Friday, July 2, 2010

What I’m Watching: Rescue Me (Season Premiere)

Rescue Me: Season 6, Episode 1 “Legacy” (B+)

Like no other show, except maybe “Breaking Bad” (though in a different way), I get a pit in my stomach at least a dozen times when watching an episode of this show. Not every installment is like this, but this first one sure is. After getting his entire extended family to fall back off the wagon during an attempted intervention, Tommy got shot by his uncle Teddy, who earlier in the show’s history even went so far as to go to jail to avenge the death by drunk driver of Tommy’s son. When most people get shot, their supposed friends and family treat them kindly and gently. Not so for Tommy. Teddy threatens to shoot him again if he ever catches him drinking, his cousin Mickey nearly gets him killed by driving like a maniac, his ex-wife Janet punches him in the shoulder where he didn’t get shot, and his cousin Jimmy’s insane widow Sheila chews him out for not making her life better. And even those who do support him, like his firehouse buddies, refuse to accept that he didn’t see anything when he died for a few minutes in the ambulance. That opening sequence with Jimmy ushering Tommy into some sort of afterlife was rather chilling, but completely appropriate for this show. The fact that Tommy had to seek out sanctuary in a church to pour a bottle of alcohol down his throat, of all things, is typically gut-wrenching and hardly surprising for the lifelong alcoholic. This is sure to be a volatile season, and it’s off to a fiery start.

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