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Rescue Me: Season 1 (2004)

Cast: Denis Leary, Denis Leary, Jack McGee, more...
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Genre: Comedies, Drama, Television, Black Comedy, TV Drama, Drama TV
Languages: English
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In season one of the FX network "dramedy" Rescue Me, it is abundantly clear that the harrowing events of September 11, 2001, are still taking their toll on the firefighters of New York City's Engine 62 company even after three years. Senior firefighter Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary) is carrying around so much emotional baggage that he has prompted his wife, Janet (Andrea Roth), to file for divorce. Desperately hoping to remain close to his three children, Tommy moves into the house across the street from his estranged wife, and spends most of the first season trying to drive a wedge between Janet and her current beau, Roger (Jay Potter) -- even though Tommy himself is hardly what one could call celibate. At the same time, our "hero" courts insanity by carrying on spirited conversations with the ghost of his cousin Jimmy (James McCaffrey), a firefighter killed in the line of duty. He goes so far as to promise Jimmy that he'll look after the man's widow; trouble is, he doesn't like what he sees. Elsewhere at Engine 62, Chief Jerry Reilly (Jack McGee) continues to compulsively gamble away not only his life savings but also his future pension; rookie Mike Siletti (Mike Lombardi) is the butt of some truly nasty practical jokes; Franco Rivera's (Daniel Sunjata) serial womanizing catches up with him in appalling fashion; Laura (Diane Farr), the new female member of the previously all-male firefighting team, does her best to bear up against a barrage of cloddish chauvinism; and the ongoing bitter rivalry between the FDNY and the NYPD culminates in a savagely brutal hockey game. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Rescue Me: Season 1 (disc 1 of 3) (2004)
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8.00 (10 votes)
Rescue Me: Season 1 (disc 2 of 3) (2004)
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8.00 (9 votes)
Rescue Me: Season 1 (disc 3 of 3) (2004)
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7.73 (11 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

Dark, Un-PC and brave. 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.

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