Dave Annable

Red Band Society has great character moments, but inconsistent story development

The first quarter of the premiere season of Red Band Society has featured some very strong character moments throughout a narrative that has been, at times, emotionally manipulative. The episodes are often inconsistent with one another, which makes this series feel more episodic than serialized. The pilot episode introduced the main cast and their situations, with the kids more developed than the adults, but as the season has progressed and the stories between the two age groups have intertwined, both sides have gained and lost character momentum respectively. The relationships frequently fail to grow organically, with the character motivations mostly hard to pin down. The questions raised in the pilot episode continue to be addressed, but to a degree that is not fully satisfying, merely confirming information that the audience already has. Although the season’s start is for the most part flawed, the most recent episodes have presented development for the overarching storyline that has potential for some interesting results.

Red Band Society, Ep. 1.01, “Pilot” has heart but lacks depth

Red Band Society began as a remake of Catalan television series called Polseres Vermelles, which is about a terminally ill group of mismatched teens that live in a pediatric ward and band together as friends. The series was picked up by Amblin Entertainment, who then developed it for American television with former Boardwalk Empire writer Margaret Nagle. As a child, Nagle had spent some time living in a pediatric ward alongside her comatose brother, which she has cited as the source of her inspiration when writing the treatment of the source material.

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