Rescue Me (2004–2011)
User ReviewsReview this title
So, if you ever have an opportunity to go to a 'wetdown' or a fundraiser (See Bayhead NJ crabfest in Aug. -" If you don't' come to our fundraiser, we ain't coming to your fire" )- you see real men, some of them boneheads, some of them rocket scientists, but always for real. This very edgy drama and esp. Leary's character shows the dark side, and his 'secret evil plan' instead of whitewashing every guy as a hero, as competent or even, sober. I love that the moral center keeps shifting underneath their feet, just as in real life. There's a million stories in the Naked City, and "Rescue Me" could tell them all.
I've been waiting for a show like this to come along because I practically grew up in a firehouse, and I know so did a million other kids in America. And, for those people who don't know any firemen, go adopt one or better yet, go volunteer.
My only hope is that it gets the exposure it deserves and lives long enough to become a revered classic drama. And do not let John Wells anywhere near "Rescue Me". I'll personally come and bite him.
And, to fill the 10-line requirement, my personal favorite things about "Rescue Me": the episode when Engine 99 "measured" themselves, Lou, Probie's liaisons, the girl whose name Tommy couldn't remember, Sheila talking about horses, Uncle Teddy, Franco taking Keela shopping, Reilly talking about make-out techniques, and the heartbreaking, *gut-wrenching* season finale.
Anyway, definitely worth an hours watch every week! And, of course, Denis Leary has written and acted yet another brilliant piece of work again just like his 2001-2002 show called 'The Job'. My Score = 10/10. Let's hope this one doesn't get cancelled folks!
But seriously. I have saved every episode on my TIVO! We are going to have a firefighters party, invite the whole station and view the first season at once. Leary has done such a great job with this show right down to the casting. I hope it lasts for many seasons.
However, I took to this show and I think it's brilliant. The acting is really good and I love how the show centres around a guy who is obviously going through post traumatic stress. He somehow feels it's wrong and is unable to tell anyone the truth about what he is going through. He does not realise that post trauma stress and general stress are normal things that we as humans experience. I guess because he has the whole New York, tough guy image to uphold, he doesn't want to show any signs off weakness as it were by divulging information of his problems.
The show is just airing over here in the UK, so I am keen to see how it finishes.
It is real and it's nice to see a show that depicts what life is like in post 9/11 New York, especially for a fire fighter who was part of the rescue team on that day.
For whatever reasons 9/11 happened or whoever was behind it, the day has changed things, I know that I view life differently even now that it's years ago- it still seems like it was yesterday...
Having grown up an Irish American with 4 cousins and an uncle who are FDNY firefighters and members of the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, I can't help but be completely amazed by the writing and producing of the show. I just watched the season finale and have been hooked since the first episode. I am very impressed with the job they have done portraying the lives of FDNY firefighters and their families. The personalities of the characters, the situations, and the whole show overall is just so real.
I was lucky that no direct family member of mine was lost in the event, but I knew quite a few, including some who I only met for the first time 3 days prior, at my cousin's wedding. All my cousins were put on honor duty playing the pipes for many months after that day at funerals, and everyday since, they remember the friends they lost - just like the show's characters. Everyday they think about what might happen next and they want to leave, but they'd be dishonoring everyone we knew and didn't know who gave their lives out of complete selflessness.
No show before, about any type of rescue work, has every been able to portray this reality like Rescue Me has. FX is definitely living up to the words they advertise - groundbreaking, aclaimed, gripping, outstanding. And not only with this show, but with Nip/Tuck as well. I am so anxious to see the next season and many after that (of both). Denis Leary and the whole show deserves an award!
***WARNING*** - the following talks about what happens at the end of the finale so don't read if you didn't see it!!
I had a feeling Tommy's ex was going to move away but how did she accomplish this without the kids, especially his oldest daughter, not telling him or running away since it was so sudden?? And what is gonna happen when Franco recovers? I cannot wait for the next season!!
Usually, the typical camaraderie among male actors on TV and in the movies seems artificial by comparison. Here, it is as real as it gets. Also, there are no clones on this set: each character is unique.
Kudos to the casting directors!
