9-1-1: TV’s most absurd, melodramatic and addictive action drama is back

James Croot is the editor of Stuff to Watch.

OPINION: “I really thought this year was going to be different.”

That’s a complete statement of exasperation from Robert “Bobby” Nash (Peter Krause), captain of the LA Fire Department’s 118 and one of the two craziest network drama leads perhaps. be from America.

Yes, among the plethora of absurd police procedurals and melodramatic medical dramas, 9-1-1 (returning for a fifth season Monday, May 2 on Three and Three OnDemand) is perhaps the craziest – and most infuriating – of all. Each episode unfolds like a Michael Bay disaster movie crossed with a telenovela, as the city and our heroes reel from crisis to crisis. The twists and dramatic character arcs are awfully telegraphed, the villains are one-dimensional at best, and the writers definitely overused the “how this team member started” and “from beginning to end of story” narrative devices. .

PROVIDED

9-1-1 is known for its sometimes crazy scenarios.

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And yet, despite the seemingly endless carnage, both visual (for the City of Angels and its inhabitants) and for the art of storytelling, once immersed in it, it’s hard not to become hopelessly addicted to 9- 1-1.

Created by the evil minds behind everything from Glee to American Horror Story and Scream Queens, it boasts the same finesse, high production values ​​and self-awareness that made these shows sing and grow a devoted army of fans. .

Each week, the team of firefighters, cops, paramedics and emergency call center operators will be put through their paces before emerging with a wink and a smile – at each other. others and to the public (although there is often a deliberate “scar” created to retrieve down the line).

In a way, with all the blow-ups and meltdowns and family talk, it’s the TV equivalent of the Fast and Furious franchise, a belief backed by the increasingly over-the-top storylines in which the 118 find themselves. find. Having already faced earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, serial mail bombers and snipers, in the season five opener it’s a ransomware attack that immobilizes Los Angeles.

With all the blowouts, meltdowns, and family talk, 9-1-1 is arguably the TV equivalent of the movie franchise Fast and Furious.

Provided

With all the blowouts, meltdowns, and family talk, 9-1-1 is arguably the TV equivalent of the movie franchise Fast and Furious.

GPS systems start sending cars into the canals, LAX air traffic control suddenly goes blind and deaf, and hospitals are without power. As this situation escalates to the point where zoo animals run rampant downtown (naturally the series’ opening gambit), the 9-1-1 drama ace faces his own personal nightmare.

In a thread picked up from the end of last season, the serial rapist who attacked LAPD patrol sergeant Athena Grant (the truly gorgeous Angela Bassett, who sells even the craziest or craziest scenarios with her) take no prisoners, suffer no fools’ approach to anything thrown at him) is now on trial the very day the city’s electronic systems are melting down. Naturally, the evil and manipulative Jeffrey Hudson (Noah Hudson) has decided to represent herself, puts Athena on the helm, and proceeds to recount all the indiscretions of her long career (including this time about a season ago when she threatened the teenager who was bullying her daughter whose we always knew she would come back to haunt her).

And, if all that’s not enough for you, still fresh after nearly dying at the hands of a sniper, firefighter Eddie Diaz (Ryan Guzman) has a disturbing panic attack at a department store and an employee of the center. Calls Maddie Buckley (Jennifer Love Hewitt) – who is both the sister of another main ensemble member and the partner of another – is seriously struggling with postnatal depression. Expect to see more as the season progresses, even if the city miraculously returns to normal operations next week. Environmental cleanup is something that happens off-screen and is hardly ever talked about.

Angela Bassett is the true star of 9-1-1, selling even the craziest or craziest scenarios with her “take no prisoners, suffer no fools” approach to anything thrown at her.

Provided

Angela Bassett is the true star of 9-1-1, selling even the craziest or craziest scenarios with her “take no prisoners, suffer no fools” approach to anything thrown at her.

In truth, distinguishing the quirks of 9-1-1 and exposing its shortcomings is one of the real joys of watching the show. It’s interactive visualization of the best kind and while you and your viewing partner(s) try to outwit themselves to guess what’s going to happen next, sniff in stereo at the most flowery plot lines and dialogue and laugh to the over-emotion. sometimes wild, while becoming hopelessly entangled in the lives and loves of screen regulars. That the cast – at least occasionally – seems to be having fun, makes it all the more satisfying.

As they say at the opening on Monday evening: “Is this the end of the world?

“When isn’t it?” comes the deliciously tongue-in-cheek answer.

Season 5 of 9-1-1 begins on Three at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, May 2. Episodes will also be available on ThreeNow. The first three seasons can be found on Disney+.