Two Season Finales, Two Really Different Directions

Last night was the season finale of Rescue Me and, holy shit, what a season finale. If you haven't been watching Rescue Me, and I'm not sure that anybody is but me, you're missing one of the best shows on TV. It's on FX, which is probably reason 1 that you're not watching, and stars Dennis Leary, which may be reason 2, as a New York City fireman who lost his cousin in 9/11 and is still struggling to come to grips with what happened that day.

If you're not familiar with the show, here's a sample grab. There's a lot of testosterone:

You want to know how big my balls are? My balls are bigger than two of your heads duct-taped together. I've been in the middle of shit that would make you piss your pants right now. Uptown, downtown, Harlem, Brooklyn. But there ain't no medals on my chest, assholes, 'cause I ain't no hero. I'm a fireman. We're not in the business of making heroes here. We're in the business of discovering cowards, 'cause that's what you are if you can't take the heat. You're a pussy, and there ain't no room for pussies in the FDNY.

In case you couldn't tell, that was Dennis Leary talking. Anyway, it's a great show. As you can probably tell, it's a guy show, a firehouse show with burning buildings and guys (mainly guys, but also Diane Farr) sitting around making jokes about the kinds of things guys make jokes about. Which kind of reminds me of another show that also had its season finale this past weekend -- Entourage.

I love Entourage, and even though I think the whole Mandy Moore plotline kind of hijacked our boys this season (I know, I know -- that was the point, but still, didn't that seem to take forever?), it's still the quickest half hour of pop confection that's come along in quite a long time, the perfect mental skittles to while away the end of the weekend.

So Entourage got us all worked up and then wrapped almost everything up a nice little bow: Vince decided to stay on the movie, E decided to stay with Vince, Ari and Lloyd (Lloyd!) started down the road to opening their own agency. Apparently out of The Coffee Bean. So that one wasn't quite as neatly tied up as the rest of the plotlines, but we still have the feeling that Ari is getting his shit together.

In contrast, Rescue Me had Leary's Tommy getting his shit together throughout the entire season. He tracked down his wife and kids, got back together with the wife, moved back in, started taking (well, stealing his wife's) antidepressants, and became such a nice guy that he was kicked off the hockey team and started bringing fancy coffee around the stationhouse for the guys. He even stopped seeing the Jesus and Mary Magdelene that had been stalking him all season (sample Jesus dialogue: "you got a sandwich?" Sample Mary Magdelene dialogue: "did he try that normal guy shit with you yet, ask you to make him a sandwich?").

But man, did they go the other direction in the season finale of Rescue Me. By the end of the show, nearly everything that had been neatly tied up was in tatters -- almost every character, or at least the majority of them, was left facing tragedy. It's going to be a hell of a next season.

I'm not saying one of those was better than the other -- I really don't expect any death or burning bodies on Entourage, but wihle I'll be looking forward to Vince and the boys cruising into another season, I really can't wait to see what happens when the Rescue Me boys try to piece their shit back together.

1 comment:

Mike said...

F/X seems to really be branching out lately with all this original programming: Rescue Me, Nip/Tuck, that show about the war. I guess maybe they're trying to "rebrand" themselves as a serious network, though I'm not sure what their previous brand was: the only network willing to give you 24 straight hours of King of the Hill reruns?

TBS is kind of doing the same thing with their "We're a comedy station. No, really, a comedy station" thing. Instead of the official home of the Atlanta Braves and Andy Griffith.