Rescue Me?

I’m halfway through the first season of Rescue Me. I have so many issues with the show, but I guess I am sucked in and will continue watching. There are elements of it that make it my favorite kind of show and others that make me loathe it.

So far, the awesome parts:

  • I think Denis Leary is fantastic. I’ve always appreciated his comedy and he is a decfent actor as well. His character blurs the line between protagonist/antagonist, and I like when shows do not have a binary good v. evil storyline. He does some heinous things, but is still likeable. As we know, I secretly love the manipulative, cocky characters (i.e., Gauis Baltar)
  • The show deals with the aftereffects of 9/11 without being preachy or saccharine, but more realistic.
  • Denis Leary’s character speaks with the dead, but in a good way that illustrates inner demons. It adds some great depth
  • The theme song is the Von Bondie’s “Cmon Cmon”. How can you beat that?
  • Tommy Gavin’s son Connor is played by Trevor Heins….you may recognize him as the Beat Kids reporter. Seriously, he needs more screen time.
  • The special effects are pretty well done.

Here’s what doesn’t sit right with me.

  • Some of the plotlines are very Melrose Place- one character finds out he has an illegitimate daughter, the father provides “comic relief” by always being in his boxer shorts on various party drugs.
  • The talk and comraderie in the house is part of the Entourage myth. Always super-macho, homophobic, etc. I also realize this is probably very realistic, but it still doesn’t sit right with me. The firemen are constantly getting laid, and approached by women all the time to have threesomes. Realistic? I am not sure. It kid of exists as the ultimate-male-ideal, kind of like how Grey’s Anatomy is for females.
  • Speaking of homophobia, it is RAMPANT. There are blatant instances of the characters gagging over mention of gay speak and one character was “tricked” into being physucally with a transgender person. I am not sure if showing incredibly homophobic characters shows the reality of what working in a ladder co. is like, or if it is to expose the rampant homophobia, or to market off audience members who are homophobic. I am not sure, but many parts make me physically cringe.
  • The women on the show are usually nymphomaniacal, unbalanced, promiscuous, clueless and easily manipulated. Yikes. There was a plotline where Denis Leary’s character was dating a women for over a month and didn’t know her name. Uh…funny?
  • There was a part in the recent episode where one of the (male) characters was tricked into having a threesome with a man and his girlfriend. The girlfriend first tied him up and then the man came in despite the characters protests. I think it was played as a comedic scene, but the bottom line is the guy was RAPED. He was physically screaming “NO!” and the part made me ill to watch. I thought they had redeemed themselves by then having that chaaracter come to his team and say he felt violated. I was all good…here’s a chance to explore it, but they told him to get over it and “stop being a pussy”. Wow, great.

Sooooooo, despite those issues, I do want to stick with the show because MAYBE down the road it will get better. I also like how nothing is clear cut. The characters make mistakes, can manipulate people, but they are still realistic and intriguing. The “good v. evil” storylines always bore me.

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