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So, I just finished watching this.  It's ok.  I like the overall premise because I don't think it's been done before, but I can't stand the voice over by the coma kid. 

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Not for me. Far too cloying, and I didn't like any of the characters. I kept checking how long was left, even when it was only ten minutes in.

The whole coma kid voiceover thing didn't work for me either, and the magic dream conversation with the cheerleader did not help.

I didn't hate it, but I won't be watching again.

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I actually agree with both of you.  It's cloying, I hate that the coma kid apparantly talked to the cheerleader and the bald kid (sorry, I dont remember names yet) in their near-death states and I kept checking how much time was left (but that also could be because I was watching it at work when I was supposed to be... working).  But, I'm still going to stay in this for at least a little while.  A lot of shows take awhile to gel, so I'm going to watch in the hopes that it does.

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Yeah... this wasn't great. The dialogue was really weak -- especially the cheerleader chick. I get they were going for a Glee-esque bitchy/funny thing, but she was too horrible, and yet her "zingers' fell flat. The acting overall was pretty weak, too.

 

I might watch again.

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Loved it, can't wait for more, the voice over did not bother me, hopefully the heart issue will tone down the blond girl. Nice to see Ricky from My So Called Life Again. There is room for improvement but most Pilots are.

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i'm in the middle. I think it has promise but I couldn't stand the coma kid's voice over. The cheerleader girl seems like she might become a more believable character later on. I hope so because right now she's too horrible and too much the stereotypical bitchy cheerleader. The acting was ok, I actually thought the dialogue was much worse. Very cloying and cliché. But pilots usually suck so I'll give it a few more episodes. I liked the teens overall especially the one who's about to lose his leg. Though where are all their parents?

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Loved it, can't wait for more, the voice over did not bother me, hopefully the heart issue will tone down the blond girl. Nice to see Ricky from My So Called Life Again. There is room for improvement but most Pilots are.

I am sure the heart issue will eventually tone down the cheerleader, but she'll probably be bitchy for a little while longer.

Daren Kagasoff (Ricky) wasn't in this. Which one did you think he was? Leo (bald kid)? That's Charlie Rowe.

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Loved it, can't wait for more, the voice over did not bother me, hopefully the heart issue will tone down the blond girl. Nice to see Ricky from My So Called Life Again. There is room for improvement but most Pilots are.

 

I totally agree with everything you said. This was my most anticipated fall show and I wasn't disappointed. There are a lot of stories to tell here. I'm interested in seeing how the cheerleader (Kara?) continues to interact with Charlie's dad considering she has something to hold over him. There were a few instances requiring a suspension of disbelief (the huge hospital rooms, Rueben, how quickly people accepted that Charlie was talking to them), but it's a teen drama, so I accept.

 

I am sure the heart issue will eventually tone down the cheerleader, but she'll probably be bitchy for a little while longer.

Daren Kagasoff (Ricky) wasn't in this. Which one did you think he was? Leo (bald kid)? That's Charlie Rowe.

 

Wilson Cruz, who played Rickie Vasquez from the cult classic My So-Called Life (not The Secret Life of the American Teenager) was the male nurse. I too was excited to see him on TV. I already love his relationship with Octavia Spencer's head nurse character.

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Hahahahaha. I'm embarrassed that was the first Ricky I thought of. I didn't even watch that show. I did watch My-So-Called Life, but when it first aired only so I didn't recognize him.

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This was one of my more anticipated new shows based on the premise. I liked most of it, but like several others I'm not a fan of Coma Kid's voice over and his conversations with people while they're unconscious. I liked the rest of the pilot enough to continue watching this show. And I've learned that even cancer can't stop tv teenagers from getting involved in love triangles/squares/pentagons/other shapes.

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When I saw the trailer for this a few months ago, I checked out the original on YouTube. (Well, the 3 episodes that have English subtitles.) I really liked the original, and it was interesting to see the stuff they kept and the stuff that's been changed. One of my fave things was the relationship between Leo and Jordi and I think they can recapture that in the US version. I really liked the kid who played Leo. 

 

I definitely keep watching though I'm afraid with it being on FOX that might not be too long.

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What does everyone think of Ruben, I'm torn, I like him, the situation is not realistic but then again a lot of the show isn't, but I still like him and I sort of feel like I shouldn't, that he is a distraction or something.

