Rescue Me: Season Three

"Weak"

Rescue Me: Season Three Review


In the first couple of seasons, Denis Leary's FDNY fire opera Rescue Me flung itself through windows and played out in traffic. It busted jaws, opened old wounds just for spite and made grand sport of the whole ungodly train wreck of it all. It was almost as though co-creators Leary and Peter Tolan (The Larry Sanders Show) felt they were going to get canceled any second and so chucked all caution to the wind. In between sitting around the firehouse and indulging in some of the more profane dialogue ever to grace the TV screen (even on basic cable), the characters were subjected to just about any disaster Leary and Tolan could come up with, anything to push these emotionally stunted mugs to the wall and see what devastation they would mete out in response.

But somehow, the pissy little export from the land of the five boroughs -- and rarely has a show so viscerally captured the city's day-to-day, boiling-over, rat-in-a-cage anger -- survived. And this is after sending the wife of the Chief (Jack McGee) into a debilitating Alzheimer's nightmare and not only devastating Tommy Gavin's (Leary) family with the long-term and low-intensity emotional warfare of a never-ending divorce but then, near the end of the second season, having a drunk driver kill Tommy's little boy. That tragedy was then capped off by a nothing-to-lose Uncle Teddy (Lenny Clarke) gunning down the driver in full view of the cops, since a life behind bars seemed preferable to anything else he had going.

So, following that inferno of dysfunctional Irish-wake tragedy, what could the third season come up with? Well, more of the same, it turns out. And yes, the law of diminishing returns does apply, despite the quite valiant efforts of the show's nearly impervious comic relief team of Steven Pasquale and Mike Lombardi, the twin dunces of the firehouse.

Picking up after season two's wicked closer, the Gavin clan remains in horrible shape. Tommy's still trying to stay on the wagon, even with all the pressures that keep trying to force him off, like that killer case of come here/get away afflicting his wife Janet (Andrea Roth); who blames Tommy for their son's death, by the way. The usage of Tommy as the show's driving force finally shows itself here to be a double-edged sword, as there's only so much drama that can be squeezed out of watching him bounce bloodily and boozily from woman to problem to woman to problem. After Tommy falls back yet again -- for something like the 150th time -- into the crazy clutches of his dead cousin's widow Sheila (Callie Thorne, dialed up to a screechy 11 as usual), the entire show begins to smell quite strongly of retread. Desperation follows not long after that, with stunt casting (Susan Sarandon, wasted in a shamefully truncated role), some pathological sexual violence (worsening the show's already quite questionable attitude toward women), and the shamefully mechanical killing off of a major character.

It's one thing to illustrate the trap lived in by these kind of danger-junkie men, where they see very clearly the self-destructive spiral that the pressures of their job is forcing them into and yet don't want to escape, and quite another to keep finding new wrinkles worthy of examination.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.