Rescue Me

Denis Leary in The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man can get ridiculous. By its very nature, there’s an inherent silliness to Marc Webb‘s reboot of the iconic character. There’s a giant talking lizard wearing a lab coat, and in terms of comic books movies, you can’t get much more cartoony than that. What stops The Amazing Spider-Man from playing as an all out cartoon is both the emotional grounding from Webb’s part and the comedic touches made with Captain Stacy, played by Denis Leary. Without ever making an obnoxious ironic smirk about that kid in unitard, Webb utilizes Leary as a way to pull the film back down to earth. In the 1990s, we saw Denis Leary in his fair share of commercial movies, and, as even he would admit to and poke fun at, not many of them were particularly good. As of late, while Leary’s schedule was packed with his Rescue Me duties, we saw a real lack of him appearing on the big screen. What does it take to get Leary in your movie now? The possibility of a good time is certainly a part of it. Denis Leary, who seemed to be enjoying himself during The Amazing Spider-Man‘s press day, sat down with us to discuss firing shotguns, when making a movie doesn’t “suck,” and the importance of knowing structure:

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Editor’s Note: After more than a year, Merrill Barr will be leaving the Reject Family and moving on to bigger and better things. We wish him all the best. And now the series finale of Channel Guide… Finale. A dangerous word in the world of television. Dangerous because it comes with a hefty amount of baggage for those working on a show that ‘s coming to an end. Everything a series has been working towards, whether serialized or episodic, has to be fulfilled in the finale. And somehow, the writers have the terrible job of making everyone feel like the journey was worth it. When broken down, there’s really only two things necessary in order to deliver on a good series finale, stability and closure. Stability refers to where the characters end up. Whether its happily ever after, in the grave, in the after life or on the run, the audience needs to know that however we leave the characters is how they will remain for the remainder of their fictional days. This isn’t to say that the audience needs to know every single detail, but a general idea needs to be available (or at least the tools necessary to draw a conclusion).

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Peter Tolan has written a number of movies, but he’s probably best known at this point for his work in television. Not only was he a writer on the ridiculously influential The Larry Sanders Show, but he was also the creator of the well-liked and recently wrapped up FX drama Rescue Me. This is a guy who knows TV, so why wouldn’t he be the guy tapped to do a big screen adaptation of one of the longest running and successful TV dramas of all time? No reason, I’d give him a shot at it. But the TV drama that I’d be adapting for a big screen version probably wouldn’t be Baywatch. Running from 1989-2001, Baywatch was a cheesy, low quality action show about lifeguards that starred David Hasselhoff and an endless parade of bouncing bosoms. It was known for its slow motion running scenes just as much as it was for its bad dialogue and ridiculous plot lines, and probably it ran so long because it was cheap to produce and a good thing to zone out to when you were hung over on Sunday mornings. That’s all fine and good, Baywatch filled its niche, but a live action movie? In 2011? Don’t worry, that’s not going to be an issue. Though the film is going to be called Baywatch, and Tolan has already turned in a first draft of the script, don’t expect it to have anything to do with a shirtless David Hasselhoff or a wedgie sporting […]

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In 2004, Rescue Me premiered to an audience that just three years earlier has suffered one of the biggest tragedies of its lifetime. Since then, the show has gone on to be critically praised for its very real portrayal of life for those closest to (and sometimes far from) the tragedy of 9/11. From its dealings with PTSD in firefighters, the loss of relatives (both in blood and in spirit), and general themes about family, Rescue Me has never pulled any punches in the way it delivers its drama, and it all finally come to an end in the series finale.

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Yup, it’s that time of the year again. That time of the year where we TV folk bitch and moan about what shows won’t be getting some golden Emmy love because the Academy is full of old people who think basic cable is what holds up the Brooklyn Bridge, which they also saw get built… I think… That said, this year’s Emmy Nominations are no more surprising than they were last year. Mad Men leads in the scripted drama series dept with nineteen nominations, but more interestingly, the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce leads the overall with twenty one nominations. Before we get and further into this, let’s check out some of the shows that didn’t get nominated for anything in either overall, acting or technical categories (not that any of this matters, like usual).

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No one can deny that in the last ten years there has been a revolution in the world of basic cable television. The programs that air now are generations ahead of what the landscape used to be. And this summer we will see the end to one of the programs that ushered in that change, Rescue Me. Yes, sadly the boys of Ladder 62 will be hopping into the rig for the final time come the end of the season, but from what this reviewer has seen so far (seven of the nine episodes), the show has no plans in riding of quietly into the sunset.

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There’s been a lot of talk the last few days regarding how critics (mostly on the TV side) should handle spoilers in an age where most people don’t keep up with their programming on a week to week basis, but rather save all their episodes for large clumps of viewing material at a time. The basics of both sides have been made clear, and for the most part, everyone pretty much agrees on the following: If you’re reading a review for a TV episode don’t bitch if there’s spoilers. If you’re reading a preview for a TV season, all past details are fair game. Journalists should do the best they can to not give away spoilers in things like tweets and headlines (I’m iffy on the tweets part of that statement, but I understand the point). If you’re following a show so intensely that you want to avoid all plot details then don’t read ANYTHING about it, at all. I’m not here to hound folks like Brian Moylan, David Chen and others for their take on the idea of spoilers. Both sides are right within their respective arguments. But there’s another side to this story, a side that no one has brought up, and it’s one that’s arguably more volatile than that of potential spoilers from the likes of critics. It’s the side pertaining to the regular viewer.

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Summer is a time for playing outside, sitting on the beach, going for a swim, taking a stroll in the park with a significant other while… oh, who am I kidding… Summer is for one thing: warm, entertaining television. And with the 2010-2011 television at an end this week, it’s time to look ahead to the wonderful crop that is set to begin at the top of next month. So with that, I present to you 10 Summer Shows Not To Miss! (But beware of some spoilers.)

