September 7, 2005
Rescue Me doesn't pull its punches
In These Uncertain Times™, many of us turn to television, our earliest and best friend, for some distracting entertainment. If this is what you're looking for, steer clear of FX's successful series Rescue Me, which these days is like the opposite of escapism.
Rescue Me is a funny show, and every episode, no matter how gut-wrenching, has a lot of good jokes. Denis Leary's foul-tempered, recovering alcoholic, bitter old asshole of a lead character is great to watch. But take a look at the horrible events in last night's episode: a gruesome dementia-related throat-slitting suicide attempt, a savage and frightening domestic violence scene, and a hit-and-run accident that kills a little boy. All in one hour. What is this, 24? And this is after the show two weeks ago in which a teenage boy recounts years of abuse by his priest, then confronts the priest with a gun, then shoots himself in the head.
FX! Come on! Aren't our lives hard enough? I finish each week's episode of Rescue Me at least as traumatized as I have been watching MSNBC over the past week. Next week is the season finale, so watch for more unspeakably horrible things to happen.
But the thing is, after so much violence and pain and death, viewers tend to get desensitized. By the time the ER doctor gently shook his head at Denis Leary to indicate that his young son was dead, I was so inured to it all I was like "yeah yeah, no duh the kid's dead, can we get back to drunk Tatum O'Neal calling her father a ratbastard with a cigarette dangling out of her mouth? Oh, the episode's over? God, this show."
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Rescue Me doesn't pull its punches: