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Episode 4: “There’s No Place Like Homecoming”

by Dan Tomasik

Short Version:

Kara, Emma, Leo and Nurse Brittany visit Karas school for homecoming. 

Full Diagnosis:

Ive wanted to love this show for 4 weeks, but its flaws are finally overwhelming its successes. Its finally become clear whats missing in Red Band Society; unity, direction, and purpose. A clear goal in mind not just for the series as a whole, but for any of its episodes. The individual scenes are certainly good, but it doesnt gel together as a single entity. For claiming to be a society, theres yet to be an episode besides the pilot that features all of the main cast together. Each episode features fractions of the cast moving in completely different directions. Its not just left and right and straight, its up and diagonal and backways. Figuring out the importance of each story in comparison to each other is challenging, because everything feels so distant and disconnected. The title generally points out the central theme, but everything else is anyones guess. Even worse, the teasers and sneak peeks make everything seem so coherent and focused.

ProCreate Red Band Society

Something needs to unite this society, because as it is this show should just be called Hospital. Every week, the same thing. The Dash-Leo-Emma-Jordi-McAndrews love pendrangal, bitch antics by Kara, Nurse Jackson breaking up the party, and Nurse Brittany trying to give the show a heartbeat. Someone walks by someone elses room to stare in the window longingly, Charlie tosses in wise philosophical insights (often about events he has no way of witnessing) and its an episode. Theres nothing to bring all these people together. With most hospital dramas its usually a case, with most sitcoms a restaurant/coffee shop to gather and converse at. Here there is nothing.

Then theres the tone. The show makes a pass at being a realistic portrayal of sick teen patients at a hospital, but often ends up as overly corny. Perfect example this week was Karas homecoming. The dance was built up wonderfully, giving us a brief but extremely effective glance at Karas past life as a Queen Bee. In a brief handful of scenes, Zoe Levin proves why she was the best choice for the part. Walking the halls of her high school, one cant help but reel in awe, admiration and terror at Queen Kara. As for her homecoming dress, which is the third outfit shes worn in 4 episodes (the only others being her cheerleading uniform and hospital gown), she looks positively stunning. Even knowing full well she was out of my league, Id ask her out just to hear her tell me to screw off. Then there came the actual dance, the sad display of pity all Karas classmates put together. At first there seemed promise for a huge Carrie-esque twist. But no, just a half-assed speech about how awful Kara is that inevitably turns her on. Such wasted opportunity. 


250mg of direction, 80mg of actual drama, 40ccs of unity, and a bucket of pigs blood.

Episode Score: 6.5

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Posted by James_moN on
Dash and Mae sneak off to be together, but they are caught by Kenji and Brittany, who end up employing security guards to keep them apart. Emma's parents are visiting for a family therapy session, but Emma's continued resentment toward her mother for dismissing her anorexia gets in the way. After a failed trust fall exercise and an argument with Emma in the bathroom, Emma's mother almost leaves the hospital, but then Brittany has a talk with her in the elevator. It is only when her mother returns that Emma is able to have a deep conversation with her. Kara is also having problems with her mother, who tells her that she needs to learn to change for the better. Kara takes it to heart. Charlie is now able to move about in a wheelchair, and Nurse Jackson thanks Dr. Naday for everything before he jets off to meet with his next patient. Meanwhile, Leo is pessimistic about beating cancer for a second time and being the one to hold everyone up, until Mae tells him that he doesn't always have to be invincible like Superman. After they escape their rooms to see each other, Dash reluctantly ends it with Mae for their own safety. The "red band society", including Charlie, reunites on the roof one last time and starts singing " You Can't Always Get What You Want ", which results in Charlie speaking for the first time since his coma. Later that night, he is discharged from Ocean Park. The series ends with Dr. McAndrew and Nurse Jackson acknowledging that the hardest part of their job is knowing that everyone eventually leaves, though they themselves will always stay.
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Dan Tomasik

An East Coaster by birth, Dan Tomasik has established a solid reputation as a Guru for all things TV and movie-related. Fueled by a passion for great storytelling and equally great criticism, he comes to you now from Los Angeles. Opinionated, judgmental, sarcastic, but never unfair; welcome to TV Reviews.

Cast and Crew

Directed byElizabeth Allen Rosenbaum

Written byBill Krebs & Natalie Krinsky

Air Date: October 8th, 2014

Episode Score: 6.5/10

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