How great was classic Denis Leary?
Comedian, Singer, Asshole:
Rescue Me -the first season was great because it took the Denis Leary character from his stand up, and heightened the character he played in The Job which if you aren't aware of or have never seen - it's Denis Leary playing a cop with most of the cast of Rescue Me. The difference is, in Rescue Me they are fire fighters coping with 9/11 and their crazy lifestyles.
The great thing about Season 1 Rescue Me was the sense of humor. It was definitely a dark comedy, but there was plenty of comic relief moments. As the series went on though, it got really bleak and Leary's character Tommy went off the deep end with booze, sex and other risky behaviors in a way that teetered between dark drama and Lifetime Original. It's still a wonderful series, and I recommend the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th seasons to people who love dramas - but it veered away from the great formula of black comedy that it did so well in the first season.
Season 5 has brought back the jovial firehouse antics, and the real moments of coping with loss, in a magnificently humorous way. Instead of tuning in expecting more death and sadness, season 5 seems almost like a rebirth of Tommy Gavin. He's off the booze and trying to deal with all the shit he's been through.
At the season premiere party that was shot for FX to play as bumpers between the airing of the premier on FX, many of the cast were taped saying, "This is the best season yet," and I am on board with this theory.
I mean, how could they be wrong with Michael J. Fox on the cast as a guy in a wheel chair that is dating Tommy's ex-wife and willing to kick Tommy's ass when need be?
If you're not watching this season because you thought it went too dark, I beg you to check back in on this hilarious dramedy.