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November 23, 2014

Rescue Me

Rescue Me gets the "how'd they do that?" treatment

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 24th 2009 6:01PM

A scene from the Rescue Me episode 'Disease.'This is pretty cool, especially since you don't usually get to see or read about stuff like this until you're watching a featurette on a DVD set.

For those that didn't catch last night's episode of Rescue Me ("Disease," S05E12), the opening scene featured a very cool fire sequence in which Tommy, Franco, Black Shawn, and Mike had to escape a burning apartment hallway. The entire sequence was eerily cut to the high-pitched vocals of Duffy and her song "Syrup & Honey," but what came across as most impressive was how real it all looked.

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Rescue Me: Disease

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 23rd 2009 11:00PM

Steven Pasquale as Sean Garrity on 'Rescue Me.'
(S05E12) "...you guys have been getting divorced for like eight years. Isn't it time you took that old dog into the woods and put one in it's head?" - Lou

Considering who he's starting to hang around with again, is Lou even qualified to give advice like that? If anyone should be wary of getting back in bed with someone, it's him. At least Tommy knows that Sheila and Janet aren't going to rob him blind ... well, at least not for as much as Candy took from Lou.

We're starting to see the effects of what 22 episodes has done to Rescue Me (in a good way). After last week's first musical number featuring the comatose Sean, "Disease" featured more moments that, while not completely out of place, certainly seem to be a result from the extra breathing room.

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Rescue Me: Mickey

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 17th 2009 12:51PM
Steven Pasquale as Sean Garrity on 'Rescue Me.'
(S05E11) "Tom, would you be able to join us for one of our little fire thingies?" - Needles, after discovering Tommy and Janet having sex in a car in front of the 62 house

We're half-way through season five now and we've reached a point that's going to polarize a lot of fans of this show. Creatively, last night's episode of Rescue Me introduced two things that both have the potential to really turn off certain fans, depending, of course, on what they like about the show and more importantly, what they expect from Rescue Me in future episodes.

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Denis Leary: The TV Squad Interview

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 15th 2009 11:00AM

Denis Leary stars as Tommy Gavin on FX's 'Rescue Me.'

Denis Leary probably wouldn't like you - that is, assuming you're fat, addicted to "coffee flavored coffee," unable to take a joke ... oh, and American. I'm pretty sure he likes me, but that's only because I recently spent half an hour on the phone with him, and I think he kinda, sorta, got to know me ... a little. His hugely successful FX firefighter dramedy Rescue Me can be described as politically incorrect with a heart of gold, and his best-selling first book, Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid is ... well, the title says it all, doesn't it?

Denis Leary is a man with opinions - wait, let me rephrase that - Denis Leary is a man with lots of opinions and as he points out in his book, most of us seem perfectly content to just let Oprah shame us into doing whatever she wants. With that in mind, it was nice to talk to someone with a wealth of personal passions and as much hate for Heidi and Spencer as I have. See? He got to know me ... a little.

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Rescue Me: Control

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 9th 2009 11:00PM

Milena Govich and John Scurti
(S05E10) "See? I told you he's got it under control." - Mike

As fans, we've really been rooting for a horrible thing if you think about it. The fact that we've all been waiting for Tommy to start full-blown drinking again is pretty twisted and now that it's been going on for a few episodes, we're starting to see the Tommy we remember - both the good and bad.

The issue of control is an obvious path to explore. We' ve seen Tommy lose it before - when we first met him, his original downward spiral was just beginning. That being said, I don't think any of us ever expected a year of sobriety to do him any good.

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Rescue Me: Thaw

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 2nd 2009 11:00PM

Denis Leary and Michael J. Fox
(S05E09) "Pussies run. Gavins fight." - Colleen

We've all been raving about Rescue Me's creative resurgence this season. Every episode thus far has been classic stuff - a streak of good writing and acting that we haven't seen since the first season. However, up until last week's brilliant homage to The Iceman Cometh, there hadn't been a truly defining moment for season five. In the wake of that stellar hour, I got worried in anticipation of "Thaw." Would the streak continue or would things now start to meander along, suffering from the weight of 22 episodes instead of 13?

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Rescue Me: Iceman

by Jonathan Toomey, posted May 26th 2009 11:00PM

Charles Durning and Dean Winters

(S05E08) "Here I am. After. Surrounded by booze and dead assholes." – Tommy

This is the episode we're all been waiting for. After Tommy had a drink with Genevieve two weeks ago, it was only a matter of time before this happened – fortunately, we didn't have to wait for it.

Tommy's struggle with 9/11 and his place in history on that day has long been one of the the driving forces behind Rescue Me, but the focus on that has drifted in and out over time. Most everyone has applauded that plot's return this season, but one key element has still been lacking – Tommy's ghosts.

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Rescue Me: Play

by Jonathan Toomey, posted May 20th 2009 12:28AM

Andrea Roth and Denis Leary
(S05E07) "Yeah ... my wife always has a problem when she's surrounded by douchebags." - Tommy

As much as I've enjoyed the renewed focus on 9/11 that Rescue Me has delved into this season, you have to admit that it has taken away from the other big part of this show: the Gavin family. Tommy's relatives have always been a huge part of what makes this show so great, especially his immediate family. We haven't really seen all that much Gavin family interaction since Connor was killed, but it seems the narrative has finally reached a point where that tragedy is far enough in the past that it's safe once again to put Tommy and Janet in the same room with booze and a bed. Thank god.