"Rescue Me" blends humor, drama, action, and real pathos with male characters that are not afraid to show their vulnerable sides. Everyone in the firehouse reminds me of someone I knew personally, so maybe it is easier for me to care about them.
The season finale was reminiscent of The Shield's first season finale where Mackey's wife, Corrine, also left him at the end. The ending brought closure to the questions I had about why Tommy's wife needed all that money from him -- she used it for a down payment on a house.
How she was able to pull up stakes so fast without alerting Tommy will be interesting to see next season.
Tommy Gavin (Co-creator Leary) is one of the many FDNY firefighters in company 62. Along side with Chief Jerry Reilly (McGee), Sean Garrity (Pasquale), Franco (Sunjate), and Probie (Lombardi) just to name a few. Join in on the insane jobs that they are forced to do in order to pay the bills. Besides seeing dead people, having a drinking problem, losing his wife (Roth) to a business man Roger Mills (Potter) whom he tends to spy on Tommy Gavin is a regular fireman.
Peter Tolan and Denis Leary raunchy comedic look at the firefighters after 9/11 is clearly brilliant. This not being their first t.v show the others being The Job, Murphy Brown and The Larry Sanders Show gives the show experience in writing and helps make the show all the more sweeter. Season one was great and season two can only get better and better. Leary and Tolan two huge thumbs up. My final rating 10/10.
The characters are well thought out and if not always likable, certainly realistic and gritty.
We watched the final episode last night, and I wanted to cry - just because I know how much I will miss watching Tommy Gavin and the brothers of Ladder 62.
Some episodes were darker than others, and some so downright funny and outrageous.....I already miss watching them...in fact, I may actually start all over again as it is worth watching a 2nd time.
Yes, it can be raunchy and outrageous, but it was honestly one of the best series I've ever watched - it started out strong and kept at the same level till the bitter end.
All I can say is if you haven't watched it, run, don't walk to your TV!
This show can be so freakin' hilarious and then be so incredibly sad or shocking at the same time and again this is why you just can't stop watching. Each season is good and the story lines are always interesting. There is never a dull moment. The actors all melt into their roles beautifully and it is so entertaining to watch the actors in the extras to see how far they have wavered from their true selves in the characters they play.
AWESOME job. I was so sad to see this end but it will truly stay with me forever.
Thankfully, "Rescue Me" stays away from mindless patriotism for the most part. Mind you, there are enough lofty speeches about 9/11 and its consequences but as the show moves on, it really turns to the individual lives of its characters instead of being overly political. The concept of the show is to give a "realistic" look at firefighters without selling them as immaculate heroes. In fact, they have more than their share of serious problems.
Season 1 begins relatively cold. All characters appear to be machos, bashing gays, each other and everyone around them. I'm not one who asks for political correctness in television shows, but one really starts to wonder after a while if some of the dialog and action isn't promoting some rather narrow-minded views. Especially, Leary who is also co-writing "Rescue Me" appears once again as the "angry, gun toading, meat eating" man, as he once said in his stand up-routine "No Cure For Cancer". His character, Tommy Gavin, walks around the city beating up everybody who insults him. He drinks, takes pills and commits all sorts of crimes. When he has problems he doesn't talk about them. When a relative dies he doesn't cry until the tears just burst out of him once and then that's that with his grief. Maybe that's only a stage persona, a part of his act, but one can't shake the feeling that Leary thinks there's a certain coolness and something very manly about this kind of behavior. At least he designed every guy in the show who isn't gay by that pattern. Sure, there are other more reasonable characters, too and the firefighters are not meant to be doing okay, but there's still a sense of manly honor in the way their actions are portrayed. Like they are trying to do the right thing but something always gets in their way and foils their plans.
Religion and supernatural things play a pretty important role in "Rescue Me". Tommy is often visited by the ghosts of his dead cousin Jimmy and some of the victims he couldn't save, as well as Jesus. It's never quite sure whether these visions are only in Tommy's head, representing the way he deals with his feelings of guilt or if there's more to that. In any case, those moments are often rather annoying and should have been cut out, especially Tommy's awkward conversations with Jesus.
