“9-1-1, what is your emergency?”
The above phrase is practically tattooed across the minds of everyday American citizens. The three little numbers provide a gateway to a voice, neither familiar nor recognizable – yet becomes saintlike in manner, in times of utter distress – a source of hope and comfort. The main premises of the show explore the idea of the people to whom these saint-like voices belong to, seek just as much comfort from those who dial the three numbers as the ears of these people do. The idea is highly questionable as many people, share the idea that the people behind these voices are simply performing their day-to-day job and quite frankly – “can not wait to leave the office”.
The episode opens with the narration of a first responder – Abbey (Connie Britton), a character who appears to have struggles in her day-to-day life. The narration is a strong, emotionally riveting and powerful piece which is performed with conviction. The opening is followed by consecutive events which are considered hard hitting by most, yet day-to-day by Abbey. It was at this point, that my attention was grabbed as the show raised a cold-stone truth: “The crazy part is as soon as help arrives, most people just hang up”. I immediately empathized with Abbey.
The first-responder team is then introduced – starting with a struggling chief, Nash (Peter Krause). Nash appears to be an interesting character with a dark past – a past he describes as part of “the way in which he copes with those they lose”. His character raises another theme of the series – the theme of how people deal with grief. Buckley (Oliver Stark) is thus introduced as the young, egotistical and irresponsible newbie – the trademarks of the typical heartthrob of a series. The relationship shared between the two, is of a father son nature and it’s development will be interesting to observe. Various other characters are thus, vaguely introduced: Chimney (Kenneth Choi) – the one with relationship problems, Hen (Aisha Hinds)- the only female character present in the squad (who is empowering) as well as members of the NYPD squad – in particular Grant (Angela Bassett), another strong female character dealing with marriage problems.
The pilot then continues with various events occurring thus showing the way in which the squad deals with various situations. As per usual with majority of medical related tv series now-a-days – the probability of the victims walking away unharmed appears to be highly likely. This is one of the few faults I find with this show (and with many others) – and I am hoping it will improve as the series grows, but I am fully aware that danger, heroism and immortality appears to be the main selling points of these kind of series now-a-days. The events portrayed may be overwhelming for some – so I would advise that some sensitive viewers should take precaution when watching this show. Overall, the cinematography was incredibly ascetically pleasing and the camera work captures the essence of the pulse-quickening themes at hand. I was fairly impressed with the animation in use when a call occurs – it was easier to follow and one could actually read the conversation between the caller and Abbey – instead of struggling with a muffled phone sound. The humor portrayed throughout is light-hearted and easily relatable, and I found myself laughing on multiple occasions – much needed after those pulse stopping moments!
Overall, I was incredibly impressed with the pilot episode from the acting to the themes portrayed – and am currently lining up the first season to binge! ( a better word to describe my feelings towards this show: obsessed!)