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FOX’s Red Band Society Wants You To Laugh But You’ll Be Weeping Instead

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Red Band Society Pizza

Last night, FOX premiered its new show, Red Band Society, and it made me literally weep. Like red-eyed-ugly-bawling. Because, despite it being marketed as a wacky show about the hijinks that sick kids get into during their hospital stays, it's actually the most depressing show ever.

For the first half of this bamboozling, everything seemed as cliche as one might expect a FOX sitcom to be. There was even the concern that things would get uncomfortably slapstick, given the super sensitive subject matter. I'm talking kids with the Big C, heart issues, and lung diseases — so, the works.

And even more standard network TV stuff started going down the second the characters started to be introduced. First of all, it's narrated by a child who is, not only in a coma (pretty bleak, I know), but who also points out how strange that is so that you don't have to. And then you've got the typical character dynmaics that get put to work any time a TV exec hears the word “teenager”. You've got your classic popular girl who is, like, s0 totes ov3r everything. And your quiet girl who hooks up with the most popular guy in the school hospital. Overbearing authority figure who needs to back the eff up and other, hot authority figure who needs to come a lot closer, if you know what I mean? Check, and check. And you absolutely mustn't forget about the funny black guy and the shy, but secretly badass newcomer. They're essential!

But, in spite of all of that stuff, I really, really love it. I appreciate the fact that 1) the central characters are dealing with actual, real-life issues, and 2) they aren't (for the most part) bratty as hell about it.

I also am into the show's dark humor that, if repeated in a normal conversation, would make everyone think you were a psychopath. Prime example: the resident wallflower, who's at the hospital for treatment to be treated for her eating disorder, casually jokes about the fact that her friend(-ish) doesn't have long to live. YES, this really happens.

But, most of all, its charm lies in the weepiness of it all. I doubt that you'll be LOLing during the “funny” parts, but I will bet my entire fortune of $15 on the fact that you'll be a big baby during its heartfelt moments. You'll happy cry during the uplifting moments and depressedly cry during the saddest moments (like when you realize that Leo, the group's Alpha, is probably going to die soon WTF). You'll come to the end of it all an emotionally exhausted shell of a human who doesn't understand how so many tears could come from one person. And you'll love it.

You can read more coverage on new shows this season by checking out 2014's New Fall TV Shows Reviewed by the Crushable Staff.

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