Monday, July 21, 2014

Buy It: The Revolution Was Televised

If you are interested in what makes a great TV show different from bad or mediocre TV, The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers, and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever, by TV critic Alan Sepinwall, is a good book to start. It’s also just plain fun to review some of the best TV shows you may have watched over the last 20 or so years. It also is the book that finally convinced me to watch Friday Night Lights, one of the best disability TV shows that wasn’t a disability TV show.

A New Disability Show, Maybe?

Last week, I wanted to know, “Where are the disability shows?” I assumed that there weren’t any disability-themed TV shows, or shows with disabled characters in the works for the coming year. Then yesterday, I noticed some Tweets from the Television Critics Association summer tour, discussing an upcoming new TV show called Red Band Society.

Red Band Society TV show poster
Although it doesn’t really seem to be intended as a show about disability, it looks about as close as I have ever seen to my dream disability show, about people with various disabilities living together in some kind of care institution. The kids in "Red Band Society" show seem to be more “sick” than “disabled”, but I have a feeling the two kinds of experiences on may overlap on this show.

It's interesting that none of the TV critics I follow seem to have recognized it as a disability show, as they did right away with some of last year's new shows. It seems more like they are expecting the show to deal with health care issues. Or, maybe they're not sure what the show is really going to be about.

Polseres Vermelles
I hope Todd VanDerWerff's prediction that the show might fall back on tired illness / disability tropes doesn't come true. The premise of this show is so promising ...

It's also worth noting that the Fox show is a remake of a Spanish / Catalan TV show called Polseres Vermelles, or "The Red Band Society". I'm hoping to find a way to check out that series, too.