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Red Band Society recap: 'Liar, Liar Pants on Fire'

Lies, love, and laughs fill the halls of Ocean Park Hospital.

Posted on

Carin Baer/Fox

Red Band Society

TV Show
Current Status:
On Hiatus

In TV, viewers are like heartbeats on a heart monitor in the ICU. Red Band Society’s loved ones should be very worried because the viewers are dropping, and the show is close to flat-lining. A big complaint with viewers and critics is the unbelievability. And even with the temporary suspension of disbelief, the show’s quality is spotty at best. At times it is cheesy and trying too hard for jokes, at other moments its characters and relationships are truly touching. It has turned into a hodgepodge of cinematic tropes: a little bit of magical realism here, a little teen dramedy there, a touch of soap opera sprinkled on top. Much of this may be due to adapting a show from a foreign country—trying to be true to it while adding new elements. Still, for all its ailments, RBS does have its saving graces, and hopefully they can heal their wounds before Fox pulls the plug.

“Liar, Liar Pants on Fire” picks up right where it left off last week: Leo grows increasingly jealous of Jordi and Emma’s bond. Unable to let Emma be happy with someone else, Leo invokes guy code and asks Jordi to back off, saying that they used to be an item and he wants to rekindle the flame. Evidently, Leo doesn’t think Emma gets a choice in the matter, nor does he care how his friend feels. (Kudos to the show for not making Leo seem like some sort of awesome boy who had the bad luck of having cancer, and that otherwise he’s just perfect. He’s a flawed teenage boy, who’s egocentric, egotistical, and superficial.)

Emma wants to bake rice crispies for Jordi, and Leo offers his help in the kitchen. Then the lack of realism sets in. These kids are supposed to be going to school during their hospitalization. The premise is that it’s a mix between a hospital and a rehab center. Right now it seems like not much of rehab nor hospital is going on, just a ton of free time to hang out. And if Emma isn’t gaining weight at the hospital and she isn’t going to school, what is she doing with her formative years?

After making rice crispies (which Emma won’t eat a smidgen of), Leo starts to talk about “us.” (Stifle gag.) He goes on his usual diatribe about how he didn’t continue his relationship with her because he was scared he wouldn’t live, and Emma points out that he didn’t continue his relationship because he was scared he would live. According to her, in non-hospital world, he’s cool and she’s not-cool. She confronts him, saying, “I’m not blonde, and popular… you were afraid if you lived, you’d be stuck with me.” This scene is like a homage to Janey Briggs in Not Another Teen Movie… except it’s not a joke. Still, it was enjoyable to watch Leo get called out on his BS. In the end, they decide to be friends through the typical TV “misunderstanding,” continuing in the tradition of Ross and Rachel. Hopefully these two lovebirds figure it out soon, because life is short, and this show might not have that much time left.

NEXT: More surprise moms!