Wednesday, July 02, 2008

TV Alert- Rescue Me

I've been meaning to write something about "Rescue Me" season 4 for awhile now, and this You Tube clip provides the right amount of motivation. Quickly rising to the ranks as one of my very favorite all time TV comedies (right behind "Arrested Development"), Denis Leary's incarnation of NY firefighter Tommy Gavin is sheer genius. While season 4 takes the laugh meter down just a bit compared to the previous 3 seasons, it still remains a solid mixture of quick hitting comedy and tense drama. The noticeable extension of the show and its growth in season 4 comes, unexpectedly, from it's attention to technical flurries of brilliance. In one episode, the team of firefighters is stumbling through a nondescript office building, carrying on their usual casual conversations, avoiding smoke and fire, getting lost in the corridors and finally helping a woman give birth... all of this handled in one stunning 6 minute long take that feels like something out of Cuaron's "Children Of Men". OK, maybe its not quit that spectacular, but it's still a ballsy move for a 42 minute television episode.

Then you've got the closing musical numbers that typically provides the exit. I'm not sure when or where musical epilogues began ("Sopranos" maybe??) but "Rescue Me" constantly marries the perfect song with a great moment on-screen. In the clip added below, the images coincide with The Twilight Singers "The Lure Would Prove Too Much", frontman "Greg Dulli's" now defunct band. Leary was so impressed with the band's 2006 release, "Powder Burns", that he's included two seperate songs on the show's soundtrack. "Powder Burns" is a hell of an album. If you like what you see, I urge you to start with Leary's "The Job" from 2000-2001, a short-lived series produced by Leary and creative partner Peter Tolan. Working in the same vein as "Rescue Me" but with lead characters as cops, the faces of that series make an impressionable parade through "Rescue Me". Three cheers for FX.

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