doubles as a coma patient.

Kara quickly makes an impression on the head nurse Ms. Jackson, who is immediately shown in action managing patients around the hospital. From there, we meet everyone else. Dash Hosney: party boy, cystic fibrosis patient. Jordi Palacios: the newcomer with cancer. Emma Chota: a genius in school struggling with an eating disorder. Leo Roth: group leader. In an ordinary situation, Leo would be the popular, athletic kid, but here he’s just the cute amputee who happens to have cancer.

While hanging with his new roommate, it’s decided that Jordi needs a going away party for his leg. Held on the roof top, the party is thrown under a starry night sky with dim lighting and a couple of beers that make the night memorable for the characters and the audience. At the end of the night, Leo gives everyone a red band of his, each one having some type of major significance, ending the night on a high note.

The next day, the day of Jordi’s amputation, he finds himself anxious. Seeking the advice of Leo, he’s worried if it’ll hurt, to which Leo replies, “What hurts most is not that it’s gone, what hurts most is remembering it was ever there.”

Jordi follows with the concern he won’t be himself anymore, invoking Leo to say, “You’ll always be you, your body isn’t you. Your soul is you, and they can never cut into you soul.”

Despite only knowing Jordi a short while, Leo is able to connect with him on an extremely personal level and comfort him to entirely new surroundings accompanied with a terrifying disease. With award winning cast members like Octavia Spencer and co-executive producer Steven Spielberg, the show is an easy recipe for a hit series. “Red Band Society” airs on FOX Wednesdays at 8.