Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rethinking 'Rescue Me'

I abandoned Rescue Me in June 2006 following a controversial scene involving what I saw as Denis Leary's deeply flawed and tragic Tommy Gavin character sexually assaulting his almost ex-wife Janet. Some argued that it wasn't an assault, given their troubled relationship, but the scene really bothered me nonetheless. Though at the time I adored the show for its button-pushing dark edginess, that scene was too dark. I said I wouldn't watch the show again.

And I haven't.

But, as they said in the Godfather, when I thought I was out, I feel like I'm being pulled back in. Now that the series is gearing up for its fifth season (premiering tonight on FX at 10) and reviewers are saying they're going to get back to the essence of the show -- how New York firefighters' lives are impacted by not just the danger they face everyday, but by the events of 9/11 -- I'm finding myself tempted to tune in once again.

The New York Times review of the first few episodes of this new season, in particular, make it sound as though it will be intriguing on multiple fronts, including political and socio-economic. Reviewer Ginia Bellafante wrote:

"As the most frantic and emotionally undone member of the crew of 62 Truck, at a New York City firehouse, Tommy was hardly finished working through his guilt and grief over his [firefighter] cousin's death during the 9/11 rescue mission when he was forced to deal with the loss of his son, killed by a drunk driver. At the end of last season Tommy's unloving father died as well, and it isn't too long before he is turning up in Tommy's vodka-induced visions, Tommy's hold on sobriety as shaking as a timid child's on horseback.

The specter of 9/11 -- never completed submerged but sometimes obscured by the show's elements of comic soap opera -- is in the foreground again, as another crew member begins to espouse the theory that the attacks were orchestrated by neoconservative nut cases bent on American global domination."

So, I'm thinking I may go back on my three-year-old vow and tune in tonight, just to see where the character with whom I once sympathized -- Tommy Gavin -- is in his post-9/11 journey.

Are there any shows you USED to watch that you started watching again after taking a season or more off? Are you looking forward to the new season of Rescue Me?

Image credit: FX.


Mickey said...

I watched the first couple of seasons of West Wing until it lost it's balance and became too preachy. I left it for a few years and came back for the second half of the final season with the race for the new president taking place. That was again worth watching.

Meredith said...

I loved the first few season of West Wing too and dropped out when I felt like the writers had lost direction. I too returned for the final season to watch the election with Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda. I thought they were fantastic. I would've loved to have seen the show continue with a new administration. Oh well.