Dear Rescue Me,
Seven years, seven seasons, and 93 episodes later, our relationship has come to an end. Before you go, I just wanted to say a couple of things so just bear with me here. You’re departure is still fresh, and while I’m sad about it, I’m also satisfied with how things came full circle.
I remember watching your pilot episode and having to pick my jaw up off the ground because of how cutting edge you were. I can’t even begin to count how many times I looked over at Roomie and said “they can say that on TV now?” I was never offended, but I was shocked. You pushed the envelope from the get go, which is something I totally respect. Only F/X can get away with the things you got away with. You had stop short of dropping the F bomb, but made your point clear. Your brazenness I found endearing. You were crude, rude, vile and shocking all while being heartfelt.
You showed up a few years after the 9/11 attacks, with a subject matter that hit a nerve. As the country was still reeling from the attacks and the loss, so were your characters. You never forgot where you came from, nor did you let us forget either. It seems only fitting that you would depart as we approach the 10 year anniversary of the attacks. Regardless of whether or not that was your original plan, it feels right.
Your quality never wavered which is really saying something. Other shows reach a point where they should leave us, but they’re like the irritating party guest who gets branded as “The Stayer.” At no time in your seven seasons did I ever feel you over-stayed your welcome. Those others should really follow your lead.
What I’ll miss most is all of your different personalities. Obviously Tommy was the most dominant, but Lou, Franco, Needles, Sean, Black Sean, and Mike all played a huge role in fleshing out your stories and turning you into a show full of flawed characters that you may have disliked at times, but still loved regardless. You showed us everything, and I embraced you warts and all.
Your swan song episode encapsulated everything I’ve loved about you. You had me in tears within the first 30 seconds and laughing so hard I was crying by the end. No other show has been able to do that. You went from shock, to comedy, most often shocking comedy to tragedy and back to comedy in the blink of an eye. And you did it with panache. You never shied away from topics of sex, loss….and I mean A LOT of loss, betrayal, substance abuse, sexual orientation, race, religion, or any other topics that other shows may find hard to discuss. Not you, no way.
I’ve always adored Denis Leary even back when he was doing his rants on MTV. It still blows me away that the man behind the Asshole song was half of the brain behind you. He and Peter Tolan created something truly special in you. I’m not a person who cries easily by any means, but you were able to break down my tough exterior and play my heartstrings like a fiddle. You left me with a puffy face, stuffed up nose and teary eyes on more than one occasion but always managed to keep me coming back for more.
I missed you when you weren’t around and your long hiatuses sometimes seemed never-ending. Then the writer’s strike happened and I had to spend all of 2008 without you. Now I’m left without you again, but at least this time, we have some closure. Going out just like you came in, yelling at a bunch of new recruits was the perfect way to end things. Perhaps one day I’ll revisit you in all of your seven seasons of glory, but for now, I’m content with how things ended. You’ve said your goodbye, now it’s my turn.
So in saying farewell, let me just say thanks for the years of laughter and tears. To channel Tommy Gavin, I’ll just say this: Rest is peace asshole. You will be missed.
Tags: Denis Leary, F/X, Peter Tolan, Rescue Me