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Rescue Me: Season 1

4.5 out of 5 stars 264 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary) is a lifesaver. Whether he is pulling survivors from fiery high-rise infernos or the twisted steel of a subway collision, Gavin takes great pride in leading the heroic but often overwhelmed firefighters of New York City's Truck Company 62. Gavin is also a man drifting between sorrow and anger over a recent separation from his wife (Andrea Roth) and three kids, and recurring memories of comrades and other New Yorkers who fell victim to the tragedy of 9/11. Leary and multiple Emmy Award® - winning writer-producer Peter Tolan (The Larry Sanders Show, Murphy Brown), the team behind the critically acclaimed cop drama The Job, have reunited as creators, writers and executive producers of RESCUE ME


Dennis Leary snarls as naturally as most actors smile. Leary's trademark ferocity and fearlessness drive Rescue Me, a series about a team of firemen struggling with their wives and lovers in post-9/11 New York City. Tommy Gavin (Leary, No Cure for Cancer, The Ref) is the guy everyone confides in, the heart of the firehouse--but he's also an active alcoholic who rages about his wife Janet (Andrea Roth) leaving him, a man guilt-ridden and literally haunted by all the people he blames himself for failing to save. Surrounding him are a crew of vivid characters, played by a little-known but outstanding cast: Handsome lothario Franco Rivera (Daniel Sunjata) discovers he's fathered a daughter with a psychotic ex-girlfriend; Ken Shea (John Scurti) struggles to resolve his post-traumatic stress by writing poetry; Mike Siletti (Mike Lombardi), the newest guy on the team, finds love with a partner the rest of the crew finds unacceptable; Chief Jerry Reilly (Jack McGee) risks his career when he beats a gay firefighter in a bar; and several others, all multi-faceted and sharply written. Rescue Me's first season launches with a full head of steam, tackling divorce, homophobia, and male bonding in a pellmell rush. The core theme of the show, however, is how men react to stress--how anger, bragging, competition, sex, and booze pacify their jagged emotions, pulling the firefighters together and isolating them at the same time. The first eight or so episodes rip along, spiced with high-energy scenes of fires and obscene, scatological banter. The second half of the series grows a little repetitive (beatings and steamy sex lose their vigor after a while) and some storylines stretch credulity, but the characters never lose their engaging complexity. Leary, who co-created the show and co-wrote many of the episodes, barrels through each hour like a force of nature, even as Tommy's increasingly erratic behavior threatens to alienate his family and his team. This bilious fusion of vices and virtues guarantees compelling television. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Commentary for first and last episodes with creators Denis Leary and Peter Tolan
  • Blooper reel
  • 4 behind-the-scenes featurettes
  • Deleted scenes
  • Exclusive sneak peek at Season 2
  • 13 episodes on 3 discs, including: Guts, Gay, Kansas, DNA, Orphans, Revenge, Butterfly, Inches, Alarm, Immortal, Mom, Leaving, Sanctuary

Product Details

  • Actors: James McCaffrey, John Scurti, Daniel Sunjata, Andrea Roth, Steven Pasquale
  • Producers: Kerry Orent
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 7, 2005
  • Run Time: 594 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0008JIJ1A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,376 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rescue Me: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
With the reality TV glut mercifully showing signs of abating, it looks like there could be a new flourishing of quality scripted TV, and FX's Rescue Me deserves to be at the forefront of any such charge. Much has been made of the complex, extended storylines incorporated by so many shows in the past decade or so (e.g., Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost, ER, etc. etc. etc.), and this one is no exception, but it still deserves credit for its boldness, realism, and skillful avoidance of predictability. Surprised as I was to realize it about halfway through the season, Rescue Me reminds me a great deal of a show I used to watch with my wife back when we were engaged, also known for its odd poignancy, its emphasis on bonding and complicated relationships, its bawdy set pieces, and its heavy use of New York City as an ancillary character. Yes, that's right, at bottom Rescue Me has a great deal in common with Sex in the City, except with a lot more fires and death.

It becomes apparent pretty quickly in the premiere episode of this show that it's not the politically correct post-9/11 tribue to firefighters that one might be given to expect. In the opening few minutes, we see Denis Leary's Tommy Gavin having the first of many lenghty coversations with his cousin and best friend Jimmy, which wouldn't be all that unusual if Jimmy hadn't been killed in the World Trade Center attacks. It's only about five minutes later that another firefighter complains about the decline in his level of action (only he uses a much more explicit word) as the memory of the attacks fades. As introductions go, it's a pretty appropriate one.

Things don't go too far uphill from there.
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Format: DVD
Denis Leary has been one of my favorite comedians since the Cindy Crawford-obsessed, rapid-fire riffs on MTV ages ago. Even though (on some level perhaps even because) the Bill Hicks Preservation Society as a whole has dedicated their lives to reminding anyone who will listen that Leary's entire career as a stand-up comedian was based on ripping off (if not actually doing) Hicks' act, Leary is still intriguing because the personae you see onstage (and in such recorded classic songs such as "@$$hole") is so completely different than the life the man actually leads. He's a devoted family man who spends a heckuva lot of time working with local charities, most famously the Cam Neely Foundation.

Which is the precise personality brought to this made-for-late-night basic cable series; what we have on the surface appears to be a heartfelt tribute to "New York's Bravest", the Fire Department of New York City. And in many ways it is, but in much the same way "Slap Shot" is to professional hockey or "North Dallas Forty" did for pro football. It's very much a locker room's view of things, most definitely a more honest portrayal of the occupation than you'd see in the more traditional "Emergency!" series or the big-screen actioner from Ron Howard "Backdraft".

The paradox of this series is that the profession is typically portrayed (properly so) as modern-day knights in shining armor, but the men who wear the armor as being frequently less than chivalrous in nature; indeed, there are elements of every single character in this show that are impossible to warm up to; Denis Leary's Tommy Gavin, whom I want very much to like, is one of the more dispicable characters ever portrayed in series TV.
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Format: DVD
Having seen seven or eight of the Rescue Me epispodes on Cable's FX channel, in various orders, I was blown away by the gritty, comic, tragic stories linking the all too human dysfunctional lives of seven "crew" members of an upper Manhattan FDNY Ladder Company. Viewing all 13 episodes in chronological order yesterday in the recently released Season One DVD collection, in one sitting, was an experience I will not soon forget.

Leary's comedic and dramatic career has always been a seeming grab for the brass ring, with spotty commercial success. His last two efforts, the hilariously politically incorrect ABC mid season replacement series "The Job", and now, Rescue Me, put him in a very exclusive company of talent who can take a concept, and bring it to artistic life, and deliver a grand slam.

The opening scene of episode one, finds Leary's character, Tommy Gavin, trapped in his smoke filled bathroom at home while a fire rages outside the door. Poof. It is a dream. Jump Cut to Gavin addressing a graduating class of "Probies", fresh new firemen awaiting assignnment.

"Want to know how big my balls are? My balls are bigger than any of your two heads duct taped together" Informing them that the process of probation is not to making "heroes", but discovering cowards, (he refers to them as "Pussies") he brags "There ain't no medals on my chest".

Gavin then startlingly, and touchingly recounts to the new graduates the stories of four lost firemen that perished at Ground Zero on 9/11. The camera pans back to a shot, showing the probational firemen standing at attention in military formation, the trainees teacher commanding them to "SAY THANK YOU FIREFIGHTING CLASS!" as Leary salutes them with a middle finger.
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