After watching the first two episodes, it looks like Ryan Murphy’s latest show 9-1-1: Lone Star has what it takes to continue offering viewers engaging character narratives and queer representation.
I got to know about 9-1-1: Lone Star after it was revealed the show had cast a trans actor (Brian Michael Smith) to play a trans man. I even talked about the casting choice in our webcast going over quality vs. quantity when it comes to queer representation in media. I also saw some fan interest around the show also having two gay characters. So, right out the gate, 9-1-1: Lone Star was ready to give the world three queer characters in the main cast.
However, considering it was a Ryan Murphy show, I cautiously began watching the first two episodes (titled ‘Pilot’ and ‘Yee-Haw’). While no one can deny the amazing work Murphy continues to do to showcase queer storylines in media, I think we all know his content can get a bit messy.
Well, I’m happy to report, the first two episodes did a great job with the queer narratives. Yes, there’s some drama involved with the gay characters named TK (Ronen Rubinstein) and Carlos (Rafael Silva), but it isn’t anything too over the top or problematic.
Also, the show understands the importance of representation that comes with Smith playing the character Paul Strickland. We don’t get a lot of trans men represented in media. So, kudos to Murphy and the team for making such a choice.
Other than the queer representation, we also have the type of Muslim representation I have been waiting to see on big shows. I’m so tired of Muslims being represented in a particular manner where they feel restricted by Islam and wait for someone (usually a white person) to save them.
The ‘white savior’ trope is the main factor in Nadia’s storyline in the highly-popular Netflix show Elite and I don’t see it changing anytime soon as season 3 approaches.
That’s why actress Natacha Karam playing Marjan Marwani (a firefighter) felt like a breath of fresh air to me. Marwani does all of the things her job expects her to do without feeling that her faith is keeping her back from living her life. So, again, yay for Murphy and his team.
The rest of the cast is made of very interesting characters. I’ll be honest. I’m not a fan of the TV show genre 9-1-1: Lone Star falls under. However, if you give me a cast of characters I like, I will stick with it until the series concludes. It was one of the reasons I stuck all the way with Elementry even though I couldn’t make myself be invested in the ‘mystery-of-the-week’ format.
As of writing this, I like every main character in this show. They all bring something different to the table and have a set of issues to deal with. While I’m interested in finding out how Owen Strand (Rob Lowe) and Michelle Blake’s (Liv Tyler) relationship develops, my favorite couple is Grace Ryder (Sierra McClain) and Judd Ryder (Jim Parrack).
The two actors share an amazing chemistry. I loved seeing Grace and Judd being supportive of each other as a married couple. Maintaining relationships is hard work. And sometimes I feel that content in media is more interested in causing drama and forcing characters to break up instead of making them be there for one another. Grace and Judd aren’t like that. And I’m here for the two making it through any issue together.
Anyway, all I’m saying is you should consider watching 9-1-1: Lone Star. I don’t know if the show will go off the rails as it continues, but for now, I’m looking forward to more episodes.
It talks about PTSD, racism, substance abuse, and a lot more (through a cast of characters you will want to root for) while maintaining a sense of humor.
9-1-1: Lone Star premiered on Fox January 19, 2020. The second episode aired on January 20, 2020. The third episode, titled ‘Texas Proud,’ is scheduled for January 27, 2020.
Have you watched it yet? Let us know.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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