On the plus side, the show is really entertaining and fun to watch. There are a lot of different story lines and something is happening all the time. By the second half of season 2 something tragic is occurring every ten minutes to a point where it's getting ridiculous. As soon as one character is almost happy that's taken away from him again. If life was really that bleak most people would commit suicide and you couldn't even blame them for it. The writers just tried to keep the audience interested but it's all too hurried, too shallow and just too much. If the show continues like that in season 3 it's going to be a travesty soon. So far, though, "Rescue Me" has been a diverting, old-fashioned drama series with funny moments and a good cast. Just don't expect anything too deep.
Rescue Me always held a special place for me, for reasons I mentioned, but I always liked all of the characters. No character was perfect, all were funny, had great stories. I cared about them, even the later additions to the show. I didn't want any of them to die throughout the series, but I had often said that there were a few characters I wouldn't have a problem with leaving the show. But much to my surprise, the core cast stuck with the show through the entire run. With a few exceptions of course. The show was funny, thought provoking, and at times tear-jerking. Often, all within a matter of minutes of each other.
By the time season 3 had finished airing, I felt the show was only getting better. Then season 4 started airing...and my feelings were right. The first two episodes were great. But then something happened (spoilers after this) at the end of Season 4, Episode 2. The Chief of the house, Jerry Reilly, a man who was a central character committed suicide. While I was upset about this, I always was excited to see how that would propel all the other characters' stories. I was sad to see that it didn't propel them at all. There was a five minute focus on Jerry's death, and then all the characters were more or less over it. From then on, something just seemed off about the show. I was still enjoying it, but I wasn't feeling the dire need to catch every episode. I still did, out of loyalty and the moderate entertainment the show provided for the res of season 4 and all of season 5. Then season 6 aired...it was awful in my opinion. It was getting to the point where many of the characters outside the firehouse were so over-used, and many of them could have been written out or killed off by season 3's end. Yet they kept coming back and the stories started going nowhere. Tommy Gavin was the only person getting stories, all of the other characters would just come and go if there was a scene with Tommy. It was to the point I wasn't even going to tune in for season 7. But season 7 was the final season, I figured I'd tough it out till the end.
Season 7 started off much like season 6 (they were filmed as one season but split into 2) the first two episodes were the worst yet. I was so disappointed I decided I'd only give the show one more episode. Thank God I did, because that episode was the best in a long time, and the show continued to have good, to great episodes right till the finale.
Now for the finale; it starts off with a switcharoo. The second-last episode ends with a huge explosion in which all the characters were trapped inside a building. The show opens with Lou being the only survivor (which was deeply upsetting. Though Lou and Garrity were my favourite characters, to kill off the entire crew was just a middle finger to the audience) but then Tommy wakes to find that was a dream. I let a sigh of relief go, but then we find out that Lou had died and the rest of them had made it out with a few bumps and bruises. The final episode does not deal with anger and frustration of Tommy losing his best friend and the crew their Lieutenant. Instead it brings the crew and Tommy's family closer together and they let go of their angst. I won't go into more detail as I'm still absorbing the final episode. But I will say, even though there was a death of one of my two favourite characters. The show had a surprisingly happy ending.
And then, season 3, episode 4 (Sparks) happened.
Tommy rapes Janet - a woman who is slugging you as you violently push her down and rip her clothes is NOT consenting. But then, surprise, the moment his magic schlong is in her, she moans and enjoys it and is able to calmly read a magazine afterwards when Johnny walks in moments after Tommy's departure. This trivialization of rape as a plot device continues, as Janet 'rapes Tommy' to get even, and Sheila roofies him to get his spunk and have her way with him as well.
Leary, I pray no one in your family has to ever deal with rape, knowing the nonsense you produced in this series. I'm done.
This is also the best acting work that Denis Leary has done in his career especially since he gets to be the lead and gets to play to his strengths. Also the fact that it has Dean Winters aka Ryan O'Reily playing his brother is always a bonus.
