Review of "Red Band Society" on Fox

September 16, 2014 3:21 PM

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Glee, which ends its run this season, premiered five years ago. That may not seem like much to you, but it’s a generation in terms of adolescence; a 13 year old when we first visited McKinley High is now old enough to vote, making way for new teens with new tastes. Over that time, we’ve gone from Glee‘s snarky outsiderdom to the sincere likes of The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars–and YA has become so culturally dominant that it was one inspiration for critic A.O. Scott to declare the death of adulthood in American culture. Glee packaged stories of identity and tolerance in self-awareness and camp. By 2014, teen stories are big business and–as in John Green’s novel Stars and the hit movie of the same name–often serious as death.

Red Band Society (Wednesdays on Fox) starts off with one foot in the Glee style and one foot, well, in the grave. Its premise–an ensemble dramedy about seriously ill kids in a long-term pediatric hospital–is so conveniently timed you might call it The Fox in Our Stars. (It’s adapted, to be fair, fro...

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