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What does everyone think of Ruben, I'm torn, I like him, the situation is not realistic but then again a lot of the show isn't, but I still like him and I sort of feel like I shouldn't, that he is a distraction or something.

 

I can believe Reuben's situation for one reason: The wing he is in is named after him. He probably had a condition to his donation that a room be designed to his specifications.

 

But there is a lot of suspension of belief required here - like there isn't a guard outside the door to the pediatric wing? In every pediatric wing I have been in, you have to be buzzed in and out of the wings - one hospital I was at had a pediatric neurology wing and they had three different areas (North, West, East) and you could not access one from the other. The guard had to buzz you into the wing and a nurse had to buzz you out.

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I absolutely love the original Polseres Vermelles, and I have been waiting for this remake for like two years since Steven Spielberg picked up the rights. I think this is doing a very good job so far in adapting it, and there are some changes that do improve it. In Polseres, the Kara character is a boy, and I always thought the gang needed another girl. Also, they seem to be making a greater effort in the medical details, like Charlie being hooked up to machines and Kara getting a heart monitor, both of which were glaringly missing in the original. I did laugh when they said Ruben was a hypochondriac, because his character in Polseres, and also some of the others, often seemed to not be sick at all.

 

I do think the show is trying a bit too hard too be hip, what with the soundtrack and the drugs and alcohol. Charlie's narration is a basic part of the conceit of the show, but I don't like the delivery or the simplistic lines too much. The actor was fine in the limbo world though, so hopefully his voice work will improve and he will get better lines.

 

I liked the kid who plays Leo a lot, I definitely think he captured the character. Jordi's very good too, and Kara is a bit intense but I think the character is heading in the right direction. Emma I need to see more of, and Dash is a completely different character than the original so I have to look at him differently than the others and see where he's going.

 

Overall, I think they're doing right by the adaptation and I can't wait to see more.

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This was cloying and manipulative as hell ... and I absolutely loved every damn second second of it.

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Having once (a zillion years ago) been a 16-year-old cancer patient, who was always--inpatient or outpatient at chemo or radiation--surrounded by adults, most of them elderly, I am willing to cut this all kind of slack for a while.

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I liked it, I like the premise of the kids banding together through different sicknesses. The pilot is usually the weakest episode so I'll definitely be checking out the second episode.

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I had to check this out because I love Wilson Cruz (can you believe it's been TWENTY YEARS since My So-Called Life aired?). Although his part was small, I liked his easy friendship with the other nurse.

 

I couldn't believe that was Kevin from American Pie playing the dad! Nitpick: how did the cheerleader get his phone number? Like after she was done harassing him and blackmailing him for beer, she asked for his phone number and memorized it?

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I wasn't expecting to like it, but I really did. It reminded me of early Scrubs and Season 1 Glee. I was impressed with the child actors, especially Jordi and Leo. It is a waste of Octavia Spencer's acting chops; too Bailey redux for me. But Dave Annable always brings the pretty and it's been added to the PVR list for sure. Let's hope it doesn't go downhill from here. 

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It kind of reminded me of early Glee. At one point I was convinced that Ryan Murphy was involved with it until I googled it. Something about the direction and saccharine life lessons plays out like a retread. The characterizations are both too vague and on-the-nose at once, but I didn't dislike anyone. Kara seems prepped to become a fan favorite if the show takes off and I can see myself becoming invested in her bond with coma boy. I like it, over all. But this show might become too emotionally harrowing to watch if I find myself fearing for everyone's life each episode like it's The Walking Dead without the gory zombie kills to undercut the dread.

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I will give it a 1 or 2 more tries. It was not until the last 20sih mintues that I saw flickers of things I liked.  But at this point if there is something better on, I can see not even DVRing it.

 

Why are all the kids, with different illnesses in the same section of the hospital? Minus the chick with the eating disorder.

Edited by redsox7819

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I was only giving this a try because it's Wednesday and nothing's on but I actually quite liked it. I'm in for a while.

 

I think the relationships between the kids are really interesting and I LOVE Octavia Spencer in this so far. Haven't seen enough of Dave Annabel (sp?) to judge. But I thought all the kids were well cast too and really did a great job.

