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Station 19’s Final Season: Here’s What TV is Losing

ABC

Good-looking firefighters saving people from burning buildings–what more could you want on screen? On May 20th, 2024, ABC aired the series finale of Station 19, a spin-off series of the popular medical drama Grey’s Anatomy.

The beloved series came to an end with its final episode, following an abrupt announcement in December 2023 that revealed the show would conclude with a shortened season of only 10 episodes.  ABC’s decision to part ways with the show is likely due to its move to the 10 PM Thursday slot and the rising viewership of 911

Station 19, which premiered in 2018 and had only 7 seasons compared to Grey’s Anatomy’s ongoing 20 seasons, follows a team of Seattle-based firefighters through their personal and professional lives. The show blends action-packed scenes with deep, emotional storytelling. But in the show’s seven-season run, its stories and characters have captured the hearts of fans looking for representation on screen. Let’s look at what made this show special and relatable to many viewers.

“I feel so fortunate to be a part of these stories while representing my latinidad on ABC for 7 Seasons!”

Jaina Lee Ortiz

Jaina Lee Ortiz, who plays Captian Andrea “Andy Herrera,” recently shared an emotional video on Instagram capturing her last day on set. In her caption, she expressed immense gratitude for her time on the show and for having the opportunity to portray a Latina character. Seven of the eleven main characters in the final season were people of color, showcasing the show’s commitment to inclusivity on and off the screen.

“They took more time ending that man’s life than we did saving one.”

Dean Miller

In its fourth season, which premiered in late 2020, the show honored George Floyd who was murdered by law enforcement in May of 2020. In one scene, the Station 19 crew watches a news report on Floyd’s death. The characters’ faces are marked by genuine horror and shock, reflecting the real-world anguish felt by millions who witnessed the events unfold earlier that year. Unlike many shows that incorporate real-life stories for drama, Station 19 handles this sensitive subject in a way that does not feel as if it is exploiting the situation. It uses real-life events to create authentic, relatable stories.

Credit: ABC

In season seven, when the team responds to a fire at a local park, they arrive on the scene believing that the fire is coming from an Indigenous group’s sacred prayer ceremony. After the team demands that they will have to put out the fire, they discover that the Tulalip tribe has legal permission for their fire. It is another group in the park that has uncontrolled flames. By the episode’s conclusion, Andy Herrera is invited to participate in the ceremony by the Indigenous group. A Shondaland article titled “How ‘Station 19’ Paid Homage to Indigenous Tribes and Cultures” writes that, “Everyone on Station 19 took great care in making sure the tribe was depicted with respect. That translated to using Indigenous actors and not showing regalia on-screen that’s considered sacred.” Throughout multiple seasons, Station 19 has demonstrated its commitment to representing diverse storylines. 

If you have come across Station 19 fans on social media sites like Instagram, TikTok, and X, you have likely seen posts tagged with #Marina. Marina is the ship name of Maya Bishop (Danielle Savre), a Lieutenant firefighter a part of Station 19, and Carina DeLuca (Stefania Spampinato), an OB/GYN who originally appeared on Grey’s Anatomy. Maya and Carina are one of the show’s most popular couples. Throughout their storyline, Maya and Carina face various obstacles that test their relationship including mental health crises, infidelity, and communication issues to name a few. Yet, they have become a fan-favorite couple due to their ability to overcome their problems and represent relatable queer issues, such as IVF and struggling with homophobic relatives. Travis Montgomery (Jay Hayden) is another openly gay firefighter a part of the Station 19 team that viewers have come to love and identify with. 

Credit: ABC

Many Station 19 fans have also expressed how meaningful it is to see the show’s actors openly embrace their queer identities or show strong allyship in real life. Following the Pride episode, a few of the actors took to the Station 19 Instagram account to show their love and support for pride and LGBTQ+ individuals. 

The Seattle fire station would not be what it is without Crisis One, a program designed to address non-violent emergencies with mental health-trained professionals instead of law enforcement. Dean Miller (Okieriete Onaodowan), along with the help of Victoria “Vic” Hughes (Barrett Doss), founded the program as a response to the increasing incidents of police violence, especially during mental health crises. 

Throughout multiple episodes, the Crisis One team has important conversations about mental health care in America and the importance of reforming emergency response teams. Additionally, the series doesn’t shy away from depicting the mental health crises of the firefighters themselves. Many characters deal with PTSD and the stresses of their job, where they witness traumatic events and deaths on a daily.

“We hope for more – for Station 19, for representation in media, and for the whole entertainment industry – because it’s so rare to find shows that represent our own stories and lift voices that have long been ignored. Station 19 did that with every story it told. And that’s a legacy worth celebrating. 🚒”

SaveStation19 Fan Campaign

For those with marginalized identities—such as people of color or members of the LGBTQ+ community— you know how hard it is to find consistent representation in film and television without minority characters being killed off or shows featuring them being cancelled only a few seasons after premiering. You especially know how hard it is to find authentic representation. Stories that don’t just feature a Black person in the background of a show for a few seconds. Stories that dive deep and make you feel heard. 

Station 19 was a beacon of hope in this regard. Although it can be hard to portray “real” stories without seeming insincere, the show managed to authentically represent diverse experiences and gain a large fanbase. In an Instagram post by “SaveStation19,” a fan-led campaign to save the show, the account thanked the entire cast and crew of Station 19 by describing how the show didn’t just tell stories but brought them to life. The show allowed for viewers to see themselves “reflected in their stories.”

Although the show announced its final season back in December of 2023, that has not stopped fans from attempting to save the show. “#SaveStation19” reached more than a million tweets on X and a petition on Change.org has over 93,000 signatures. Fans are hoping for another network or streaming service to pick up the show. The most likely option would be a spin-off series of some sort. Possibly one following the lives of characters such as Maya and Carina raising their children or Vic and Travis expanding the Crisis One Team in Washington D.C..

The Future of TV

Station 19 proved that it is both possible and essential to portray a diverse and inclusive world. One where Latina and Black women hold positions of power, a gay biracial man can run for office, and queer women can build a family together. Just as Grey’s Anatomy has captivated audiences for 20 seasons, Station 19’s narratives and characters also deserve that same amount of airtime. 

But as the show ends, the representation does not. The legacy of Station 19 continues to inspire and advocate for better representation in media, showing that everyone’s stories deserve to be told and celebrated.

Station 19 is available to stream on Hulu.

Written By

Hi, I'm Tarryn! I am a recent graduate of Smith College where I double majored in Film and Media Studies and the Study of Women and Gender. I enjoy writing about horror, queer media, fan studies, feminist film theory, entertainment, and pop culture.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Elle

    July 12, 2024 at 8:34 am

    Thank you so much for casting a spotlight on Station 19. It’s a show that really means so much to us fans and while we have been fighting to save it since December 2023, we are not ready to give up yet. We need their stories to continue and we hope a streaming platform can see the potential here.

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