Red Band Society is not a tale about your average merry misfits. They aren't rebelling against societies norms, being a teenager or their demographic. They all are just about on an even playing field, so to speak. These teens have been brought together by one commonality, they are sick. The hit show has spawned from Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television has been making Wednesday nights the heartbeat of TV!
Provocative and captivating, Red Band Society puts front and center a cast of fresh faces mixed with some All-star veterans that makes this coming of age dramedy so unique. We meet these bunch of rule breaking friends who are surrounded by adults trying to mentor them and comfort them through the ups and downs of adolescence and mortality at Ocean Park Hospital in Los Angeles. Lines blur as friendships are formed, love blossoms, and mishaps and heartbreaks take center stage all with an undertone of comedy which provides the right spin and inner light for the groups twisted tales with the perfect hook.
When we meet our 12-year-old narrator, Charlie (Griffin Gluck), he is in a coma and his voiceover introduces us to this medical version of The Breakfast Club. We find 16-year-old Jordi Palacios (Nolan Sotillo) seeking treatment on his own from the hospital. He says his mother has passed away and his grandmother who is caring for him doesn't believe he has cancer. Soon Jordi discovers that his illness will change the course of his life, and bring his new friends even closer. The next Ocean Park resident is Leo Roth (Charlie Rowe), who seems to be the leader of this rat pack. He's independent, charming and brimming with emotion. His best friend is Dash Hosney (Astro) who suffers from cystic fibrosis and Dash is as clever as he is artistically talented. When not wheeling and dealing with other patients in the hospital, Leo and Astro are finding some way to cause a little ruckus while having some fun.
Emma Chota is the girl with brains and a heart of gold, but she lacks the body image to match as she is there at Ocean Park because of an eating disorder. She and Charlie have a romantic history that is stuck in a perpetual push and pull, but all that can change now that Jordi is in the picture. Kara Souders is the mean girl of the misfits, she shares her room with Charlie and does so with as much disdain as possible. Diagnosed with heart failure, she has to finally realize it will take more than manipulation or attitude to get what she wants. As she begins to show her vulnerable side she realises that she's going to need to be open to her family and friends if she's going to survive.
The phenomenal Octavia Spencer plays Nurse Jackson, who runs the pediatric ward with an iron fist. She is steadfast with her nurturing but she never lets anyone take advantage of her. She doesn't wear her heart on her sleeve, she keeps it underneath her scrubs. Hunky and heartfelt Dr. Jack McAndrew (Dave Annable) is the country's top pediatric surgeon. He tags teams with Nurse Jackson as does docile Nurse Brittany Dobler (Rebecca Rittenhouse) who seems to fall for every trick in the book the patients pull. These three often times shirk their personal lives in favor of helping to guide their patients down the right path and realize that they have to band together.
Banded and bonded together, these group of teens share a kinship like no others. These teenagers can bring out the best and the worst in each other. They don't just teach one another lessons, they share experiences that only individuals in their position can understand. They challenge each other through comedy and tragedy, but love one another unconditionally no matter the situation. When you watch Red Band Society you do so not because you pity any of the characters, you do it because you want to fight alongside of them. You want to be there during the highs and lows, and always keep the characters knowing that their lives have meaning, not just to them, but for you as well. A few of the standout stars include Zoe Levin, who may play a mean girl, but you can't help but be drawn to Zoe's double edged talents. She can cut deep with her quick wit, but she will also tug tightly at your heart strings when she envelops Kara with vulnerability. Charlie Rowe knows no boundaries with his acting. As Leo he can take viewers to great heights with his stunning performances wrought with humor and heartbreak. Octavia Spencer is a true powerhouse that stirs so much depth within her acting. Nurse Jackson is strong, and she is tough, but she does it with love. She's not a hardass on the patients because she wants to, she does it because it's her job to make sure the kids are as safe and well cared for as they can, especially when kids have absentee parents and they are filled with hormones, anger and sadness. It's hard enough for the kids to cope with their ailments, and add in stress, family drama, and reckless behavior, and they have a recipe for a quicker end than what's killing them.
Everyone wants to be remembered, you want to leave a lasting legacy that will resonate. With Red Band Society you will laugh hard, love deeply, and you will run a gamut of emotions. No matter what, the characters and stories will always leave a mark on your heart, and your the way you view life.