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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Station 19 is a drama about a Seattle fire station and the quirky characters who work there. It was created by the same team as long-running medical soap Grey's Anatomy, and includes a character spun off from that show. It's also very similar in content and tone to Grey's. Several fire or other emergencies take place on each episode; expect to see injuries, burns, blood, and characters in pain or mortal danger, including children. Firefighters must frequently do dangerous things like climbing buildings on fire or jumping out of high windows. When they're not fighting fires, characters are often engaging in romantic antics: hooking up, cheating, breaking up. There are same- and opposite-sex pairings with passionate kissing that sometimes progresses to characters removing their clothes (no nudity) and having implied sex off-camera. Language is mild: "damn," "ass," "hell." Adults drink alone at home and at social occasions; no one acts drunk. Like on Grey's, the cast is racially and ethnically diverse, includes women in powerful central roles, and has openly gay characters.
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What's the story?
In Seattle's STATION 19, fighting fires is the least of the drama. Andy Herrera (Jaina Lee Ortiz) is at the center of the action, and she's fierce on the job, and conflicted off it. She's juggling romantic attention from two dreamboats: her official boyfriend and firefighting colleague Jack Gibson (Grey Damon), and her longtime best friend and local police officer Ryan Tanner (Alberto Frezza). She's also coping with the failing health of her firefighter father Pruitt (Miguel Sandoval), and weathering the antics of her quirky firehouse co-workers, including "new guy" and former Grey's Anatomy surgeon Ben Warren (Jason George) and her ultra-competitive best friend Maya Bishop (Danielle Savre). STATION 19 was created by Stacy McKee, Grey's Anatomy producer, writer, and story editor.
Is it any good?
For better or for worse, what we have here is classic Shondaland, basically Grey's Anatomy set in a firehouse instead of a hospital (even down to the suspiciously brief establishing shots of the Seattle skyline). It's predictable, it's hackneyed, but it's an easily digestible fantasy: Andy is heroic at work, surrounded by friends and family who love her, has hunky guys desperately in love with her. Romantic or personal complications are interrupted by fire alarms, just the same way a medical emergency disrupted Grey's soap opera antics. It even has a similarly diverse cast, and painfully faux-poetic voice-overs from our main female character.
But people who like that type of thing will probably like Station 19 too. The fire-of-the-week setup ensures plentiful drama, the cast is pretty and ready for mix-and-match pairings, the dialogue and friendships between cast members (particularly the female ones) are natural and believable. "Find your medal and go after it," Maya advises Andy, supportively, during a sharing session, whereupon Andy rests her head on her friend's shoulder. Sweet. Sweet enough to forgive the show's cheesiness? You be the judge.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about relationships that take place in the workplace (or in high school or college classes), like those on Station 19. Are these types of relationships a good idea? What are the negative consequences of getting romantically involved with someone you work closely with?
How accurately does the show portray the firefighting profession? Do you think the bed-hopping and personal problems are overblown for the sake of ratings, or is it rooted in reality?
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