DVD Review: ‘Rescue Me’ Concludes With Sixth, Final Season

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CHICAGO – I’ll miss Tommy Gavin. FX officially said goodbye this month to the final survivor of their breakthrough slate of dramas as “Rescue Me” joined “The Shield” and “Nip/Tuck” in the great cable show graveyard in the sky. The network has ably moved forward with phase two of their legacy but there was something comforting and reliable about Tommy and the boys on “Rescue Me” still being around. The sixth and final season DVD release serves as a fitting fourth quarter for this talented team.

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0
DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0

It made perfect sense to time the conclusion of the drama most in-tune with how life has changed in a post-9/11 world with the tenth anniversary of that event. And so as we transition into the second decade since 9/11, we must do so without “Rescue Me.” As much as I would argue with anyone that Denis Leary and Peter Tolan’s baby never dipped below “good” status, it also rarely approached great. Some of the dramatic twists felt more manipulative than genuine and I’ll never understand Leary’s refusal to more completely give up the spotlight to his talented ensemble. We never got to know the rest of the guys at the firehouse like I wish we would have and that’s not meant as a slight on Leary’s performance — it should be in the conversation of the best of the last decade — but only that the best dramas on TV are more than one-man shows and “Rescue Me” often slighted its supporting cast in favor of its lead (sometimes even dropping plotlines entirely instead of resolving them).

Rescue Me
Rescue Me
Photo credit: Craig Blankenhorn/FX

“Rescue Me” may be most remembered for Tolan and Leary’s willingness to take a left turn when you thought they were going right. I found it thematically interesting that a show about the trauma caused by a tragically unpredictable event like 9/11 often spun itself around also-unpredictable tragedies like car accidents, shootings, and, of course, fires. As the seasons progressed, “Rescue Me” became even more daring on a plot level, sometimes going a bit too far in its pursuit of being shocking. It almost felt like they had to end after the lengthy sixth season because how many more tragedies could one man face? Where do you go after you send Tommy Gavin to Hell?

Rescue Me: The Sixth Season and The Final Season was released on DVD on September 13th, 2011
Rescue Me: The Sixth Season and The Final Season was released on DVD on September 13th, 2011
Photo credit: Sony

That’s where the sixth season of “Rescue Me” opened last summer, resolved in the final season this year. Split over last summer and this one, this 19-episode final arc went, in typical “Rescue Me” fashion, all over the place, but it settled back on what really mattered to the show — brave men who face incredible odds but with issues just like average guys. Firefighters can be bad husbands. Firefighters can be alcoholics. Firefighters can need rescuing themselves. “Rescue Me” was a dramatically rich show that may have been too inconsistent to be considered great but has loyal, devoted fans. There are a lot of people out there missing Tommy Gavin already.

The acclaimed, groundbreaking series from creators Denis Leary and Peter Tolan comes to an unforgettable end in this remarkable set combining both the tumultuous Sixth Season and emotional Final Season. As troubled NYPD firefighter Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary) confronts his need for rescue and redemption, the crew of 62 Truck wages their own climatic struggle to survive and persevere - both on the front lines and in their personal lives. Embraced by critics and viewers alike for searing, true-to-life performances and unflinching storytelling, Rescue Me closes out its astonishing run with the most compelling seasons of the series.

Special Features:
o Gag Reel
o The Creator’s Last Call
o Balls!
o Deleted Scenes
o Kicking the Ashes and Mopping Up: An Attempt to Remember Season 6

“Rescue Me: The Sixth Season and The Final Season” was released on DVD by Sony on September 13th, 2011.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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