9-1-1: Thoughts on the Pilot Episode

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The new drama 9-1-1 debuted last night on FOX. The series is a “fast-paced exploration into the lives and careers of first responders — including police officers, paramedics and firefighters — the individuals who put their lives on the line every day to save others.

The show draws from real-life, high-pressure experiences of emergency response providers who regularly face heart-stopping situations that are often unpredictable, intense and uplifting at the same time.

The ensemble cast includes:

* Angela Bassett as LAPD Officer Athena Grant
* Peter Krause as LA Firefighter Bobby Nash
* Connie Britton as 9-1-1 Dispatcher Abby Clark
* Kenneth Choi as LA Firefighter Howie “Chimney” Han
* Aisha Hinds as LA Firefighter Henrietta “Hen” Wilson
* Oliver Stark as LA Firefighter Evan “Buck” Buckley
* Rockmond Dunbar as Michael Grant, Athena’s husband

Please join Leah and Rueben as they discuss their likes, dislikes and overall thoughts on the show:

Leah’s Thoughts:

Amazing cast. Connie Britton, Peter Krause, Angela Basset to name just a few.

Interesting use of cops, fire department and dispatch. Connected but not together.

Personal life drama that is realistic. Older parent to take care of, coming out to your family, etc…

I could have done with the totally stereotypical pretty boy who has too much sex. Seemed a little much.

Yeah, that’s it. That’s all I have.

I always say that pilots are hard. You have a lot of characters and information to impart in your allotted time and that isn’t easy. 9-1-1 did a great job as far as I’m concerned. They introduced everyone and gave a small snippet of personal information so we care about the characters going forward. Sure, it’s a predictable premise, but very little TV these days is groundbreaking. They laid out a serial drama really well. I’m going to tune in next week.

Rueben’s Thoughts:

I agree with the great cast, especially Aisha Hinds, who was a little under-used in the pilot, but I hope will be featured more in future episodes.

My good friend Tq Gaskins, who is an emergency dispatcher, mentioned online that “Connie embodies a dispatcher; it’s like it’s in her soul.” I have to wholeheartedly agree with that assessment. For me, she was the best part of the pilot episode next to the punk firefighter hosing down that home invader, knocking him off the motorbike.

I liked that they made each of the characters seem as real as possible with very little posturing.

I agree with you, Leah, Buck – the punk firefighter and his self-diagnosed sex addiction – PLEASE!! I so could have done without that – and his using the firetruck for his trysts? Seriously, he really is a dumb ass. Sure he redeemed himself with that last minute save, but he needs to grow up not just get a second chance. And how about his not knowing who Rambo or Conan the Barbarian is? Really?! Are all millennials really that clueless?

I was a bit lukewarm on the pilot until the end with Abby (Connie’s character) keeping that home invader busy while trying to save that little girl [and the aforementioned hose down]. I could have done without the snake victim, though? Who in their right mind has large snakes like that in their home?! Just so dumb to me.

I also have to mention what my friend (the aforementioned Tq Gaskins) also shared online “they obviously didn’t consider things like jurisdictions” – the characters involved covered too wide a net of territory and most fire departments, police and dispatchers cover a very specified area. TPTB behind the show MIGHT want to keep that in mind. But poet license in the world of entertainment is poet license, right?

I will give the show a couple of episodes before I make a final decision, but the pilot didn’t chase me away from watching – at least not yet.

What are your thoughts on the new drama? Please share your thoughts below.

The next new episode of 9-1-1 will air on FOX on Wednesday, January 10 at 9/8c.

Using her favorite online handle, Rueben is an East Coast-bred gal who is now a permanent Californian and a lifelong tv-oholic. She watches at least 25 TV shows a week, goes to the movies as often as possible, listens to music every waking moment, reads every day and “plays” on the internet every chance she can. Some of her current favorite TV shows are Outlander, Blindspot, The Blacklist, Killjoys, The Brave, The Shannara Chronicles, Good Witch, When Calls the Heart, The 100, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Fosters. Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at


  1. brightdark

    January 4, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    You hit just about all the same likes that I have. I’m seriously looking forward to the next episodes.

    I was very hesitant about this show because it was a Ryan Murphy production but I’m glad I gave it a chance.

    • Rueben

      January 4, 2018 at 8:22 pm

      Glad you agreed. I, too, was uncertain about it because of Ryan Murphy, but pleasantly surprised. Although I didn’t like all of it; there were enough good moments and characters for me to keep watching for at least a little while.

  2. Cara

    January 9, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    I was more interested than I thought I might be, and I’m definitely with you on Buck though. Too much and too unlikable. I’ll keep watching though, to see where it goes in the next couple episodes.

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