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Red Band Society - S01E07

Comedy . Drama
 

Kara, Hunter, Jordi and Dash band together in support of Nurse Jackson, whose actions have caught up with her. Emma meets Leo's friends from home and one Red Bander's circumstances change dramatically.

 
Episode Title: Know Thyself
Airs: 2014-11-12 at urday
  • Tom Gliatto

    Red Band Society, which could turn out to be one of the best new shows of the fall, is like that, constantly catching you unexpectedly.

    People Weekly Full Review
  • Vicki Hyman

    The show is soapy for sure, but only at the end of the premiere does it descend into the borderline sappiness that could have been its calling card. It helps that the entire cast has charisma to spare--even the kid in the coma.

    Newark Star-Ledger Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    A dramedy poised to be the breakout show of fall — if it can only overcome the trying symptoms of treacle.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Terri Schwartz

    Red Band is one of the brightest shining new shows of the fall TV season, thanks to solid writing and great, endearing cast performances.

    Zap2it (Inside the Box) Full Review
  • Kevin Fallon

    Red Band Society is by no means the perfect network drama. (That would be The Good Wife, for those who are keeping count.) But there is something admirable about what it is doing, and about the fact that it has no qualms about it.

    The Daily Beast Full Review
  • Joanne Ostrow

    What could be a trite pitch for togetherness is probed for deeper meaning in an hour that has a big heart behind its hip stance.

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Nancy DeWolf Smith

    An exhilarating burst of fresh air.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Lori Rackl

    A diverse assortment of teenagers--The Mean Girl (played by Glencoe native Zoe Levin), The Rebel, The Girl Next Door, The Player--try to cope with the challenges of life, not just their life-threatening illnesses, which keeps the series from falling into Debbie Downer territory.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    Red Band Society, although sometimes sappy, isn't sad or dreary.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    If Red Band overdoes it in some areas, it's impressively restrained in others.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    It does break your heart, to some extent, if you’re willing to let go of your cynicism for an hour.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Jethro Nededog

    The writing is fairly predictable on the pilot, which plays a lot of emotional notes we're all very familiar with on TV.... Problems aside, there's a “Wonder Years” quality to Red Band Society that transports viewers back to those simple firsts in life, the coming of age rites of passage that we all instantly understand and can connect to.

    The Wrap Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    Narrated by Charlie (Griffin Gluck), a 12-year-old in a coma (yes, it's very "If I Stay"), Red Band boasts a telegenic young cast that otherwise spends little time lying down.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Kristi Turnquist

    In a gimmicky touch, it's narrated by a boy in a coma. But despite the easy grabs at our heartstrings–-who in their right mind isn't rooting for young people to get well?–-the pilot benefits from the vivid, likable performances of the cast.

    The Oregonian Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    Red Band Society has enough lightness of being and appealing characters to counterbalance its overall sobering premise.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    Too much of Band is either overly familiar or overly unfamiliar, such as the young boy in a coma (Griffin Gluck) who serves as an omniscient narrator and who, through some metaphysical stretch, can speak to other patients whenever they lose consciousness.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    If it plays havoc with the realities of medical practice, well, so did "House." And to glamorize, sanitize and romanticize illness is, after all, an old Hollywood tradition; and this is a show with a target audience for whom even death, in soft enough focus, can constitute a sort of wish fulfillment.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    The fault in Red Band Society isn't in the stars, but in the over-writing.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    Red Band Society has a tone that is both sassy and sorrowful, a carefully calculated balance of humor and sentiment. The pilot episode, however, leans too heavily on emotional tugs.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    Promisingly, the pilot of Red Band (like Glee‘s) has a ton of voice, but its tone wobbles wildly as it overcorrects away from sentimentality and then straight into it.

    Time Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    "Glee" benefitted from the novelty of its musical performance and high-camp humor. Red Band Society has almost no unique attributes, which renders it an OK but not outstanding teen soap.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    This is an extremely tough balancing act or--back to the musical analogy--this is a show where the notes have to play exactly right. They don't here.

    Newsday Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    The cast works well together. They just have to fight some implausible setups and jarring shifts from clever and poignant to sappy and slapstick. ... Even assuming the show can keep the cast sick enough to be in the hospital, but so not sick it just gets sad, it may be hard to sustain this story over a full season.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    The writing is loaded with cheap sentimentality, and dripping with saline poignancy, as you might expect. The likability of the young cast members almost counterbalances the schmaltz.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Robert Rorke

    [Octavia Spencer is] cast as the one-note, wise-cracking Nurse Jackson--who works alongside Dr. Jack McAndrew (David Annable)--her talents are largely wasted in a role that’s seriously underwritten.... The feelgood message of this show is so relentlessly upbeat--like the music that nearly drowns out every scene.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Sonia Saraiya

    The premiere tries to do too much with too little, and even though the cast gives it their all, Red Band Society never finds the right note.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Tom Long

    Cliches bounce off one another in a slick combination of gallows humor, inspirational bonding, deep thoughts and maudlin moments.

    The Detroit News Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    To really hook into this drama, you have to care about the kids and their fates, but to me, they all remained predictable types throughout, and the show did a poor job of showcasing the terrific Octavia Spencer.

    The Huffington Post Full Review
  • Cynthia Fuchs

    While you want to love the mere existence of Octavia Spencer on TV every week, the show works awfully hard to make this hard.

    PopMatters Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    The premiere feels less inspired than cynical--a project where the motivation seems not so much inspired by creativity as by demographics, and the potential to reel in a younger audience.

    Variety Full Review
  • David Hiltbrand

    Red Band Society (the name comes from their hospital bracelets) aims for the poignancy of the runaway teen bestseller The Fault in Our Stars, but the TV project is too transparent in the way it goes about tugging on your sympathies.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Emily Nussbaum

    The show mines a primal adolescent fantasy: that sickness might be a form of glamour, making a person special and deeper than other humans. Everyone thinks that when you go to the hospital life stops,” Coma Boy intones. “But it’s just the opposite: life starts.” Whether you find this conceit offensive or escapist will depend on your mood. For me, the crassness outweighed any charm.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    It’s hard to imagine something more tone deaf to the realities of sickness and suffering, but here, in the wake of “The Fault in Our Stars” and other doses of teen weepies, Red Band Society thrives on the same ballad-drenched idea that 500 mg of platitude and hollow uplift cures all.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    A moving, emotional and even competent show could have been made about sick or dying young people. But instead, Red Band Society wants to take your emotions and manipulate them--and then, only then, will it predictably and with malice drop the Coldplay anvil on you.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Margaret Lyons

    I'm not lobbying for a show about suffering, necessarily. But Red Band makes hospital stays seem like a spread in an Urban Outfitters catalogue. Come for the osteosarcoma, stay for the funky vintage vinyl and artfully draped twinkle lights.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Willa Paskin

    Red Band is larded with quirk, twee, and pop music, all of which set my teeth on edge even as they sent my tear ducts into spasm.

    Slate Full Review