Angry dogs attacking? Hanging upside down from a stuck roller coaster? No matter your emergency, Angela Bassett is there to bring you back from the brink. The actress is bringing calm to chaos every week on 9-1-1 (9pm Wednesdays on FOX).
Our first thought was “Oh great, another cop drama. Just what we need.” But then we saw the trailer and the first couple episodes, and it turns out Angela Bassett is just what the cop drama genre needs! With so many of those shows on TV it’s going to take a lot for 9-1-1 to breakthrough, but Angela told the Critics Cocktail that the personal stories are raising the bar. “What she’s going through dramatically family-wise I think that certainly was something I hadn’t tackled before so I thought that would be a very interesting character situation to mine.”
So Much Crime, So Little Time
“There may be a crime and it’s solved before the first commercial break.” Angela also says 9-1-1’s fast pace keeps the show moving. While the SVUs of the world focus on a ‘crime of the week,’ 9-1-1 is working several different emergencies at once. That makes sense since it’s set in Los Angeles, which rivals Florida for weird, crazy, barely believable emergencies. In the second episode Ms. Bassett found herself getting upstaged by four-legged guest stars. “Yes yes I got to act with animals and they steal the show. They definately do their own thing.” But she quickly learned how to make friends and shared her secret, telling us “A little protien a little meat and you can get ’em to see it your way.”
If you think some of the emergencies seem far fetched, you’re not alone. “When I read the first episode getting ready I said oh this is out of (creator) Ryan Murphy‘s, you know, he dreamt this up.” But she quickly got schooled. “I said that on set one day just messin’ around. And they showed me on Youtube it was really an actual situation that had occurred.”
Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
Our first instinct is to watch 9-1-1 with a solid Pinot Grigio, because a good wine is like Angela Bassett: They both get better and better over time. Just don’t overindulge. You don’t want to be on the phone with someone saying ‘what’s your emergency?’