The anticipation continues to build for the upcoming teen-drama, Red Band Society, starring Brian “Astro” Bradley. The debut preview for the show confirms that it’s everything the producers have been claiming for months.
Based on true experiences, the heart-warming dark-comedy follows a group of teens living in an L.A. hospital paediatric ward. Though all of the characters are from different walks of life, in a spirit reminiscent of The Breakfast Club (1985), they quickly learn that things aren’t always what they seem. As the group begins to rely on one another to get through the toughest periods of their young lives, they also come to learn that being stuck in a hospital doesn’t mean they can’t have fun, and other teenage experiences.
Astro portrays Dash who suffers from cystic fibrosis, a terminal lung and immune system illness. Feeling the pressure of his days being numbered, Dash is determined to live each day to the very fullest. Other characters include a comatose boy (who acts as narrator), a girl with an eating disorder, a boy with cancer, and a girl who suffers from sudden heart failure. The nurse who oversees the misfit band of patients is played by Octavia Spencer who has said it is probably the best pilot script she’s ever read. “Once you see the first five minutes, you’re gunna want to know what is going to happen with each of these characters”, she added.
The show is expected to be a huge success. Executive producer Margaret Nagle explained, “Teens and twentysomethings aren’t about the immortality as seen in Twilight. Rather, they’re more focused on dramas that deal with mortality.” To immerse its foundation in realism, the script draws on one man’s experience with cancer as a teen, Nagle’s brother’s experiences as having been in a coma as a boy, and Steven Speilberg’s (Exectutive Producer) in-depth knowledge of paediatric wards. “[He] knows everything about teen hospital wards. He’s so involved in this area and on the ground. He knew there was a place for this show and where he wanted the show to be,” Nagle stated.
Astro also recently starred in the teen sci-fi drama, Earth to Echo. Much like Red Band Society, the film also draws heavily on a 1980’s style of childhood camaraderie.