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Rescue Me: Perspective

by Jonathan Toomey, posted May 12th 2009 10:59PM

Denis Leary and Robert John Burke

(S05E06) "The Vietnam vet in the corner? I mean, what'd he say? He drank 12 Budweisers and three fifths in two hours with one arm? I mean, that's hall of fame shit. That guy should still be out there drinking." -Tommy

You know what else is hall of fame shit? This episode of Rescue Me. It took 57 episodes to get to this point, but 9/11 has finally become the first, last, and only focus of the show. Sure, there are still some sub-plots weaved in and out of the main narrative, but it all comes back to 9/11. It's funny, it's sad, it's depressing, and just like Tommy's AA meetings, it kind of makes you want a drink. Or seven.

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Rescue Me: Sheila

by Jonathan Toomey, posted May 6th 2009 9:22AM

(L-R) Denis Leary as Tommy Gavin and John Scurti as Lt. Ken 'Lou' Shea on the RESCUE ME episode 'Sheila.'
(S05E05) "I think that sometimes Tommy wishes that Jimmy had lived and that he had died in Jimmy's place... and so do I." - Sheila

A few months back, when I first started getting ready for Rescue Me's new season, I remember seeing this picture before I screened this episode and I thought for sure it was a shot from a 9/11 flashback. Tommy's had some dreams where he recalled things from that day, but I was hoping for a full blown episode - especially since we found out Jimmy died in the second tower and not the first. There had to be a story there, right? If you think about it though, it doesn't really matter. We know as much as we need to and how this new knowledge is affecting everyone is what's really worth exploring. Besides, the dream Tommy did have was way more interesting.

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Denis Leary stars in latest ad for Hulu

by Jonathan Toomey, posted May 3rd 2009 10:14AM

Denis LearyEver since Hulu's incredibly funny first advertisement starring Alec Baldwin (it premiered during the Super Bowl back in early February), I've been salivating for more.

If you pay any attention to what Baldwin says during the ad, apparently salivating is all I know how to do know since my brain is mush. It's true though - my brain is mush. I've blown through the entire first season of Friday Night Lights in about two and half days thanks to Hulu. Anyway, after the Baldwin ad, Hulu followed up with a mediocre second try featuring Eliza Dushku rallying for Dollhouse more than Hulu. The third attempt with Seth MacFarlane trumped them all though as he went through his entire catalogue of Family Guy voices to pitch the online video service.

To kick off May, Hulu just released the fourth ad in the campaign and Rescue Me fans are gonna be happy with this one. It features Denis Leary talking faster than he did on his No Cure for Cancer album, so try and keep up with him. Enjoy!

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Rescue Me: Jimmy

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 29th 2009 1:50AM

Blurry news footage proving that Tommy's cousin Jimmy (James McCaffrey) was still alive after the first tower fell on 9/11/01.
(S05E04) "Not something you really wanna be lookin' at." - Lou

Just like Dr. Psychodramaturge telling Sheila that half of Damien's desire to be a firefighter is based on her objection, you knew that when Lou told Tommy not to look at the 9/11 footage he would anyway. Forbidden = fun. Of course, having Genevieve whisper lord knows what into Tommy's ear didn't hurt either. Whatever she muttered was probably fun too.

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Rescue Me: Wine

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 22nd 2009 1:20AM

Steven Pasquale and Mary Catherine Wright

(S05E03) "My daughter turned Amish on me - how is that possible?!" - Tommy

Even though after two stellar episodes this season is shaping up to be possibly Rescue Me's best yet, I'm going to pick on this episode regardless. Not the whole hour, but a fairly decent chunk, mainly because it relates back to almost all of what was bad about season four. In some ways, it almost felt like it was a leftover that Leary and Tolan decided to use anyway.

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Rescue Me: French

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 15th 2009 8:26AM

Michael J. Fox as Dwight on 'Rescue Me.'
(S05E02) "People hear juicy gossip, they're gonna spread it around. This is a firehouse. Take away the rig, the gear, and testosterone, it's nothing but a goddamn sorority in here!" - Needles

I'm not sure truer words have ever been spoken on this show before. Needles summed it up pretty good, huh? He might have been making a joke at Black Shawn's expense, but think about what he's really saying. Get rid of the exterior and the interior of a fireman is the same as everybody else - timid, scared, and emotional. Th arrival of Genvieve Lazard, the french journalist penning the 9/11 book, certainly made that clear on a few occasions for the guys of 62 Truck.

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Rescue Me: Baptism (season premiere)

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 8th 2009 1:02AM

Michael J. Fox and Denis Leary

(S05E01) "No penalties. No judgment. No fines. Absolute forgiveness. Plus coffee and snacks. " - Mick

If I didn't know any better, I'd have thought Tommy said that line. Talk about an Alcoholic's Anonymous mantra at the most base level - you screw up, it's OK. You can still come back have a cup of burnt Chock Full 'O Nuts.

Rescue Me itself is sort of in the same boat. After a lackluster and critically panned fourth season, the Denis Leary FDNY drama screwed up. Thanks in part to the writer's strike, an extended hiatus has given most fans time to forget and I, for one, have forgiven. Rescue Me is finally back after a year and a half, and I tell you what - burnt Chock Full 'O Nuts never tasted so good.

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