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I couldn't tell what this show is from the pilot.  If it continues this way, I'm not going to be able to continue.  Its pacing is too slow and boring.  They had a lot of conflict they could put in

- does sick cheerleader get angry that she can't get a heart but the other get to smoke medical marijuana

- do the kids with cancer/heart conditions get angry at the girl with anorexia

- where are these kids parents and how do they feel about it

- how well adjusted are the doctors and nurses really, because this seems like the kind of thing that would be tough to deal with

- will they have to justify at some point that a kid scammed his way into the poshest hospital in existence

- in general, aren't insurance companies a nightmare to deal with.  How do any of them stay in the poshest hospital ever (but I guess missing parents will deal with that)

- are they reluctant to make friends  fall in love because everyone leaves - either by getting better or not.

 

But something tells me they won't because they sidestepped all of it in the pilot.  I get the sense we are on a trajectory towards a romanticized version of being ill makes you a better person in general and somehow fearless.  I don't need this to be the most depressing show ever but so far there is too much suspension of disbelief necessary.

 

BTW....Cheerleader reminded me greatly of House's Cutthroat Bitch the teenage years.

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What does everyone think of Ruben...

 

While I love Griffin Dunne, and the idea of a hypochondriac millionaire, essentially, living in a hospital wing and abetting teen "shenanigans"? I'm not super loving that. Yes, a relatively tame party on the roof of the hospital, not the helicopter landing pad, though! "Sorry to drop in, Broseph, but there's been a pile up on the 101 and we've got a couple of rookies for your wing here!"  I hope that there is more to Reuben than just "old hippie millionaire philanthropist," so I'm in for another episode or two.

 

I didn't mind the voice-over, but if it's every episode, all the time? It's going to get old very quick, as will Kara's "armor" against the world/her parents. I also agree that Charlie's lines were obviously tv-stilted. I give it some slack due to it being a pilot, but :

a) Why is Dash the fifth wheel? Why is there no young lady for Dash to hang with? It was a pilot, she wouldn't have to speak, really. So the Love Square is to be the geometry for this show? I like the actors, and understand they are teens in a unique and heightened situation. I just am disappointed that the Love Square was made so blatant in the pilot.

b) Mary Sunshine, the six month, new nurse? She couldn't tell where Dash was taking that whole situation? Other than the very barf-worthy muffin-buddy comment, Brittany really didn't earn the level of disdain Johnson was throwing around. (Still, throwing out perfectly edible food was horrible, not bitchy. Nurse Johnson could've just left the damn things alone or loudly informed other staff that they were free to eat the muffins and then add some bitchy aside. Wasting food is just...that was a bad move, Show.)  Are we to expect a "bitch-off" between Johnson and Kara at some point? If so, we are already the losers.

c1) Again, going for shocking and/or "new" because FOX!, but what Kara the Cheerleader experienced, after passing out, was an assault. She couldn't have given consent. Even if she'd been okay with freaking out everyone else with the act when awake, she wasn't and the situation was treated as if it was funny! All the other folks who hated this girl just let her go unconscious, get assaulted, and just took pictures. We're supposed to give the assaulter brownie points because she called for an ambulance and came by with flowers? No.

c2) Would the dude, who denied the boys beer until Jordi told him they were trying to get Leo laid, been okay with the guys trying to get Emma or Cara laid? Somehow, I think not.  I also hope Kenji (Wilson Cruz) is the one to sponge bathe Dash. That Brittany and Kenji team-up to shut that down.

 

Other than those points, I did enjoy the show. As I said, the actors are good and I can see the potential of this show.

 

eta: Who played the cheerleaders minion that was excited to get to lock lips w/her.

That was Jessie Ennis as Water Girl.

Edited by Actionmage
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Reminds me too much of Glee, and that went straight to the crapper after a couple seasons. I think it's mostly in how they portrayed the cheerleader and immediately set up a love triangle. Both are so overdone, and unnecessary when they have a setting that should allow for more original stories. I'm not up for that ride again. I'm especially not up for that again with kids they'll bring near the brink of death every time they need an emotional sweeps stunt.

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Ah, this must be a magical fantasyland, adjacent to Seattle Grace hospital, where the sick kids never seem very sick (except for 15 seconds at a time) and the hospital looks like a modern art museum.

 

Gotta love doctors and nurses who permit underage drinking on the night before surgery.

 

I guess this show is no more unbelievable than Glee is/was, but it is definitely for a select audience. The sap rises too high for me ....

