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Hercules Says The Prognosis For Fox’s New GLEE-ish Hospital Hourlong RED BAND SOCIETY Is Not Very Good At All!!

I am – Hercules!!

A tedious, manipulative hourlong about five great-looking but very sick teens who have taken up residence in a hospital’s pediatric wing, “The Red Band Society” comes to us from Margaret Nagle – who previously created 2007’s 13-episode Lifetime series “A Side Order of Life.”

The Lifetime series dealt with best friends dealing with a cancer diagnosis. I’d guess that Nagle’s new illness project will also fail to make it past 13 episodes.

“Red Band” clearly didn’t get the memo that “Glee” sucks, because it wants very much to be “Glee” with more pop tunes (now sung by the original artists) and more wheelchair kids. And it does successfully match “Glee’s” penchant for not offering nearly enough funny to make all its silliness and stupidity palatable. As with “Glee,” expect its characters to routinely rise to a level of rudeness one never sees in life but sees too often in truly bad television. (And for the record, a Starbucks employee who decides to write “Scary Bitch” on a woman’s coffee cup is not going to be a Starbucks employee very long.)

On the upside, Octavia Spencer squeezes a lot of entertainment value out of some very lame material, and I do give the show points for its music. I laud particularly the use of Brian Eno’s amazing 1974 classic “Needle In The Camel’s Eye” to accompany the series’ opening montage.

Critics are referencing “The Breakfast Club” and “The Fault In Our Stars.” But John Hughes this isn’t.

Time says:

... has a ton of voice, but its tone wobbles wildly as it overcorrects away from sentimentality and then straight into it. One moment it’s all parties, fart jokes and gallows humor, the next Leo is dispensing inspirational quotes like a piñata …

Hitfix says:

... If it can pull back on some of its excesses — if it can be the good version of "Glee," rather than the bad version, in a hospital — it could really be something. …

HuffPost TV says:

... too manipulative, obvious and shallow to work. …

The New York Times says:

... has a tone that is both sassy and sorrowful, a carefully calculated balance of humor and sentiment. The pilot episode, however, leans too heavily on emotional tugs. …

The Los Angeles Times says:

... if it plays havoc with the realities of medical practice, well, so did "House." …

The Washington Post says:

... It’s hard to imagine something more tone deaf to the realities of sickness and suffering … D+

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... has almost no unique attributes, which renders it an OK but not outstanding teen soap. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... The writing is loaded with cheap sentimentality, and dripping with saline poignancy, as you might expect. The likability of the young cast members almost counterbalances the schmaltz. …

The Boston Herald says:

... a dramedy poised to be the breakout show of fall — if it can only overcome the trying symptoms of treacle. …

The Boston Globe says:

... just another prettied-up TV YA tale, but with issues of mortality wound into it. The kids are coming of age and facing the usual conflicts, but the present threat of death makes it all seem a bit more high-stakes and poignant. …

NewsCorp says:

... An exhilarating burst of fresh air. …

TV Guide says:

... [The Coma Boy narrator is] given to so many platitudes — "The most important part of you that needs to survive is you" — that you might wonder if, when he wakens, he might choose greeting cards as a career path. The fault in Red Band Society isn't in the stars, but in the over-writing. …

USA Today says:

... The concept, which comes from a Spanish TV series, is a good one. The execution is not. …

Variety says:

... the premiere feels less inspired than cynical — a project where the motivation seems not so much inspired by creativity as by demographics, and the potential to reel in a younger audience. …

The Hollywood Reporter says:

... if you're thinking, "Wow, the only thing that could make this soul-suckingly vile attempt to wring emotions from impressionable demo-friendly young people worse would be the presence of Coldplay," well, guess what? …

9 p.m. Wednesday. Fox.

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