STUDIO: Sony Pictures
MSRP: $49.95
RATED: Not Rated
    Walking Through Fire: Stories of Rescue Me: Season 4
    Real Stories from America’s Bravest
    Welcome to the Set

    This Is Not a Drill: Breaking Down Episode 407

    Tools of the Trade
    Burning Embers: Gavin’s Girls
    Deleted Scenes
    Blooper Reel: Burned Out: Gag Reel
    Minisode: Married …with Children – If Al Had a Hammer
    Minisode: Starsky & Hutch – Death Notice

The Pitch

Firefighters have a rough life. Tommy Gavin’s life is rougher than most.

Here’s the best way to sum up the last four years of the show.

The Humans

Denis Leary, Andrea Roth, Charles Durning, Larenz Tate, Amy Sedaris, Susan Sarandon and Gina Gershon

IKEA Rape…the way of the future.

The Nutshell

Rescue Me is a show about Tommy Gavin. He’s a New York City firefighter living in a Post-911 world. He cruises on a pseudo-hero status, while trolling for some easy ass and good times. Lately, Tommy’s life is starting to fall apart after the death of his son and a near fatal fire. This season starts as Tommy is trying to explain away a suspicious fire to his insurance company.

Lars von Triers presents The Shining

The Lowdown

Denis Leary is doing the best work of his career on this show. His work as Tommy Gavin can be easily written off as doing well on a manly soap opera. But, the show goes beyond such simple cliches of daytime television. It asks you to accept a real world with dirty, mean people that thrive only to make each other miserable. Sure, they might like each other to a degree, but they’ll turn at the drop of a hat.

Rescue Me starts its fourth season after the beach house fire that ended the previous year. Several firefighter have died and there’s also the pressing matter of the new baby in Tommy’s life. Tommy’s not sure if the kid is his or his brother’s due to constantly screwing around. None of this keeps Tommy from bouncing around from woman to woman.

Hesh happens.

The show’s dynamic took a hit with the paternity drama this year. But, Tommy saved it from being a bust by acting like himself. Only a real bastard would put a price on a young child’s life and try to act upon it. But, there’s the women. Amy Sedaris and Gina Gershon both put in appearances as potential conquests for Tommy. Amy is the sweet daughter of the new fire chief, while Gershon plays the same role that she has been nailing for the last twenty years.

There’s a potential for a real distaste with Tommy’s antics. He puts the blame of his actions on everyone from volunteer firefighter Nona (Jennifer Esposito) to his dead brother’s ghost. He can’t accept his station in life or the sheer amount of fucked up baggage that he carries. But, Tommy keeps on living while everyone drops around him. He is the new America.

Sure, she might be gross. But, if those tits are good enough for Jennifer Tilly, they’re good enough for me.

The Package

Rescue Me – The Complete Fourth Season arrives on DVD packed to the gills. You get a ton of featurettes whose runtime seems to surpass the main content. But, the material is well thought out and provides detail into the production of all thirteen episodes. Accusations of declining quality are answered with a sense of humor, but nobody focuses on the paternity issues that threatened to drag down this season. They’re here to show you that this character-driven show is the same as it has been since Episode 1.

The A/V Quality is near impeccable. I dare you to find another television show that looks as great on DVD as this one. The audio feels a little flat in heavy dialogue scenes, but there’s no reason for the back channels to support a casual conversation. What matters is the amazing detail to the final fire sequence of the year. The range in the scene is enough to qualify for Home Theater reference material.

In the end, Rescue Me – The Complete Fourth Season is worth your money. I’d recommend going back and trying to pick up the first three seasons. But, most long-time fans already have and are probably willing to open the show up to new fans. If that wasn’t enough, you can follow up this release with some of the Season 5 mini-sodes that will branch this season to the upcoming 22-episode launch in March 2009. It’s a good time to be a Denis Leary fan.

All crackhouses should have hardwood floors.

8.9 out of 10