was a TV show back in the late 80s and early 90s, hosted by William Shatner
, of all people. It started around the time that shows like America's Most Wanted
, and A Current Affair
began to prey on our fears of a dangerous world
in order to glue us to the tube
. Of course I'm not laughing at any of the victims
portrayed on Rescue 911, but the show did happen to be very funny. Whether it was Shatner
trying to act all serious, or the horrible
(and I mean horrible) re-enactment
s of real 911 calls, the show did provide for some amusing
The formula was basically the same as America's Most Wanted - each show would "report" on a few real 911 calls, complete with dramatizations and re-enactments. When they did these bits, they used all the tricks of the trade: black and white, stop-motion, tilting the camera, soft focus, and of course the riveting music. As you know, if there's a bad guy doing something in a dramatization, it should always be filmed in black and white, accompanied by random notes from the low octaves of a piano. Likewise, a touching scene such as someone recovering in a hospital requires soft focus and one or two high piano notes.
I also remember Rescue 911's laughable special effects. It was always interesting to see how they'd show someone being hit by lightning or something.
Do you notice how all the ads for the local news deal with fear? The media has succeeded in creating an unhealthy fear of the outside world. Sure, the world can be a dangerous place, but where would we be if nobody ever went outside? Whether they're running a story about unsanitary restaurants, killer bees, or crystal meth, it's always designed to scare you! The media has created a culture of fear, and shows like Rescue 911 started the whole thing.
Long forgotten by most, I'm afraid Rescue 911 will spend eternity rotting in TV hell, along with Richard Bey and *gasp* Cop Rock.