Keep An Eye On: The Red Band Society

Spain is a country with a great tradition in the arts. From artists like Pablo Picasso, Miguel de Cervantes, Plácido Domingo and Javier Bardem, this small territory manages to produce high quality entertainment to Europe and the rest of the world. However, the language issue is one that obstructs a free flow of content from Spain to the United States. Because of this, the grand majority of Americans miss out on fantastic drama and comedy pieces. However, from time to time, we see films gaining a limited release mostly on festivals in regions with high percentage of Spanish speakers. What we haven’t seen so often (or never) is the airing of Spanish TV shows in America. Dramas like Águila Roja, El Barco or Cuéntame Cómo Pasó and comedies like Aquí No Hay Quien Viva or Aída could easily be part of any TV networks’ roster and gain good ratings. However, mainstream crowd rarely likes to read subtitles, and the process of dubbing shows is no easy task.

While all of this is true, we will soon be blessed with an American adaptation of a famous Spanish show from Catalonia titled Polseres Vermelles in its original language, Pulseras Rojas in Spanish and soon-to-be known in America as The Red Band Society. This show debuted back in January 2011 in the Catalonian network TV3. The drama follows a group of teenagers who live in the children’s wing of a hospital and suffer a wide variety of diseases. Through a therapy partner, one of the youngsters finds out that every group of friends consists of six member types: the leader, the second leader (who would be the leader if the leader weren’t there,) the girl, the handsome one, the clever one and the indispensable one. The rest of the show follows the process of creating the group and a roller coaster of happy and sad moments that come with life inside a hospital.

This show was so real, innocent and well made that Steven Spielberg himself was touched by it. He picked up the phone and reached out to Marta Kauffman, one of the creators of the legendary sitcom Friends and decided to buy the rights to create the American adaptation of the show. The original show’s creator Albert Espinosa is supervising the whole process so that the adaptation honors his idea. The original show is currently on hiatus after the second season aired back in January this year. Espinosa also waited a couple of years from the first season filming and the second season filming. He wanted to give the viewers a chance to see the characters develop from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. For that reason, the actors need to grow up in order for the look and maturity to work flawlessly with future plots. The show shall return in “two or three years” according to Espinosa.

I recently finished the entire series and I haven’t been able to get over it. I hope Americans are able to watch the show and get the same feeling of warmth innocence the original show gave to its viewers. Kauffman did a phenomenal job of keeping Americans hooked to six New York friends and I have no doubt she will manage to do the same with these six brave kids. If you aren’t annoyed by reading subtitles or if you want to practice your Spanish, don’t hesitate to find the show and see if it’s something that fits well with you. Whether critical diseases are a part of your life or not, this show will not disappoint you and will definitely find a way to your heart and soul. Keep an eye out for this, you won’t regret it.

Pulseras arriba!

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