Being a hospital drama, I should have known there would be crying involved when I began the series on Wednesday. I got attached to the characters within forty minutes of footage. Kara, the cold-hearted ex-cheerleader who needed a new heart; Leo, the charismatic superhero who has almost survived cancer; Dash, the hilarious boy with a lung problem who wants to go out with a bang; Emma, the complicated, intelligent girl with anorexia and insecurity issues; Jordi, the cute Mexican boy with family issues and a whole lot of independence; and Charlie, the 9 year old in a coma who knows everything.
I must say, Red Band Society really won the idea of a hospital atmosphere over for me. It's made me excited for my work experience next week, even though I'm sure I'll end up disappointed. For some reason this show makes me feel like becoming a Doctor would be worth it, that helping people in serious need would be happiness enough, that hours spent in a hospital doing surgery and putting your brain towards fixing a body would be plausible. Or maybe I'm just gullible and pathetic, basing real life decisions on some drama ABC concocted up.
The show was full of family drama, romance, love for Nurse Jackson, and then finally there was one scarring death that left me crying over every little thing after. The saddest thing of all though, is that there is no Season 2. After 13 episodes of a beautiful show, it's over. I don't understand how the 'numbers' were apparently too low to save it. How could people not watch this show!?
You'd think it's stupid to spend your time entertaining yourself by crying unnecessarily over fictional stories depicted by people who understand the medium, so why do we do it? It's like when Day loses his memory of June in Legend, or Augustus' matter-of-fact death in The Fault in Our Stars, or when Tris dies. Even the final scene of Mockingjay is melancholy, and neither Peeta nor Katniss died.
I reckon all must be right in the world when your only source of sadness comes from TV shows or books. I'm currently reading All the Bright Places and I feel like I've spoilt it for myself. I think I know he dies. The beautiful, different, deep Theodore Finch is going to kill himself, and I am going to cry. He's one of the first male characters I've liked more than the female, and one day he will be gone.
These stories feel so heavy, and I wonder why I can feel empathy for these characters but not for real people. If anyone real were going through the same situations, I would feel awkward or judgmental. I wouldn't know what to do. Maybe it's because books and movies show us everything. In real life it's not possible to know all these personal inner feelings of people, but directors and authors make sure we know when they write it or film it.
Or maybe sad stories are simply inaccurate. Maybe this utter understanding and empathy doesn't exist in real life because we never really know what a truly real and complicated person is going through. And maybe it's because sad stories are the only way to expose ourselves to the surrealism of watching sad circumstances in detail from an outside viewpoint.
The thing about sad stories though, is that they're always remembered in this melancholy light. Every time you hear the name or think about it, every emotion comes back. They're memorable. I can't say the same about happy endings.