And so why the low rating? Because the show is so poorly written --- by which I mean, the writers don't have good ideas. It's actually kind of interesting, in a sense, to see a show that's so well executed but which is so directionless and uses deliberately gut-wrenching scenes to provoke concern in an audience until really, you just can't take it seriously; because, put simply, it's a really, really, really, sad and depressing show. And it relies too heavily on exploiting our concern for characters, until it's become so exhausting and unrewarding that you just don't like the world that the show presents.
I have no issue with violence, or any of the other 'adult' themes that the show deals with. The fact that many of the characters are lousy human beings doesn't bother me. But watching self-destruction isn't all that interesting, after a while. At various points throughout the show, when any character seems to have made any sort of progress, or anything good may have happened, the character goes through a painful loss of some sort. Sometimes they've been lied to or deceived, sometimes they've brought about their own destruction, and sometimes it's just plain dumb luck. But the Universe seems to be conspiring quite avidly against one particular New York firehouse.
It's as if in trying to provide realism, the writers forgot that occasionally good things happen, too.
For me, at least, watching this show became an ordeal. I desperately wanted to see things turn around for characters, and I suppose on that level, the writing sort of worked. But there is a certain point of diminishing returns, which the show has certainly passed. Just consider: If you watch a movie where someone has to see everyone they love die so as to learn the value of friendship, at what point is the lesson not worth the cost? If you're convinced that a character 'realizing' something can justify such prolonged pain for all those around them, then this show will appeal to you. But for those who like a bit of reality with their gritty realism, this show just seems sadistic. And for anyone who watches television for an escape from reality, I can't imagine this being an appealing alternative. It's just too painful to watch.
After a while, even the acting becomes hackneyed. There are fantastic actors in this show. But when the only emotion anyone shows is a brooding anger, an abusive rage, or a tight-lipped sadness as they hold back tears to affirm their manly masculinity--- it just feels like nobody is being utilized as well as they could be. The majority of the comic relief comes from the only 'non-angry' characters, who are all portrayed as borderline retarded (seriously). In short, this is a show where you feel loss along with the characters, but not necessarily for them. And you are expected to laugh at characters, instead of with them. It's all a bit cruel.
If this show could have delivered on it's promises within the first couple seasons, it could have been truly great TV. But for being such a 'provocative' show, it actually played things far too safe, never letting any characters develop past adolescence. It's just the same pain, over and over again, a bunch of lives circling the drain and occasionally bumping each other in somewhat comical ways; before someone lies, cheats, dies, or kills.
All in all, quite a downer.
During the presidency of George W. Bush Jr., America was in a turbulent economy in which one day you were living comfortably, the next you were poor. Two years later, the situation is reversed. It is in addition to the aftermath of 9/11 in which our country went to war with Al-Qaeda-ruled Afghanistan and Saddam-ruled Iraq. Our country was joyous and miserable on-and-off from 2000 to 2008. The show did not serve as an escape from our problematic lives, it merely reinforced the suffering we endured through this dark chapter in America's history.
Maybe people watched it because drug abuse, rape, depression, suicide and misery as provocative themes gave them something to identify with and then justify their self-entitlement to rejecting any positive approach to better their own lives. Watching the scenes of Tommy Gavin being manipulative and egotistical without regard for the well-being of others was linked to the self-destructive archetype in TV show dramas. There is always the character who is out to harm others because they are not being miserable like him.
Janet Gavin was the only character worthy of respect because she made multiple attempts to provide something better for her family regardless of the obstacles she faced. Franco Rivera, like Janet, worked to provide a stable and positive influence for his child, becoming a better person in some ways, though still holding on to his selfish and abusive personality. He was a drug addict and at times abusive towards his daughter when she was crying and complaining. Being associated with the brooding misogyny and pessimism of his unit, he was prone to seeing everything from these lens.
I sympathize with Mike Silletti who was young, bisexual, optimistic and vulnerable. When he was being recruited by a different unit, he was receptive due to being fed up with his prolonged probationary status and the constant abuse dealt by co-workers. His co-workers' apparent love for him was rarely shown in ways that were useful to his benefit. In this sense, no one would find happiness being surrounded by individuals who need years of therapy before they finally realize no one wants to love or want them. That is the true message from the show.