By Gregory Robinson
ABC Family's drama series 'Chasing Life' explores the harsh reality of suffering from cancer, whilst also trying to maintain a semblance of reality in one's personal life.
The series follows 24 year-old April, a smart and quick-witted aspiring journalist, just as things start to look up at work, home and on the romance front with co-worker Dominic, April gets the devastating news from an estranged uncle that she has cancer.
Dealing with cancer can be difficult for some, however, the youth network has not shied away from showing the extremities of the disease. Not only the treatment stage, but also finding out one is suffering from cancer, and how they try to deal with it.
Series star Italia Ricci, who plays cancer sufferer April said "there isn't a right way to portray the struggle with cancer, it's different for everyone".
Production recently wrapped on the 21 episodes for the first season, with the mid-season finale set to air on August 12th. Producers who attended the TCA's revealed that the last episode "will explore April's 7 days in chemo". It appears as though ABC Family has not shied away from the pain experienced from suffering from cancer and will use the series as a hub for sufferers and survivals to see April's trials and tribulations throughout the series.
However, 'Chasing Life' is not the first time we have seen a young protagonist suffering from cancer. The upcoming Fox drama 'Red Band Society' features a character who must have his leg removed due to the disease. Furthermore, the topic has also been explored in the unexpected teen summer smash 'The Fault in our Stars'.
Executive producer Joni Lefkowitz said "young people with cancer feel forgotten, they're glad to see stories about what they go through".
The importance of the reliability factor in 'Chasing Life' and films such as 'The Fault in our Stars' gives audiences the chance to view the progression of the disease organically. Executive producer, Patrick Sean Smith said "I think we’re all fascinated by the end, and death, millenials like to talk about things that make grownups uncomfortable”.
This realistic story, he said, gives young viewers a chance to look at death “organically … without a zombie apocalypse”.