Red Band Society's Charlie Rowe Talks Leo's Hospital Escape, Absent Parents

Red Band Society takes a vacation from Ocean Park Hospital — with a misbegotten trip to a frat-house kegger — when the charming freshman drama airs its second episode tonight (9/8c, Fox).

“Leo steps over the line. He goes way past the line, in fact, in terms of his physical ability,” previews series star Charlie Rowe, whose character and buddy Dash (played by The X Factor‘s Astro) sneak off the medical campus to hang with some college kids. “He’s thinking, ‘I’ll be fine.’ But a few things go wrong, and he realizes he doesn’t actually have the physical power to do this.”

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Of course, it doesn’t help that Leo’s journey is fueled by a jealous tantrum after finding out hospital newcomer Jordi — who, like Leo, is also battling cancer — didn’t wind up getting his leg amputated during the surgery that ended last week’s pilot episode.

“I completely get it. I understand it,” Rowe says of Leo’s envy and his struggle to accept his new prosthetic leg (plus the painful physical therapy that comes with it). “Leo absolutely wants to be part of a group. He used to be part of a group at school and now, in the hospital, he can see that group is drifting further away.” Having a fellow amputee as part of the titular “red band society,” though, would’ve been “a huge deal,” Rowe reasons.

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red-band-society-spoilers-charlie-rowe-interview-leo-rothStill, Leo’s excursion turns out to have some perks — including a steamy encounter with a comely young coed. “Some ladies like the bald look,” jokes Rowe, who explains shooting that particular scene turned out to be fairly awkward. “It was the one day that my parents had come to visit set, so it was a little embarrassing. That was the main thing on my mind — ‘I hope my mom’s not watching.'”

Speaking of parents, there hasn’t really been a mention of Leo’s mom and dad yet — which seems a bit peculiar considering their son is battling a potentially terminal illness. “I was told that Leo’s parents exist, but they are not around often. They’re busy. They try to see Leo every two or three weeks,” Rowe explains. “I hope we get to meet them. But he’s very much alone at the moment, and that’s the worst.”

In the interim, Rowe adds, Octavia Spencer’s steely Nurse Jackson is serving as Leo’s mother figure. “Although she gets angry at him, she means a great deal to him,” he says. “He likes that anger, he likes that there’s someone looking out for him and cares for him.”

Are you digging Red Band Society thus far? Will you be tuning in to Episode 2? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Brian says:

    The show is actually rather good. Looking forward to tonight’s episode to see if it will be worth tuning in next week

  2. Kathleen says:

    I’ve got nothing else to watch so sure…

  3. Jessica says:

    Watching it, I think. I was going to watch SVU but I’m not 100% sure yet. Might PVR one of them though.

  4. Moment says:

    I’m praying the ratings improve tonight. It doesn’t deserve to die slowly.

  5. Jared says:

    Looking forward to Red Band Society tonight. Hope the ratings improve this week.

  6. enri says:

    I too hope the ratings improve. I was pleasantly surprised by this show and would love for it to find its footing and keep on going.

  7. Joey Padron says:

    First episode was good. Looking forward to new episode tonight.

  8. KC says:

    Oh gee, another uplifting story – no thanks.

  9. Cori says:

    I absolutely loved the pilot and have been literally counting down the days to the next episode. I’m so hopeful it’ll be as good tonight and that more people will watch. I can’t remember the last time I became so quickly attached to a show.

  10. Quisha says:

    I like the show. I just didn’t know that african americans could have CF. I have a good friend whose son has CF, they are white, and he’s never doing the things that Dash does.

    • Sam says:

      Technically, any race can have CF, although, it is most common among Caucasian people. I believe that African Americans have the second highest incident rate in the US. All it takes is two people (mom and dad) with the defective gene. (1 in 19 Caucasian Americans carry it.) And not all CF’ers follow the rules ;) My fiance had CF and played hockey 4 nights a week plus multiple other “beer league” level sports. Eventually he did get too sick to play, but until 6 months before his death, unless he told you he had CF, you would have never known he was sick at all.

  11. Briana says:

    I will absolutely be tuning in for the next episode and the next and the next…
    Red Band Society is my new obsession!

  12. Sheila says:

    Just saw second episode on demand. Love this program. Wish more people would watch it. Hate to see it go off tv on first season. It may be sad, but it also funny and real.

  13. Krissan Csmile says:

    LOVE this show!! :-D