The fact that I’m watching Rescue Me’s season premiere on FX tonight says good things and bad things about it. I still like the show enough to want to see where it’s going, but I was disappointed enough by season 3 not to have watched the advance screeners FX sent me.
Rescue Me has always been a hit-big or miss-big show, and its inconsistency is the very reason I love it (at times) or want to love it (other times). It’s trying to combine comedy and drama in a way that almost no other TV show has, not even MASH, really: it doesn’t want to be a dramedy, or a comedy with dramatic elements, or a drama that makes you laugh. It wants to be a full-on, shocking comedy and a full-on, shocking drama at the same time, both aspects treated equally.
Last season, though, the comedy elements worked far better for me, like the scenes between Franco and his girlfriend’s mentally disabled–or in the show’s terms, “retard”–brother, who turned out to be a lot savvier than he let on. The drama, though, fell into the trap that FX shows sometimes do, trying to top itself and up the ante so dramatically that it became unbelievable, and undercut stories that were already set up. (There were times last season that I almost forgot that Tommy had just lost his son.)
Still, I’ll be back, because when it’s good there’s nothing better on FX and few things better on TV. Will you?