Edited by shrewd.buddha
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I watch little to no network TV and don't think I've tuned in for a new show since "Lost" premiered 10 years ago but I was intrigued by the premise of this show, plus the always great Octavia Spencer, and I'm glad I tuned in.  I don't care if I had to suspend some disbelief as I was hooked within the first five minutes.  Overall I liked the "Scrubs"ish vibe and the "Breakfast Club" overtones.

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I am curious about why so many people are seeing Glee in this?  I've also seen a couple of professional reviews make the comparison.  But I am not flashing on Glee when I watched it.  Other than the bright color palette and the teenagers, what about it is triggering Glee comparisons?  I watched the first season of Glee and enjoyed it because it was quirky and a little bent (reminded me of Murphy's other teenaged show, Popular).  I bailed second season.  But yeah, not really getting that quirky vibe here.  RBS feels more earnest, like it is taking itself more seriously than Glee ever did (that first season anyway).  it feels like it has more in common with those shows that feature world-weary-i-know-more-than-you-do teen shows.

Edited by DearEvette
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I am curious about why so many people are seeing Glee in this?  I've also seen a couple of professional reviews make the comparison.  But I am not flashing on Glee when I watched it.  Other than the bright color palette and the teenagers, what about it is triggering Glee comparisons?  I watched the first season of Glee and enjoyed it because it was quirky and a little bent (reminded me of Murphy's other teenaged show, Popular).  I bailed second season.  But yeah, not really getting that quirky vibe here.  RBS feels more earnest, like it is taking itself more seriously than Glee ever did (that first season anyway).  it feels like it has more in common with those shows that feature world-weary-i-know-more-than-you-do teen shows.

I could not agree more. Not that I'm a fan of Glee, but there's a self-awareness and, as you say, quirkiness that is completely absent in this. Just overly sentimental saccharine stereotype treacle, from the pilot. It's a shame, I love Octavia Spencer and Wilson Cruz, but based on the first episode the show has nothing to do with them. I like the premise, but I think I'll probably skip it until I hear mid-season raves about its turnaround or something.

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Gotta love doctors and nurses who permit underage drinking on the night before surgery.

Not to mention letting the girl who needs a heart transplant and is already compromised drink and smoke.

 

I'm going to give this a few more changes (I had my own dealings with chemo recently, and I have a slightly morbid curiosity in seeing how they handle it, if at all), but there are so. many. clichés. already.

 

I was distracted by Dave Annable's graying hair and still-brown facial hair.

Edited by dubbel zout
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I thought they went too much in the Bring It On vein with the cheerleader. Minor nitpick that really annoyed me - why was Kara wearing black shoes when all the other cheerleaders were wearing white shoes?

 

Any not even black tennis shoes, but what looked to me like some black suede wedge booties.  I was obviously focused on the important details.

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It was okay, but I kept going back to PBS. I had a five minute rant about how the coma boy was shown. It's been my experience that if a person has been in a coma for a while:

1. Bed sores are a big issue and lots of pillows and repositioning is involved.

2. Where is the feeding tube? Usually there is one filled with Ensure snaking through his nose into his stomach. Okay, fine nobody wants to show that on TV, but still.

3. Diapers

4. If he's been in a coma for a while, he's going to start curling in.

 

Other than that, Octavia was a nurse Bailey.

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I had a student with cystic fibrosis. She was waaaay sicker than Dash without being full time in the hospital. And I was sort of amused how Leo's chemo selectively attacked his cranial hair but not his brown or lashes.

 

I'll give it at least one more episode, but I'm....well...not really feeling it.

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I was actually looking forward to this show, so I should have guessed I'd be disappointed. I will say I thought the acting was fine, and anything with Octavia, Annable and Cruz is heading in the right direction. There was just too much that I couldn't buy, lack of authenticity that took away from the potential power of the story...

Some of my issues have been mentioned but first and foremost I don't get why most of these kids are living in a hospital. Take Dash for example. He is a CF kid... he seems to be perfectly fine at the moment, not wheezing or having any difficulties. He requires breathing treatments which can be done at home (at least most of the CF kids I know have machines to treat them at home). So why isn't he at home? Or even Leo. Don't most kids who require on-going chemo get it on an outpatient basis? I know kids with various illnesses spend a lot of time in hospitals, but it seems like the premise here is all these kids live here, for like, ever.

