Rescue Me (Tuesdays on FX)

After two breathtaking seasons, Rescue Me is back on FX. If you missed it, or dismissed it as a one-note firefighter drama, you missed out. You have no excuse – tune in every Tuesday and you won’t regret it. Rescue me is about a team of firefighters, dealing with all kinds of crap in their personal lives. It’s not the sugar-coated stuff of Alias, or the politically-correct morals of The Unit. This is the real deal – people who play with life and death on daily basis, unable to cope with their own lives – drinking, abuse, separations, infidelity, gambling, mortgages, extended family, drugs… Each and every firefighter in the show has his own tragic story, and deals with it on is own terms, or with the help of a friend – not always successful, not even rational sometimes. What sets this show apart is its realism – from language to how they relate to each other – these are people you know, people who are surrounded by stress all day, and then some – at home.

Denis Leary, Jack McGee, Mike Lombardi, Daniel Sunjate, Steven Pasquale, John Scurti, James McCaffery, Callie Thorne, Jay Potter, Andrea Roth (she’s only been around in second season – reduced to cameos now). Created by Denis Leary and Peter Tolan.

A word of warning – don’t watch it with kids – the fire-fighting sequences are quite intense, and the visions (main character has frequent conversations with his dead brother and Jesus) are graphic. But on the other hand – I don’t remember the last time my ears were so comfortable with cursing. This is not the poetic smut of Deadwood, or over-the-top gangsta exchanges from Sopranos. This is swearing for a reason, with passion, at someone specific. Natural, and easy-flowing. I guess you have to be a policeman or a firefighter to swear so well.

Brilliant, sharp, tragic and always involving – Rescue Me goes far beyond the mundane topics, and goes over the limit when the story requires it. It’s about a family of guys – each one with his own family and own pressing issues.

Tuesdays on FX.

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