Critical Condition: 9-1-1

9-1-1 | Three, 9.05 Monday


➢ “A series about 911 responders comes with built-in advantages in the drama department. Even so, there’s no missing the exceptional depth of detail, the emotional range and enterprise that undergird standard events—trying, for instance, to breathe life back into a swimmer knocked unconscious—and make them affecting.” — Wall Street Journal.

➢ “Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (American Horror StoryGlee), 9-1-1 focuses primarily on Bobby (Peter Krause), a seasoned firefighter in recovery for alcohol and drug abuse; Athena (Angela Bassett), a beat cop trapped in an unhappy marriage; and Abby (Connie Britton), a ‘what’s-your-emergency?’ operator caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s and trying to get over a bad breakup. The pilot starts with tension at a seven and ratchets it up as the episode goes along, rarely pausing between professional and personal emergencies.” — USA Today.

➢ “Could subsequent episodes start breaking from the established procedural mold with long-term arcs or massive character twists or stunning emergencies that make you laugh/cry/barf in new ways? Maybe. The pilot doesn’t offer any indication that that’s what Murphy and Falchuk are thinking. It has a high network gloss, repeatable broadcast storytelling and the opportunity to watch an as-good-as-it-gets cast at work.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

➢ “It’s a West Coast variation of the gone, forgotten Third Watch, although it’s more topical to explain it as ‘All the Chicago shows but now Los Angeles’ … Any network procedural can come on strong in the expensive pilot, with impressive location work and motorcycling bad guys sprayed skyward by water cannons. I can’t imagine 9-1-1 can sustain this kind of kinetic energy, and I’m worried that Britton in particular seems far sidelined from the rest of the cast.” — Entertainment Weekly.

➢ “As long as these first responders are on the job, careening from one wild crisis to another 9-1-1 has the making of a hit … It’s when we go off duty with these heroes, played by one of TV’s most ridiculously overqualified casts that the show flatlines with maudlin subplots that might have been rejected by General Hospital.” — TV Guide.

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