Invisible To Me
Contain the Flame
Shock to the System
Boasting awkward, cringe-inducing dialogue, an embarrassing lack of understanding about how a fire department works and an abundance of over-acting, Station 19 is a calamity of errors from start to finish. Had this show marketed itself as a parodical spoof perhaps it would have fared better, especially given the number of awkward laughs and eye rolling moments this show manages to conjure. However, Station 19 is supposed to be viewed as a serious drama and in doing so, this is quite simply an unequivocal mess and one of 2018’s worst new TV shows.
Each episode takes a pretty familiar format with a soap opera drama around main protagonist Andy (Jaina Lee Ortiz) as she becomes captain of the Seattle Fire Department following a promotion from her Dad, Captain Pruitt (Miguel Sandoval). Armed with a messy love triangle and various personal issues hovering over her, the bulk content of each episode predominantly revolves around these problems rather than focusing on the fires and drama encapsulated within this. In a way this actually suits Station 19 because the sheer lack of research and understanding around exactly what happens in the event of a fire is embarrassing to say the least. Now, you could argue this is only the case if you understand the workings of firemen and how a fire department operates but seeing a firefighter panicking and frantically patting his leg to try to put out a fire instead of remaining calm and instigating the basic “Stop, drop and roll” manoeuvre is inexcusable.
If you ever needed an example of just how powerful music can be to a show’s integrity, look no further. Armed with some of the most inappropriately placed music seen in a TV show, Station 19 lacks even the most basic understanding in how to craft a scene to maximise drama. Upbeat pop tracks play during scenes that should be brimming with tension, including escaping a building from a fiery inferno, tracks abruptly begin playing midway through bites of dialogue and this constant barrage of music takes away what little naturally flowing drama is depicted through these scenes. The first episode alone features at least 10 different music tracks in a 42 minute run time which tells you all you need to know about just how relentless this is.
There are of course going to be those who enjoy the simplistic nature of this show and in a way, Station 19 does play on some of the basic tropes found in Grey’s Anatomy. From the opening 5 minutes, the soap opera drama and goofball humour will surely resonate with some people but with so much quality TV out there, it’s difficult to even recommend Station 19 as a morbid curiosity to see just how poorly constructed a drama can be. Going into this one pretending Station 19 is a parody does make this a little more enjoyable but because this firefighting drama is supposed to be taken seriously, it’s difficult to seriously recommend this one.
Ordinarily, we would wait until most of the season has been released before writing up a review for this but Station 19 is so poorly crafted, so irredeemably bad that it’s hard to see how the show can improve from here. The soap opera drama is clichéd and poorly implemented, the lack of accuracy depicted with even basic fire safety is borderline offensive and the cringe-inducing dialogue feels tired and forced. The constant barrage of inappropriately chosen music acts as the proverbial cherry on a bland, disappointing cake. Whilst it may not be the worst TV show ever released, it’s certainly the worst of 2018 so far and a really poor effort from all involved.