The Red Band Society TV series presents its second season following international recognition
The series, produced by the Catalan Public Television Broadcaster and Filmax, has been exported to several countries and Steven Spielberg and Marta Kauffman are going to shoot a remake for the ABC network. ‘Polseres vermelles’ – which literally means ‘red bracelets’ in Catalan - describes the life of a group of six teenagers who live in a hospital as patients. It is based on the personal experiences of its creator, Albert Espinosa, who had cancer as a child. The first season was aired in 2011 and it became a huge success with audiences. The second season premiered on Thursday and will be broadcast as from Monday on TV3 at prime time.
Barcelona (ACN).- The second season of ‘The Red Band Society’ premiered on Thursday evening in Barcelona’s L’Auditori concert hall. The series, produced by the Catalan Public Television Broadcaster and Filmax, has been exported to several countries, including France, Italy, Mexico and the United States. In fact, Steven Spielberg bought its rights last year and, together with the creator of ‘Friends’ Marta Kauffman, will shoot a remake for the ABC network. ‘Polseres vermelles’ – which literally means ‘red bracelets’ in Catalan - describes the life of a group of six children and teenagers who live in a hospital as patients, suffering from cancer, anorexia and other long-term illnesses. The show underlines the values of friendship, loving life, tenderness and overcoming adversities, without dramatising the situation and patronising the characters. It is based on the personal experiences of its creator, Albert Espinosa, who had cancer as a child, and it is directed by Pau Freixas. The first season was aired between January and May 2011 and immediately became a huge success with audiences in Catalonia. In fact, the series’ last episode was presented in a public theatre with many fans excited to see the actors. And with the same excitement, the first episode of the second season was premiered on Thursday evening. The second season of ‘The Red Band Society’ will start broadcasts as from Monday on TV3 at prime time. It started being shot last July.
The Catalan Public Television Broadcaster, commonly known as TV3 – the same as its main TV channel – presented the second season of ‘Polseres vermelles’, with the challenge of revalidating the great success of the first season. In this second season “the polseres” – as the group formed by the teenagers calls itself – have grown up and they have “to face life with courage”, as Albert Espinosa explained at the press conference. The new season will have 15 episodes, two more than the first one. Àlex Monner, Joana Vilapuig, Igor Szapakowski, Marc Balaguer, Nil Cardoner and Mikel Iglesias have been cast. There will also be new characters.
The joy of life, friendship and bravery shown in the first season are still the values and the main messages of this second release. However, the characters are older and life has lead them onto different paths. Lleó is the only member of the gang who is still living in the hospital, while Toni will return as an attendant. Jordi will be working as a mechanic and taking care of his motorbike. Cristina will go to Toulouse to study dance and Nil will focus on playing the cello.
According to Igor Szpakowski (Jordi) the second season is “much more realistic” and “therefore harder”. Marc Balaguer (Toni) explained that “people will understand the characters, their psychology and the story of each one of them better”. For Àlex Monner, the characters “have taken another dimension and courage is in all of them”, although he stressed that the bravest one is Lleó, the character he plays.
In the second season, Lleó and Cristina (Joana Vilapuig) develop their love story, which very shyly started in the first release. “The love between Lleó and Cristina is real, it is not something from the first season because they needed support; it can be seen it’s real love, and love has a very important role [in the season]”, stated Vilapuig. “Love is what makes them carry on”, she summarised.
The four actors emphasised that shooting ‘Polseres vermelles’ has changed their way of approaching life. “I cannot imagine life without having participated in ‘Polseres’”, states Szpakowski. In fact, they believe that one of the essential elements for having achieved such great success, including at international level, is the “friendship and brotherhood” between the actors in real life. Àlex Monner, who has just received a Spanish Film Academy Goya nomination for his latest film ‘Els nens salvatges’, said he is “cheerful and happy” to realise how people have recognised his work. He also added that he is “not concerned whether he will win the Goya Award”, because he “has already fulfilled his dream”.
An international success
Albert Espinosa, the creator of the series, said he is “happy to present” the second season, in which “courage” is one of the most important elements. “It is hard being a teenager, but it is even harder being a teenager within a hospital”, he explained. In addition, the Director of the Catalan Public Television Broadcaster, Eugeni Sallent, emphasised that their success is based on “transmitting qualitative values, but also quantitative ones”. “The season we are premiering has a very powerful script and stories that make it very attractive”, he stated. For Sallent, ‘Polseres vermelles’ shows the public service role TV3 is playing. “Catalonia is a country rich in audiovisual talent and TV3 has to work as a platform for this talent”, he concluded.
After their huge success in Catalonia, ‘The Red Band Society’ was also broadcast to the rest of Spain by the private station Antena 3 in summer 2012. Furthermore, the Catalan series has been exported to France (where it is called 'Les bracelets rouges'), Mexico, Finland, Italy and the United States. Currently, TV3 is in talks to sell the series to audiovisual companies so it will be aired in Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Russia.