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Rescue Me: Season 1 (disc 1 of 3) back to product details

Dark, Un-PC and brave.
written by underdog June 30, 2008 - 4:20 PM PDT
A risk-taking, sometimes borderline offensive (or at least decidedly un-PC) series about NYC firefighters may not be The Wire in terms of dramatic consistency and brilliance, but it reaches that level at times, and is certainly one of the bravest American TV shows in some time. That these characters are so flawed is decidedly realistic, but be forewarned that means they are often homophobic, sexist, ribald, self-centered pricks. But they are multi-dimensional, just as often likable, believable, earnest. A main theme in season 1 is actually homophobia - an incident with the police captain, who is involved in gay bashing and whose son is also gay and also a firefighter - and it is dealt with with the right amount of rough edges. It will make you uncomfortable, but it goes places I don't recall another American show going. But the show is also often uproariously, darkly funny (I particularly recommend the third episode on Disc 2) and even playful. It even is brave enough to mock people who worship the NYFD post 9-11. And while post 9-11 is the spine on which most of the show rests, Rescue Me is really a show about masculinity.

Its main character, like the other firefighters depicted here a survivor of the fall of the twin towers who lost people close to him, sees dead people, as it were - and while this element made worried about where this was going it is handled with such care and empathy it actually starts to seem believable that he lives with ghosts.

There are a few subplots that don't quite work, either ending abruptly or going on too long, but in general the show is never less than riveting - and occasionally jaw-dropping, shocking. Rescue Me has Denis Leary's thumbprints all over it: un-PC, funny, real, in your face, button-pushing stuff.

It's uneven but often unforgettable. And the next season is even better.


(Average 8.00)
10 Votes
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