I've been watching the new FOX drama and it is something.


FOX's new show 9-1-1 has been a ratings hit since its debut a month ago. I've been along for the ride since then, and let me say, this show is not good. But in the best ways.

I started watching the show after the aggressive ad campaign that aired during the NFL playoff games and saw that Peter Krause (from Parenthood and Six Feet Under) was starring. The show follows the different forms of first responders (police, fire, and dispatch) as they tackle different cases. However, these cases are so over-the-top and ridiculous that you begin to worry about everyone in Los Angeles. Throughout 4 episodes, these are the emergencies that have happened:

  • Baby rescued from pipe after teen mother tried to flush it
  • Child trapped in house with burglars and dispatch helps her get out
  • Rollercoaster accident
  • Roof jumper
  • Attempted overdose by main characters daughter
  • Bounce castle blows over a cliff and people fall out
  • Main character gets pipe in head after car accident
  • Plane crash

And that's only 4 episodes into the series! They are setting the bar way too high for wacky emergencies.

Aside from the emergencies being ridiculous, the main characters are basic caricatures of themselves. You've got Buck, who is the hotshot newbie who likes to have sex with everyone. The most angry the series has made me was Buck having sex with his grief therapist after he drops someone from a rollercoaster. I see a therapist regularly (not for the same issues) and that's a line that never gets crossed. You also have Angela Basset playing an LAPD sergeant who I call Angela Basset because I haven't learned the characters name (I do the same for Connie Britton's dispatch character, Connie Britton). Angela Basset's storyline involves her being married to a man who has been gay the whole time and the trouble that causes at home.

SPOILER: It's a lot of trouble.

Connie Britton's character has to take care of her Mom who is suffering from alzheimer's because that's still a dramatic disease to insert into your show. She's also single and has trouble meeting guys because of this.

Peter Krause as Bobby is good, though. He has tons of secrets because he's been doing his job a long time. He is often wise, and as of last night's episode, we found out he's an alcoholic. Peter Krause is lucky he still has so much goodwill from playing Nate Fischer on Six Feet Under (and for being married in real life to Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girl's) or else I would have tuned out by now.

And yet I haven't tuned out. Even though the show isn't great, I still enjoy it. What other show offers you the chance to see a recently divorced dad try to bond with his kid by climbing into a bouncy house, thus causing it to come loose and fly over the side of a hill? You won't find that on This is Us. The show has tons of issues, but this week's episode shows promise that the show can tell a compelling story without all the sensationalism. Hopefully, there is more of that to come.

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