I caught this last night. It held my interest for the hour but I don’t see it lasting. The characters are all unrealistic archetypes. They will have to contrive a lot of plot to keep all the kids living in the hospital full time. They must have great insurance. Is the girl supposed to be in the eating disorder clinic for multiple seasons? And these are the healthiest looking sick kids I’ve ever seen. Then there is the eye rolling contrivance of the magical coma kid/narrator who can talk to the other kids when they are unconscious. Very healthy looking coma kid with no intrusive wires or tubes of course.
On the good side Octavia Spencer is of course a good actress. She takes the cliche sassy black nurse role and does the best she can. I think that character at least can grow into something interesting. And it’s good to see Griffin Dunne although in a very unbelievable role.
I saw the commercials for it and figured that someone saw the popularity of The Fault in Our Stars and thought, “Hmm. Book and movie about kids with cancer are popular. How can we exploit this?”
And another thing. If you’re going to set a show in a pediatric ward, you have to be prepared to kill off some of the cute little kids. Are they going to do that, or are they going to have some kid with stage-four cancer still around for the fifth season?
This show is actually a remake of a Spanish language series. I had it on but was only halfway paying attention to it. Pretty cool hospital with huge rooms where seriously ill kids can hang out and smoke and drink. I might watch the next episode, but what I saw didn’t do much for me.
I think its hard to judge the show until we see a non-pilot episode. It could be a lot of the rushing through, overly-precious stuff was so they could throw everyone in together in the pilot and present the entire cast that way. They teased showing some backstories to the kids - so I hope they go in that direction.
That is true of a lot of shows. The pilot is jumbled together and tries for too much exposition. Many shows don’t get that chance. So far they haven’t even bothered to handwave why these kids are year round inpatients. They are all ambulatory. Not even any IVs. They are healthy enough to take off and go to the store or go up to the roof. Or sneak off and smoke pot. I’m not exactly a stranger to hospitals. They don’t exactly encourage long term stays. My good friend’s young daughter is going through leukemia treatments. I’m afraid to ask her prognosis. She is being beaten down with chemo and puffed up with steroids. She is an out patient.
Still, if they want to maintain some pretense of reality, someone has to die. (Presumably as part of a season-ending episode. Perhaps one that introduces the new patient/character.) One advantage of the show; if any of the actors gets too greedy, just make sure their character has a relapse.
There was a really excellent UK program called Skins that was about teenagers at a sixth form college (which is either senior high school or junior college; I never understood). Anyhow, the college was a two-year program, so the program features three separate casts/generations, each lasting for two years. I thought that was a nice approach. Many American shows struggle to keep characters together past the point at which they should have grown apart.
I watched about three-quarters of an episode - I won’t be back. I think the breaking point for me was all these kids talking like philosophy majors - being portrayed as waaaay too mature for their ages. I suppose the writers/producers/whatever were going for the idea that being seriously ill makes kids grow up in a hurry, but it just made me want to not watch them.
There is that. I hope it’s just a case of pilot episode wordiness. Cramming in too much exposition and character development into one episode. They will probably leave most of the pontificating to the magic coma kid.
Of course along with the kid archetypes they have the hot doctor. I’m sure there will be a hot doctor or nurse love interest for him.
One thing I was impressed with, bald but otherwise healthy looking wheelchair kid is English. Excellent American accent for an 18 year old. I couldn’t tell.