Diary of a Binge Watcher: ‘Rescue Me’

Hi, I’m Rosie and I am a MAJOR binge TV watcher. Is there a 12-step program for binge watching? If so, find me a meeting in the Los Angeles area and sign me up. It might be a flaw, it might be an advantage, but it’s certainly a fact: when I binge watch, I binge watch hard. This was 100% the case with Rescue Me.

I vaguely remember Rescue Me being on TV and seeing previews fly by while I was watching something else on FX, my favorite network. I knew three things about the show: it was about firefighters, it starred Denis Leary and. all FX shows are awesome. So by my calculations, that would equal me enjoying the show. Complicated algorithm, I know.

Until I began Rescue Me in October 2013, I only knew Denis Leary from the Ice Age movies, and maybe some stand up? I knew what he looked like, knew what his voice sounded like as a saber tooth tiger and had no idea he was an actor. And boy, what an actor he is.

So, here it is, your easy guide to Rescue Me. Tommy Gavin is a New York City firefighter from a complicated, estranged Irish Catholic family. The show revolves around Tommy, his family, fellow firefighters and their demons. Most of his colleagues are alcoholics and nearly everyone is suffering from PTSD. How it manifests varies from person to person is the interesting part. Having all been in the Twin Towers at 9/11, the crew of Harlem Firehouse 62 are all a personal mess, despite being the best crew around.

5 Reasons To Binge Watch Rescue Me

1. Denis Leary, What A Hunk!

It’s totally natural to spend that much time watching someone emote incredible emotions on TV in an unnaturally condensed time and develop a major crush, right? Well, I hope so, because I have. Maybe I’ve become a little obsessed. I don’t know if it’s the character of Tommy and his plethora of issues and complications, or Leary and his flawless yet underrated performance, but a new TV crush has certainly proven itself, and boy am I disappointed the show is over.

2. Serious Issues Taken On

There are a lot of serious issues of the human mind and spirit that have been covered on various TV shows; it’s kind of a go-to in drama: alcoholism, estranged families, sexuality, drug addiction, affairs, secrets and lies, etc. But there is one major, colossal, serious issue weighing on the characters of Rescue Me that I’ve never seen used in another show: the PTSD and survivor’s guilt of 9/11. I can’t think of a more serious issue that needed to be handled in a particular and sensitive way, a realistic way. And it was.

3. Dean Winters

Here is my dirty little secret: I have a crush on Dean Winters. Whether he be Dennis Duffy on 30 Rock, Detective Brian Cassidy on Law & Order: SVU, Ryan O’Riley on Oz or Johnny Gavin on Rescue Me, when you watch someone on that many shows for as many hours as I do, you’re bound to develop some feelings, right?!

4. The Humor

Yes, it’s a serious drama dealing with serious issues that I couldn’t even imagine living through. But as with any great drama, Rescue Me has a perfect comedic tone when needed. I applaud their dramatic writing and comedic writing with the same fervor. You get so deeply ingrained with the setting and characters. You know what makes them happy or sad, angry or pleased. You know what makes them tick. But for it to be truly realistic, you have to know their humor. How could there possibly be a show about a group of He-Men living in a firehouse without pranks, jokes and genuinely hilarious situations?

5. You’ll Never Look at a Firehouse the Same Way

We see them every day, but we drive or walk past them without a second thought. We see a fire truck roaring down the street and move to the right lane like the law says. We do these things without thought. After watching Rescue Me, I feel like I have some secret insight about what is happening inside that house, like a fly on the wall. I know where that truck is going, what tools might be used the lingo and the terror of every fire.

Seasons: 7
Episodes per season: 13 to 22
Years: 2004-2011
Familiar Faces: Denis Leary, Callie Thorne, Daniel Sunjata, Stephen Pasquale, Tatum O’Neal, Adam Ferrara, Dean Winters, Charles Durning, Diane Farr
How to watch: Netflix
How long it took me: 2 months

Image courtesy of Fanpop

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