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At the beginning of the ’00s, basic cable networks were known for nothing more that twenty four hour news and syndicated broadcast television. Some networks had a few original shows, but nothing that really went passed the throw away slots. And certainly nothing that would ever win any Emmys and gain critical acclaim. The only place on cable you could go for ground breaking drama was HBO. That was it. At least until 2002 when a little known cable broadcaster known as FX came along. In 2002 the network launched the first of a radically bold, and never before seen move in basic cable. Hard hitting, edgy original programming. This began with what would become one of the most critically acclaimed crime dramas in television history, The Shield, but it didn’t stop there. In 2003 the network launched the massive hit Nip/Tuck. A year later would see the turn to a more emotional drama with the hit Rescue Me. And then in 2005 FX went comedic with the hit show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Things laid dormant at FX with a few programs reaching minor success, but that changed in 2008 with the networks biggest hit to date, Sons of Anarchy. Sons would go on to carry the network for the next two years, allowing FX to test new ground with shows like Louie and The League, as well as launching the hit Justified, bringing us to the current television season.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

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It’s been two months since a saw blade fell on Damien’s head while the crew was trying to save Lou from a pile of coffins. And by the start of the opening credits his fate will be known. But that’s not enough for the all mighty Tommy Gavin as he is now juggling two family lives, trying to be a father, husband and a confidant to Shelia. Mike and Sean finally get the memorial they have been fighting for, for Pat Maoney. And Lou receives a final warning from his doctor, but remember it’s Lou, so don’t take anything he says to be truthful… At least not yet.

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Picking up right where last week left off, Mickey has shown up at the Gavin home after walking in on Tommy and Shelia. It isn’t long before Janet finds out and now Tommy must convince her that it’s over between him and Shelia. At the same time, Damien begins to seriously consider leaving the FDNY for good after a heart-to-heart with Mickey. To the point that he puts his papers in with Feinberg. Lou also gets some very depressing news about his health and his future as a fire fighter. And when the crew gets a call tonight, one of them won’t be making it back for the nightly ball busting session.

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It’s a new day for 62 truck. Thanks to Needles political know how (and some video trickery) the fire house has been reopened. Tommy and Janet make a final decision regarding the future of their relationship. The fate of Sean and Mike’s cancer ridden friend Pat Mahoney is revealed. Damien and Penny decide to take their relationship to the next level. Major developments: The fire house is re-opened. Damien hits a homer with Penny. Tommy and Janet begin a new. Tommy and Shelia end everything (supposedly). Pat Mahoney dies.

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Things take a turn for the worse for 62 Truck when the fire house is closed by the city. But that isn’t going to stop the FDNY boys from proving their worth to everyone. Tommy and Janet try to patch things up after learning the results of Tommy’s “unusual” methods on Colleen. Damien begins to question his loyalty to the job. Major developments: Colleen has been cured of her alcoholism. The fire house has been shut down.

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Upon arriving to a car crash, 62 truck comes upon the horrendous dead body of a young girl killed by a drunk driver. But this is no ordinary girl. This girl hits Tommy harder than any call ever before. Now Tommy will take it upon himself to cure Colleen before she meets the same fate. Animosity will also rise between Franco and Black Shawn, which will lead to a brutal end. Major developments: Actually, this episode is all set up. There are no major developments to speak of since we don’t know the outcomes of any of the actions taken yet. What worked: Two words, Holy Shit! That’s all I could think of when this episode was over. I mean, an alcohol baptism? How does someone in a writers room come up with something like that. It’s out there, even by Rescue Me standards. But that’s what made it so awesome. The execution of that scene was raw and emotional. Thank god that they didn’t give any humor (except The Godfather bit, but I’ll let that slide) to that scene at all. It was eerily perfect.

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After a night of pure binging, Tommy wakes up with zero recollection of what occurred the night before. But that is the least of his worries, because upon his waking, he learns that Colleen has disappeared after spending the night with him. Now it’s a race against the clock for 62 truck to find Colleen before the worst comes to fruition. On top of that, it turns out there is much more to Mickey and Teddy’s master plan for Tommy than anyone expected.

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After his heart attack, Lou is laid up in the hospital. Upon learning of this, The West Side Wild Men push up the date of their cook out. Now the crew has no choice but to bust Lou out of the hospital before all is lost. A man from Sean’s past attempts to break out of the hospital with the rest of the crew. Tommy tries to find guidance from Father Phil, in an attempt to save his marriage. Damien begins dating Penny from West Side, but the crew just isn’t going to stand for that. There may be more to Franco’s and Janet’s relationship than previously indicated. And the biggest question of all is answered… Who could pass for a doctor more, a black man or a Puerto Rican?

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Rescue Me

It’s his first day back on the job and Tommy is already starting to feel the stress. Not to mention that this is going to be the most eventful shift in the history of 62 Truck. Sean and Mike also try and find a way to give back to the community. Lou realizes that there is much more wrong with him than his gut, and it won’t end well for him.

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Rescue Me: Change

Episode: ‘Change’ (Season 6, Episode 2) Airs: FX, Tuesdays, 10pm Episode synopsis: Tommy comes to terms with his dream and tries to do right by the people he has wronged. Major developments: Tommy finally admits to Lou the truth about what he saw when he died, unfortunately he also admits it inadvertently to the rest of the crew. But, no one is surprised by what he saw. Tommy also makes an attempt to tell Janet his true feelings for her, this too blows up in his face.

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Rescue Me: Legacy

Rescue Me returns for its sixth season finale as Tommy tries to come to grips with what he saw on “the other side,” while budget cuts threaten the fate of 62 truck.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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