'Station 19' Review: 'Grey's Anatomy' Spinoff Has Serious Shoes To Fill

Grey's Anatomy via ABC

'Station 19' Review: 'Grey's Anatomy' Spinoff Has Serious Shoes To Fill

Station 19 is finally here. The straight-to-series Grey's Anatomy spinoff will air on ABC this Thursday, March 22, after an all-new episode of Grey's, as part of the TGIT lineup. But, is Station 19 one that Grey's showrunner Shonda Rhimes can be proud of? And more importantly, would Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) approve? The Station 19 premiere certainly appears to fit right into Shondaland quite nicely. With diverse (for Hollywood's standards) and beautiful actors, strong and intelligent women, and the perfectly chaotic blend between work and personal life, what else could we ask for? We know what we're getting ourselves into, after all. But, is Station 19 just an excuse for Grey's Anatomy fans to get excited about crossover events? Can Station 19 hold its own? It's time to scrub out (sort of). Here is our Station 19 review for the premiere.

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Andy Herrera

Although Shonda Rhimes' name is attached to every Shondaland project, it appears that the showrunner and executive producer for Station 19 is Stacy McKee. Though, that doesn't mean that Rhimes is out of the picture. Both Rhimes and Betsy Beers are EPs for Station 19. This trio of fantastic women have worked on Grey's together and the flagship show's influence is clear.

Station 19 is lead by newcomer Jaina Lee Ortiz, who plays Andy Herrera, the daughter of the station's captain, Pruitt Herrera (Miguel Sandoval), and we immediately know that we are meant to identify her as the Meredith Grey of Station 19. In fact, the similarities between the two are a little too close. Much like Meredith in Grey's Anatomy, Station 19's Andy is a strong yet vulnerable woman with incredible drive and work ethic. However, the premiere dives into her character a little more throughout the episode that makes her more than just a half empty shell of a Meredith Grey copycat.

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Ben Warren

The Station 19 also follows Grey's alum, Ben Warren (Jason George), who left surgery to become a firefighter. Though, it's funny that a show that is basically Grey's Anatomy with fire, does not showcase the one character that came from the flagship series. Station does not take the time to fully introduce Ben's new life as a firefighter, and as a Grey's fan and someone who is new to this show, that detail (or lack thereof) will be disappointing and a little confusing. He seems more like an afterthought, treated more as the butt of the joke throughout the premiere episode, rather than the fully fleshed out character we knew he could be. But, there's plenty of potential with Ben. We just hope to see it in later episodes.

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ABC/Mitch Haaseth

Jack Gibson And Ryan Tanner

Call us hopeless romantics, but we were pleasantly content with the introduction of Jack Gibson (Grey Damon), who seems to be in all in when it comes to his coworker, Andy, who doesn't seem to feel the same way, and also Ryan Tanner (Alberto Frezza), Andy's childhood best friend, former high-school sweetheart, and now police officer. Sure, we've seen love triangles again and again. But, isn't that why we loved Grey's in the first place? Also, unlike Grey's, who flaunts off Meredith and Derek Shepherd's (Patrick Dempsey) hookup in the first season, Station starts off right in the action of the fire, with Andy ready to go. We're happy to see that this love triangle takes a back seat to Andy's goals and aspirations. And more importantly, to the excitement of the fires.

But, let's also get real for a second. Aren't the love triangles a huge part in why fans loved Grey's so much? At some point, longing gazes and the few scenes of "will they or won't they" won't be enough to sustain those fans. The show will likely dive into the love triangle more. After all, the premiere took more time developing it than main characters, but it not, Station 19 will have to serve something just as exciting if they want to survive with this crowd.

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ABC/Mitch Haaseth

Maya Bishop, Victoria Hughes, Travis Montgomery, And Dean Miller

So, when I said that the Station 19 premiere took more time developing the love triangle than their main cast, I wasn't lying. Much like Ben, the introductions and development of other characters lacked in many ways. They were forgettable. Victoria Hughes (Barrett Doss), who is supposedly the instigator at the firehouse who likes pulling pranks and being the life of the party, Dean Miller (Okieriete Onaodowan), who is single firefighter with plenty of charm for the ladies, Travis Montgomery (Jay Hayden), who is an openly gay firefighter who plays by the rules, and Maya Bishop (Danielle Savre), who is basically the dark and twisty Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) character of Station 19 and person to Andy.

Perhaps the Station 19 premiere took on too many characters at once, so there wasn't enough time to properly introduce everyone in 43 minutes. When Grey's premiered, every character had a spark, a motive, a reason they were there that made them stand out to the audience and connect with them. (Minus Karev who was digitally added later on.)

Overall, it seems that Station 19 is just Grey's Anatomy with fire instead of medical emergencies. We've seen the tropes before a million times and we're ok with that (for now) since we're sure that Shondaland will come up with a crazy twist. That's what we're hoping anyway. What we can't get with is the lack of heart that the Station 19 characters were given. Perhaps that's just another thing we'll have to wait and see. And we know that Station 19 is not Grey's. We want to see and learn more about these characters. We want to care about them from the very beginning. For now, only time will tell.