Episode 9 “How Did We Get Here?”
by Dan Tomasik
Dash and Jordi vie for the attention of a recently admitted teen popstar, meanwhile the rest of the hospital residents deal with the ups & downs of relationships.
Fox just announced today that it will be halting production of Red Band Society beyond the first 13 episodes, implicating the series may soon be no more. In light of this week’s episode, this may prove to be a mercy upon us. After a couple weeks of promising improvement, Red Band Society is right back where it was before.
This week’s main theme; relationships! Emma and Leo are having issues, yet again. We’ve heard this song so many times we know the words by heart. Speaking of heart, Kara is on yet another journey to get laid. Her complete disregard for the emotions of others is on full display, once again making Emma feel terrible about herself just because the opportunity presents itself. Surprisingly, Kara redeems herself by the end by showing off those pesky human emotions she so often forgets to use. Dash is on a similar quest to make it with an out-of-control teen popstar, but must suffer Jordi’s painful interruptions at the worst possible moment. Last but not least is the continuing adventure of half-assed-love-interests for McAndrews. This week his victim is Nurse Brittany. There is retribution however, as Brittany does what so many of us have wanted to do; punch his lights out.
But the biggest issue apparent is that the episode believes itself to be better than it is. It thinks its jokes are much funnier than they are, causing a lot of extremely forced laughter by the characters. It thinks it’s being insightful into the trials and tribulations of relationships, instead of traversing the same tired path it has so many times before. Even Jordi’s music seems to think it’s better than it really is. Don’t get me wrong, he’s talented, with a definite Ed Sheeran vibe (in a good way). But trying to sell him as so good the teen popstar is afraid he’ll overshadow her is quite a stretch.
Said popstar is effectively the poster child for this sentiment of overselling oneself. Six (6) times we hear someone ask, “is that Delaney Shaw?”. Six (6) times they feel the need to push the point that she is a famous popstar. The problem is that we do not for one moment buy her as a character. From an out-of-control introduction, her next appearance is so calm and welcoming, it’s like a private Taylor Swift show. 20 seconds later, she clears the room except for Dash. Why? Because he called dibs on her. Wait, she doesn’t know anything about that. Why does she clear the room of everyone but him? It is a mystery with no solution.
There were some good moments in the episode, fragments of the steady improvement the show was on. Hearing the psychology Emma ties into her eating disorder was a fascinating insight into her struggle. This is the kind of stuff we’ve been asking for from day one! Why has it taken this long? Watching McAndrews get clocked in the face for being an insensitive prick was also a highlight.
Maybe it’s best this show be shut down. For every step forward, it seems to take two back.
Prepare for a RBS detox after next week.
Episode Score: 6.2