NNWIJ: Rescue Me (2004-?)

Creators: Denis Leary/Peter Tolan

Notable Actors: Denis Leary, Jack McGee, Michael Lombardi, Steven Pasquale, Daniel Sunjata, John Scurti, Andrea Roth

Rating: TV-MA

Review:  I have to admit, I haven’t fallen in love with a show this quick since I discovered “Dexter” a few years ago.  I seriously could not stop myself from watching as many episodes in a row as possible.  Denis Leary pretty much took his song “I’m An Asshole,” threw in some 9/11 subtext, and created a seriously gripping series about fire fighters dealing with the events in New York after the smoke had cleared. Season 1 took me all of two days to complete thanks to an incredibly lazy past Sunday, and I couldn’t be happier.  I’m probably going to comment season by season because the first one struck me so hard, but if you haven’t had a chance to catch one of FX’s many gems, it’s not too late.  All the seasons are on Netflix Watch Instantly, and I can’t wait to see how long it takes me to finish every last one of them.  But back to the story, Leary’s character Tommy Gavin is an egotistical FDNY hero who is suffering from post traumatic stress after losing numerous fire fighting friends during the collapse of the Twin Towers. The hardest loss for him was his cousin Jimmy (James McCaffrey), whom he sees as a ghost and has frequent conversations with.  Since the attack, Tommy became a no good alcoholic that let all his demons get the better of him, so now he lives across the street from his current/ex-wife who is in the process of leaving him.  His kids only stay with him on certain days, and his wife is dating a new man.  Not to mention Tommy is still supporting his “wife” Janet (Roth) and owns both houses.  Tommy Gavin is watching his life spin out of control, and only he can stop it.  Too bad for him he’s up there for Dick of the Century, and it seems as if “Rescue Me” is just an experiment to see how far Leary can push his character Gavin over the edge.  But it’s a damn good one.  Between the other fire fighter’s messed up problems and knack for getting into sticky situations, “Rescue Me” is always raining shit on another character, but keeping us engrossed.  The show isn’t a total downer though because it does pay great tribute to the FDNY at the same time (even though it might not seem it based on how some of the characters are portrayed), and the story begs the question “How would you react if it was your job to march into those towers, but more importantly how would you deal with the hell that followed?”  So many brave rescue workers gave their lives that day, but so many others have to live with the burden of the carnage that followed.  “Rescue Me” paints a harsh but realistic picture of how some people coped with that fateful day.  Leary, you mean-spirited son of a bitch, you really created a winner here.

Netflix Rating: 5/5

About Matt Donato

I love all things film. I'll watch any genre, any actor, at any time. This whole film critic thing is a passionate hobby for now which I'm balancing with working in the business world, but hey, someday, who knows?
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