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'Station 19,' the Latest from Shonda Rhimes, Arrives at ABC
March 22, 2018  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment
 

The common goal of diversity movements is to underscore the simple truth that people of all ethnicities, genders, ages, etc., share the same regular, ordinary, everyday human qualities.

The crew in ABC’s new firefighter drama Station 19 may be the most diverse group ever to pick up a hose. They’re black, white, brown, old, young, male, female, gay, straight, white collar and blue collar.

They prove convincingly that maximum diversity can produce something completely ordinary, which in this case is the show.

There’s nothing wrong with Station 19, whose executive producers include Shonda Rhimes and which premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. It’s just hard to find something that’s striking enough, so the show achieves the universal television goal of making the viewer eager to find out what will happen next.

On the positive side, credit Station 19 with becoming the first firehouse drama, and one of the first dramas in any genre, to cast a Latina as the lead character.

While Station 19 has the large ensemble cast standard for public employee dramas, much of the action revolves around Andrea Herrera, played by Rosewood alumna Jaina Lee Ortiz (top). She’s ambitious, highly competent and the daughter of Station 19’s captain, Pruitt Herrera (Miguel Sandoval).

Andrea has been taking care of her father since her mother died, back when Andy was 9. She’s been so busy doing that, and making sure all the ducks remain in order at the firehouse, that she has never been properly rewarded for her work by, say, getting promoted to lieutenant.

Station 19, consequently, has only one lieutenant now: Jack Gibson (Grey Damon, left), who is tall, rugged, handsome and crazy about Andrea.

Andrea is fond of him, too, only it seems Andrea also may have some residual affection for another public servant: Ryan Tanner (Alberto Frezza), a handsome cop she dated years before and whom she now she seems to run into regularly.  

This sort-of triangle consumes a good deal of the premiere episode, particularly since Andrea Monday morning quarterbacks all this stuff with her BFF Maya Bishop (Danielle Savre), a fellow firefighter and former Olympic medalist.

Since Station 19 began life as a subplot in an episode of the long-running Rhimes hit Grey’s Anatomy, it’s probably not surprising that intramural romance pops up behind every closed and semi-closed door.  

At times, this dilutes the action aspect of a show whose first episode features a scene in which a half dozen firefighters crash through the large glass windows of a high-rise and hurtle down into giant air cushions on the street below.

On the other hand, you don’t get a Shonda Rhimes show without a strong soap component, so it’s not an unexpected add-on.

Ortiz is charming, likeable, expressive, and energetic. It isn’t her fault that she has to do things like deliver a long monologue about her pride in firefighting – which is a perfectly good and valid point but sounds more like the kind of speech you’d give to the Kiwanis Club, not your colleagues.

There’s potential for striking drama here, some of it perhaps seeded when Andrea and Jack are tossed into a situation where they become competitors as well as colleagues.

The diversity of the cast also opens opportunities for a variety of storylines in a profession that by definition has a single rather focused mission. ABC continues to lead the network pack in casting diversity and, equally admirable, does it as smoothly as we wish real life could always go.

Still, there’s a lot of smoke on television these days, and if Station 19 is going to get our attention, it’s going to need to create some flames.
 
 
 
 
 
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1 Comments
 
 
R. Dunn
Hinckley, dont you stuck up liberal entertainment types support all this politically correct "diversity" crap (aka neo-socialism; that takes away basic freedom) being forced down the throats of average Americans...?
Mar 22, 2018   |  Reply
 
EG
FYI, tips here for deprogramming yourself... https://themindunleashed.com/2013/08/how-to-deprogram-yourself.html
Mar 25, 2018
 
 
 
 
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