Connie Britton in 9-1-1 (photo illustration: Tina Tiller)
Connie Britton in 9-1-1 (photo illustration: Tina Tiller)

Pop CultureApril 10, 2019

Help, emergency, I’m addicted to 9-1-1

Connie Britton in 9-1-1 (photo illustration: Tina Tiller)
Connie Britton in 9-1-1 (photo illustration: Tina Tiller)

Ryan Murphy? A procedural show? Connie Britton’s hair? Emily Writes is hooked on 9-1-1, now showing on Lightbox.

If you’ve ever watched a crime or rescue procedural and thought ‘I really wish people in this episode would be maimed or die in a more original way,’ well, have I got a show for you!

Ryan Murphy’s 9-1-1 is utterly fucking bonkers and I was hooked from the very first person thrown from a roller coaster. Every episode is jam-packed with the most implausibly gory and ridiculous accidents and emergencies, all sandwiched between the near-incomprehensible personal dramas of the key characters.

Sick in bed, I watched all ten episodes of the first season in two days. I don’t think I’ve ever gorged on TV the way I did with 9-1-1. The premise of the show is simple: Each episode a bunch of people get absolutely fucked in various ways and they’re rescued by hot firemen and hot paramedics after calling a hot emergency operator.

I am not generally a fan of crime shows, but 9-1-1 has somehow combined my favourite things: hot people in uniforms and people being injured due to their stupidity. It’s the perfect combo for trash television.

The characters are stupid beyond measure. The fireman’s name is Buck. I swear. But if you thought stupid dialogue and stupid characters might equal appalling acting you’d be wrong.

Because, astonishingly, 9-1-1 stars not just Angela Badass Bassett but Connie Britton too! It also has everydad Peter Krause who has carried his Adam Braverman character from Parenthood over to 9-1-1 but this time his kids are dead rather than being annoying in every episode.

Yes, his kids and wife are dead. Because it wouldn’t be a Ryan Murphy show if everyone didn’t have an incredibly difficult to follow back story that makes you think ‘What? How does that even work?’

But unlike American Horror Story, there aren’t a huge number of characters to follow. You can watch 9-1-1 and turn your brain off. It definitely has similarities to AHS with the gore factor (and of course the same actors) but it’s a more accessible watch. It’s Ryan Murphy lite.

Angela GD Bassett doing her best on 9-1-1.

But back to the deaths – because the true stars of 9-1-1 are the people who died along the way. Every show begins with a 9-1-1 call:

9-1-1 Operator what’s your emergency?

My boss is burning up!

He has a fever?

No he’s trapped inside a broken sun bed and he’s literally on fire.

Now, that is quality TV. How about a dad on a jumping castle and it’s really windy and WHAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT?

How about you got shot by a tree in revenge for killing your wife BRO!

How about you got cut clear in half, like literally one whole half of your body is separate from the other whole half of your body and you say to Captain Bobby Nash “Oh I need to talk to my son” and then your son calls and Captain Bobby Nash is like “let him talk to his son” and so you just lay there, what else can you do you’re literally cut in half, and you talk to your son about how much you liked your bike ride before you got cut in half and everyone is looking at their watch like “damn this guy is doing well for being cut right in half” and then Captain Bobby Nash sits on the gutter and is like “Hard day”.


I can’t stop watching this shit. I need a support group. I have work to do. I’ve got a life to live. But I need to keep watching because he has a pole stuck through his head and what will happen next? What is a devil dog? Is it really that easy to do a tracheotomy on the floor of a restaurant? Will the man get killed by the garbage compactor? Will I be able to stop watching? Who stole Buck’s identity? How come Chimney doesn’t even have a lazy eye after literally getting a pole through his God Damn Face? Can I get my life back?

Help me. It’s an emergency. 9-1-1, are you there?

You can watch season one of Lightbox right here.

Keep going!