And my adult mind instantly went to "who is paying for all of this care?" There is no way insurance would be paying for these kids who aren't "actively" sick to live in a hospital. Where are their parents? Are we going to find out all of these kids come from money and that's why they get to stay? Because their parents are privately paying?

I know these are nitpicks, but they bugged. The ability of the patients to move all around the hospital without care is odd too. Leo and Jordi would be in the oncology unit and isn't this generally a highly sterile unit? Did the nurses and doctors go from unit to unit (which I think is rare)? That hospital was HUGE, so there is no way all the kids are in one unit, so they had to be all placed in various units around the hospital.  Yet, they just wandered, day and night anywhere they wanted.  And it's sort of discomforting to think that a girl with a serious enough eating disorder to be a permanent resident in a hospital is just given some food, left to eat it herself (unmonitored) and then "believed" when some of the food is gone. Again, from what I know of eating disorders this would never, ever happen in a ward.

And yes, Jordi just walking in off the street, being under 18 (I'm assuming) and getting his leg amputated by the world's best surgeon because some "paperwork" from Mexico said he needed it was bordering on absurd. I wish the show would have dealt with the myriad tests he would have had to undergo and the process of the hospital having to get permission for the surgery as he's underage. And if they didn't want to go into tons of medical detail because that's not the point of the show, fine... at least make allusion to it...Because it seems like Jordi just showed up and within a day, Dr. Annable agreed to and was able to amputate (and apparently had an opening in his schedule, which is also highly unlikely for such a renowned doctor that a kid from Mexico seeks him out).

Oh my... I think I need to take a chill pill and remember this is a Fox TV show and it's supposed to be fun, fun, fun!

But the thing that drove me the most crazy? Kara was placed in a room (which means she was admitted to the hospital) but stayed in her cheerleading uniform! Like, no... I think that image of a cheerleader ALWAYS in uniform was what made me have flashbacks to Glee... horrors!!!!

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The director of Red Band Society's pilot has directed several glee episodes and worked with Ryan Murphy on other projects so there is that.

 

I am guessing some comparison with glee may be down to the dark comedy. But I agree RBS is taking itself to seriously already something that glee didn't do until later and was part of its downfall.

 

Plus another glee aspect  is just the total need to suspend belief if you are going to watch it.

 

I was distracted by Dave Annable's graying hair and still-brown facial hair.

 

Me to,  that and  Leo's eyebrows.

 

I liked how the surgeon was the one pushing the gurney and let the kids just get up and run around for awhile ok sure (mantra: suspend belief, suspend belief).  

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And yes, Jordi just walking in off the street, being under 18 (I'm assuming) and getting his leg amputated by the world's best surgeon because some "paperwork" from Mexico said he needed it was bordering on absurd. I wish the show would have dealt with the myriad tests he would have had to undergo and the process of the hospital having to get permission for the surgery as he's underage. And if they didn't want to go into tons of medical detail because that's not the point of the show, fine... at least make allusion to it...Because it seems like Jordi just showed up and within a day, Dr. Annable agreed to and was able to amputate (and apparently had an opening in his schedule, which is also highly unlikely for such a renowned doctor that a kid from Mexico seeks him out).

The doctor did mention getting an MRI for Jordi. So he didn't just amputate Jordi's leg without doing any tests on him.

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He'd also need blood tests and possibly a chest x-ray. I can handwave most of this stuff because it's not really the point of the show. But we do need to know why these kids are living at the hospital instead of being outpatients. That kind of IS the point of the show.

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I agree because in the case of Emma, wouldn't she be better off in a clinic devoted to eating disorders instead of being at a pediatric hospital with kids who have cancer and CF?

How would her insurance even cover hospital over appropriate rehab facility (if they even covered that)? I know it's tv, but I get stuck on these things as I've seen people suffer.

 

If you're sick enough to be an inpatient in the hospital, you're not able to get up to kooky antics and love triangles. They kick you out so fast in this country. It's either rehab or your family has to figure out how to deal with occasional home healthcare visits between visits to therapists or outpatient chemo treatments or whatever it is that you're needing. It depends on your insurance. The only one I believe gets to be in the hospital is coma kid, and I'm not sold on him as narrator. Something's off there.

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