in ,

Rescue Me : The Complete Series

A REAL BLAST: Tommy (Denis Leary) returns in ‘Rescue Me’ tomorrow night.

Denis Leary vehicles are like ordering a burger. A few burgers are graciously heaving, flavoursome and go down rather well, but a lot of the time, you’re disillusioned – served up merely a slender shell with unappetizing undercooked ingredients inside.

It was rather surprisingly then to discover ”Rescue Me” was a Big Mac-sized bite of entertainment. Well-written, funny, dramatic, tense, emotional, heck – it’s one of the most brilliant shows to hit the tube in the past couple of decades. Somewhere between (another of his recent frightful films) ”Double Whammy” and shopping this series to the network, Denis Leary discovered his creative bone. The light bulb resulted in a real winner.

Set in a New York firehouse, Post-911, ”Rescue Me” is an ensemble effort about the different chaps that hold the hoses – near and away from fires, if you get my drift – and their day-to-day troubles at work and at home. Leary plays Tommy Gavin, a reckless and rather downcast lifer that’s recently separated from his wife (Andrea Roth), and is combating his love of alcohol.

Amid seeing ‘dead people’ – he sees the ghosts of those he couldn’t save, as well as his cousin, who perished in 9/11 – he goes after his wife’s new smarmy boyfriend, begins an affair with his late cousin’s oversexed widow, and seemingly slowly disintegrates.

Fixing more on the guys in the firehouse than the fires they actually fight, ”Rescue Me” is captivating entertainment. The performances are superb (Leary has finally found a character that fits!), the characters are wonderful, and the dialogue is just magnificent – some of it will have you laughing under your breath for the rest of the week.

Don’t miss this wildly entertaining series, now in a complete Blu-ray set, with 93 episodes sprawled out over 16 discs, thanks to Mill Creek.

Blu-ray : Much like “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer” and other series of the time, the series starts to look better and sound better as it goes on, with the latter seasons of “Rescue Me” delivering significantly better sight and sound than those first couple of seasons. Special features include Interviews, Behind the Scenes, Commentaries, Gag Reels, Deleted Scenes, and Featurettes – all mandatory viewing for fans of this groundbreaking series.

Macaulay Culkin is Home Alone again!

Trailer : Men in Black : International