Station 19, the highly-anticipated Grey's Anatomy spin-off that will follow Ben Warren (Jason George) and his new colleagues as he makes a career switch to become a firefighter, is finally set to premiere on Thursday (9/8c, ABC).
By now, viewers know that every show in the Shondaland universe has several similar key ingredients, but just how much will Station 19 resemble the mothership that made Shonda Rhimes a household name in the first place? The answer is... a lot! Let's count the ways in the premiere alone:
1. Grey's characters! First and foremost, Station 19's premiere will look very familiar to Grey's viewers because... well, because part of it takes place in Grey Sloan Memorial. Station 19 characters also have meaningful interactions with Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and (obviously) Bailey (Chandra Wilson) in the first episode. It's likely we'll be seeing a lot of Bailey as the show progresses, seeing how she's Ben's wife, but will the two series continue to cross over, a la the One Chicago franchise? We sure hope so.
2. Voiceovers. Station 19 borrows the Grey's trope of having a character offer up a philosophical overview of what will be dealt with in the episode. In the premiere, it's Andy Herrera (Jaina Lee Ortiz) providing a very Meredith Grey-esque voiceover.
3. A diverse group of young, attractive professionals. Shonda Rhimes broke the mold with Grey's by featuring an ensemble cast that featured several people of color, including Korean-American actress (Sandra Oh) in one of the leading roles. That's a trend that's continued with every Shondaland show, and Station 19 is no exception. The spin-off has a Latina (Ortiz) as its leading lady, and the firehouse includes several other men and women of color, including George. Oh, and as with other Shondaland shows, many of them are ridiculously good-looking as well.
4. Ride-or-die BFFs. On Grey's, it took awhile for Cristina (Oh) and Meredith to become each other's "person," but on Station 19 there's an unbreakable female friendship at the center of the story right off the bat, between Andy and her fellow firelady/ride-or-die Maya Bishop (Danielle Savre), and it's already the most interesting relationship on the show.
5. Lots of at-work makeouts. Only this time, it's not an on-call room where co-workers are getting down to business; it's an equipment storage room.
6. Slow-motion musical montages. Grey's has a tendency to hammer you over the head with Important Moments, which are typically telegraphed by the camera switching to slow-motion while some type of broody indie song plays over the action. Yeah, that's a thing here, too.
7. Weird competitions. Like the young doctors on Grey's Anatomy, the firefighters on Station 19 are weirdly competitive with each other, immediately calling dibs on things like who gets to carry a dog out of a charred house.
8. Quippy dialogue. The show doesn't have a catch phrase like "Seriously?" (yet), but the rapid-fire cutesy banter — like when one firefighter compliments her colleague's "sex swagger" — will sound familiar to any Grey's fan.
10. Bizarre cases. Just as Grey's doesn't stick to your run-of-the-mill medical cases (remember the couple that got impaled together while having sex?), the calls that the Station 19 firefighters respond to aren't exactly ho-hum. Case in point: In the premiere, they're tasked with freeing a girl who's stuck between two brick walls.
11. The rookies get no respect. Every few years, a new crop of interns cycles through Grey Sloan Memorial, and they're always super annoying and often way too cocky. Remember, even Meredith and Alex (Justin Chambers) started out as pesky newbies back in Season 1! But on Station 19, the obnoxious new kid on the block is none other than Ben, as he transitions into his new career as a firefighter. And "New Guy," as he's dubbed by all of his new colleagues on his first day, quickly learns that respect has to be earned.
12. A love triangle. How many love triangles have there been on Grey's Anatomy over the course of 14 seasons? We've lost track. We won't spoil anything, but Station 19's series premiere already sets up a big love triangle involving a couple of major players.
13. A new hard**s boss. It's not as funny or PC nowadays for young employees to refer to their boss as a "Nazi" the way the interns did in Season 1 of Grey's (since, you know, there are literal Nazis who are making their presence known and felt on a daily basis now). But Capt. Pruitt Herrera (Miguel Sandoval), who runs Station 19, is basically the Miranda Bailey of the firehouse, with no patience for diversions like practice runs sliding down a fire pole.
14. No boundaries between work and personal lives. In part due to the 12- and 24-hour shifts the characters on Grey's Anatomy routinely work, it sometimes seems like the doctor dating pool doesn't extend beyond the walls of Grey Sloan Memorial. That's not totally the case with the Station 19 folks right now, but there is at least one inter-station romance happening.
15. A complicated father/daughter relationship. And you thought things were tense between Meredith and Thatcher Grey (Jeff Perry). Wait until you see what transpires between Andy and her father, the captain, in just the first episode.
16. Harrowing medical emergencies. Station 19 may be set in a fire station, but it's not just blazes that these guys and gals are battling. On his very first call, Ben realizes that his medical expertise can come in handy in the field - but also learns the hard way that protocols outside a hospital are very different than in one.
17. Big, emotional speeches. We counted at least three heartfelt monologues in the Station 19 premiere alone. Nothing along the lines of "Pick me, choose me" yet, but... give it time.
18. Awkward workplace politics. Which brings us to our next point. On Grey's, the incestuous tendencies of the doctors often lead to lovers and exes being each other's bosses on the job - or sometimes even vying for the same promotion. On Station 19? Check.
19. Family secrets. Meredith Grey alone could write an encyclopedia on all of the family secrets that have been kept from her. Her half-sister, Maggie (Kelly McCreary), could write the intro. There's nothing like a previously-undisclosed factoid to ramp up the drama, and — without giving too much away — it seems like the writers of Station 19 are already well aware of this.
Station 19 premieres Thursday at 9/8c on ABC.