Red Band Society Season 1 Review “Liar, Liar Pants on Fire”

Red Band Society (Fox) episode 3 Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire (1)

The awkward thing about love triangles is that the most interesting pairings are often the ones we’re not supposed to be looking at. In Red Band Society, we’re probably meant to be rooting for either Emma/Jordi or Emma/Leo but, in this episode at least, that wasn’t what I was looking at.

I would much rather there be no love triangle at all, of course, but if this is the teenage melodrama we’re stuck with for the time being, then at least it’s one that’s not yet stifling the character development.

I’m still waiting to be sold on Emma, who I assume will get her own focus episode somewhere down the line, but the relationship between Jordi and Leo is currently one of the best things about the show. Add in flashbacks, some development of Jordi’s home life and where the guys’ heads are at, and I think I could maybe like these people a lot.

And my affinity for the way Red Band Society is dealing with male bonding also stretches to Dash and his confusion over jealously towards his friend making a new friend.

It’s refreshing, especially for any kind of standard teen drama, and shows off all of the things that this series can do more easily. When things are life and death, maybe people are more likely to admit to their ‘bro heart’ being broken.

But I do wonder when we’re going to get a proper ensemble, as all the talk of ‘red banders’ this week just brought attention to how disparate the group is right now. Those moments they were together and bonding in the pilot were the standouts, and probably the things that got the show compared to early-Glee, but there’s been very little of that since.

Kara, for example, got an entire plotline on her own this week, and served as an excuse to shine the spotlight on Octavia Spencer’s Nurse Jackson rather than herself. This felt like a waste of time until the resolution, but that scene between Jackson and Wilson Cruz’s character made me pine for more of a focus on the hospital staff.

Though I hate McAndrew, and can see his secret relationship with Jordi’s mother being the downfall of this first season. It’s 100 per cent cheesy soap opera fodder that has no place 2-3 episodes into a fresh new drama. They’re obviousy also trying to pair him with Nurse Britney, which sounds like an utter nightmare.

There’s been a lot of talk of how Red Band Society might be in trouble due to low ratings, and I worry that the show won’t recapture that peculiar charm of it’s pilot before it leaves the air for good. There’s still something special about it and, despite the abundant flaws, that’s worth giving another few chances.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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