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Season 1

By Alexandrea CallaghanPublished about a month ago 5 min read

On a journey to writing a very long essay about queer representation in media I am throwing myself into very necessary research. So in light of recent events we will be starting 9-1-1. I have seen many clips of this show on TikTok but I have yet to actually watch a full episode. That said I will be taking my thoughts season by season, as I do, on my way to writing this much longer essay, also Angela Bassett is in it and that’s enough reason for me to watch anything. So here we go with the first season of 9-1-1.

So this is just Grey’s Anatomy….Connie Britton’s character is literally narrating and taking care of her mother with Alzheimer's. Also I am pretty sure Connie Britton isn’t even in the latest season. The way her narration is phrased is also very Meredith Grey. Is Ryan Murphy paying Shonda? Because this is ridiculous.

Okay so the narration thing was done away with after the first episode, someone had to have told him that he couldn’t just do Grey’s Anatomy but with firefighters.

Angela Bassett has such “don’t fuck with me” energy it's so great. This is such a great role for her. The scene where she arrests the horrible high school bully and then reams her parents is fantastic. Also she’s an executive producer on the show and that's great.

This first season is a little shaky at best, it really feels like they aren’t sure whose story they want to tell. In shows like this we obviously have an ensemble cast but, and I hate to keep making this comparison, like with Grey’s Anatomy there should still be a main character. They set up Connie Britton to be the main character but she’s not even a secondary character. The main characters seem to be Bobby and Athena. Followed by Buck, Chim and Henrietta.

So normally when a character makes a confession like they killed someone it's almost always just the guilt talking and they're never really responsible, but Bobby really did kill his family. His addiction is the reason that they are dead. As a fucking firefighter he really had a shitty old space heater, and a gas lantern around a bunch of alcohol….yeah you did that bud. I also just have so little sympathy for addicts. It's not a disease, it's a mental illness and it's 100% your responsibility to handle that shit.

Connie Britton is a great actress but all I see is Reyna James…I used to watch a lot of Nashville.

All of the relationships are super horribly written, no one has chemistry. The dialogue is stiff and awkward. I know all these actors so it definitely isn't them, it's absolutely the writing. Ryan Murphy has a lot of ideas that are fine but his actual writing skills have always been lacking.

Okay so I think we have established that there is absolutely no way for me to get through this without Grey’s Anatomy references and comparisons so here we go. Every Grey’s Anatomy episode uses whatever medical case they are working on for character development. It's a medical soap opera where the cases are plot devices to further character arcs and relationships. And like the show or not, that’s why it is brilliant. The problem with 9-1-1 so far is that the cases aren’t plot or character devices, they are simply page fillers. And considering that a problem that I’ve already listed is that the characters aren’t written very well it just makes the show really messy.

There's absolutely no sense of time in this show, no markers of time passing or how much time has passed whatsoever. The idea of a show that centers around all emergency responders was a good one, the execution however is all over the place.

Honestly the only character I am remotely invested in is Athena. Angela Bassett is awesome and her story is the only one that is remotely interesting, her husband came out as gay and now they are getting divorced.

Having the karma episode immediately after the full moon episode feels a little lazy but okay. These are themed episodes that should be done once a season, doing them consecutively really solidifies that this show has no structure.

Bobby tells Chim that he wants to kill himself and there is just no emotional weight here. We heard about Bobby’s family and his addiction 2 episodes ago and then nothing from him. We haven’t seen enough between him and Chim for this to be a big best friend reveal. And it might just be my apathetic ass but I just don’t care about Bobby, especially after his backstory. Your addiction is responsible for the death of 148 people including your wife and kids. Like yeah dude you should feel badly about that, forever, until you die. There is no redemption for that. You can save all the lives you want but your wife and kids are still dead because you couldn’t take responsibility for yourself like an adult.

Op the narration is back (Ep.9) Abby will never be Meredith Grey…why even set yourself up for that kind of comparison. Grey’s is a wildly successful series that's been running for nearly 20 years. I get that you want to do what works, but putting yourself in a direct comparison with a monolith like that is just plain stupid.

It has been a long time since I have binge watched a proper network show with proper network seasons. By the 7th episode of this series I was kind of questioning the skill and experience of the writing team. The characters were all very thin, the relationships shallow with no chemistry, and the actual cases were unnecessary to the actual show. They played no role in the character development of the ensemble and there was absolutely no direction or real structure involved in the writing. By episode 9 the personal relationships start actually feeling more personal, the biggest problem at this point was that Abby didn’t become a real character until she was romantically involved with Buck. And then she leaves?

The first season only had 10 episodes, some pilot seasons tend to be shorter because they start in the middle of what is considered a network season. So their whole season runs in the space that takes place after ongoing shows mid season hiatus. The show really didn’t find its legs until the last 2 episodes of the season. And even then the structural problems of the show were definitely still there. I am hoping that the show gets better over time but just for the record, if you take a whole season to learn how to write you are a bad writer. If Ryan Murphy wasn’t already established there is no way that this show would have sold off his pilot and he would not be hired for that writers room.

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About the Creator

Alexandrea Callaghan

Certified nerd, super geek and very proud fangirl.

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  • Flamance @ lit.about a month ago

    Nice work it excellent

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