Fox has a big challenge for themselves this fall. They lost a full two hours of programming due to “The X Factor” going away, and with such a new schedule, they have to hope that some of their new series are hits.
Let’s hope that Fox’s expectations for “Gotham” deliver, since “Red Band Society” is probably not a show that will be on the schedule next week. Before we say anything about the quality of the series, we do have to say that we have a hard time understanding who this show is meant for. It’s a little too sad for kids, and maybe a little too immature at times for adults. The audience is a big problem.
The biggest problem here, though, comes in the mechanics. Why is this story being narrated by a kid in a coma, who somehow knows things about every patient, even when they are not around them? Not every show needs a narrator, and this is a great example of that. It basically makes the entire show into a pile of cheese.
The same here is that we like the idea of sick kids trying to find some sort of peace with each other while dealing with hard circumstances and the reality of death. It’s an original idea, especially when it comes to presenting lighter moments. We even like some of the characters, and Octavia Spencer is the right person to oversee all of it. She is one of the best actresses out there, and we’re surprised that she is even on TV at all right now.
If only “Red Band Society” was a different show, and one that didn’t try so hard to be hokey and sentimental. It has nowhere else to go after the pilot, and while we would have concerns about a long-term story for these characters, our fears are amplified more by watching the pilot in structure and in plot. It’s not all bad, but there’s not enough good to make this anything more than average. Grade: C+.
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