Sunday, September 23, 2018

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - Bobby Wants More From His Relationship with Athena While Buck's Sister Visits in 'Under Pressure'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 2.01 "Under Pressure"

On one of the hottest days of the year, the first responders feel the pressure as harrowing incidents keep happening around the city, including a road rage accident involving a van full of tourists, an emergency at an auto-repair shop and a veteran with a live grenade embedded in his leg. Buck gets a surprise visit from his sister. Athena questions her relationship with Bobby. At the fire station, handsome new hire Eddie jeopardizes Buck's chances of being chosen for a fireman calendar.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of FOX's 9-1-1.

"Under Pressure" was written by Tim Minear & Brad Falchuk and directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton

9-1-1 opens its new season with a montage in which a bunch of disasters seemingly happen at the same time during the hottest day of the year in Los Angeles. It's the show welcoming the audience back and giving us the moments that really worked from the first season. The disasters were always more effective than the melodrama in the personal lives of the characters. Of course, these opening disasters are also resolved in that montage. And so, not a whole lot of time is spent with the bus that drives off a cliff or the manhole covers being flung into the air because of the buildup of gas below. However, the show still saves some weird and crazy disasters for later on as well. That includes a man being punctured with a hose filling him up with gas, a man with a live grenade in his leg and some idiot YouTube pranksters putting their friend's head in a microwave full of cement. Those moments still remain delightfully over-the-top and ridiculous. The show continues to execute them with the whimsy everyone has come to enjoy so much. Meanwhile, the new season introduces two new cast members - Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ryan Guzman. However, the show chooses to center their debuts around Buck, which is.... a choice. Buck is clearly a character the show loves so much. And yet, I still don't have a ton of patience for him and his various antics. His feud with Eddie is just silly and not really rooted in anything. It's all about him being jealous of no longer being the only attractive young guy at the firehouse. That's basically it. It's not a conflict that could last for longer than an episode. However, Buck's search for a nickname for Eddie already seems completely unnecessary. Meanwhile, Hewitt comes in as Buck's sister Maddie. Now, him foolishly believing she's Abby is such an awkward way to establish that they are siblings. It's really unfortunate. Plus, Maddie comes with her own baggage that is sure to get very complicated sooner rather than later this season. She is fleeing an abusive marriage. As such, the show continues to give weighty material to actors who wouldn't normally be doing a procedural. However, it also just seems like Hewitt is a replacement for Connie Britton this season. Buck and Maddie have even moved into Abby's house. Four months have gone by in between seasons. The show is mostly just going to say that Abby is traveling until Britton decides to come back to the show for a guest appearance. That probably won't be for awhile though because she's busy filming a new TV show. This way also means the show didn't have to build a new set for its characters to live in. Sure, it's weird considering that Abby and Buck are no longer together. But the show doesn't want the audience to think too much about that. Instead, it just wants us to be happy because Bobby and Athena are enjoying their relationship. Sure, Athena is too caught up in how others will perceive her. She doesn't want to be deemed a failure. But that's what makes it rousing when the firehouse already knew they were a couple. Plus, it makes things simple and easy immediately before Athena almost gets caught in an emergency herself.