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Steven Spielberg’s Show about Sick Teens a Surprising Hit

Octavia Spencer shines as an outspoken nurse in ‘Red Band Society’

A series about sick teens doesn’t sound like the makings of a hit show, but “The Red Band Society, ” produced by Steven Spielberg is a show to keep on the radar on the Fox Network. The show combines comedy and drama to bring the viewer into the reality of the struggles of young people battling serious conditions in a hospital.

The star of the show is Oscar winner Octavia Spencer of “The Help.” Octavia plays a nurse who has a coffee mug labeled “Scary Bitch” and she is one tough nut to crack, but with the children, she is exudes maternal warmth and protectiveness. The characters include kids dealing with enlarged hearts, those battling cancer and some with chemical dependencies. The focus is on the bond between the young characters, not on their ailments. The medical conditions of the characters create tensions as they build relationships. There are no cheap laughs, no eyeroll moments or candied tragedy. In the end, this series is what it should be: real.

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