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DVD Talk review of 'Rescue Me - The Complete Fourth Season'

Old 05-26-08, 04:57 PM
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DVD Talk review of 'Rescue Me - The Complete Fourth Season'

I read Don Houston's DVD review of Rescue Me - The Complete Fourth Season at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=33364 and...while this was a very in-depth and insightful review Dan, i have to disagree with the high recommendation.

i've watched the show since the beginning and have the 1st 3 Seasons on DVD as well. this is a remarkable show that for 3 years had me totally captivated and eagerly awaiting more. When i saw the first episode of S4 i was horrified. it was not the same show i had watched 3 years prior.

something was different, the show was different. as the episodes aired they got more laborious and tedious to sit through. i was frustrated and saddened with each new week. they didn't get better, only worse.

i saw Tommy's devolution and the mean spirit almost every character harnessed. they were just mean. the show ceased to be fun and entertaining and enthralling as what came prior.

i love this show and will continue to support and watch, but i don't think i will be getting this season on DVD and am anxious/nervous as to what S5 will bring.
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Old 05-27-08, 03:59 AM
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Thanks for the feedback Scott! I always have mixed feelings about what to rate a title and if there was an option to pass on providing an overall rating, I probably would in most cases (since we all have different tastes); leaving the reader to decide for themselves based on the tech info, extras, and such.

In the case of Rescue Me S4, I think the Tommy Gavin character is being made "meaner" in part because he has been so totally sympathetic in the past, too sympathetic, for many reasons. He's an alcoholic that primarily gives into whatever personal desire he wants at the expense of those around him; treating women like crap, pissing on his family time and again, and wanting to impose his own views on those around him. He saves lives all the time and he loves those in his inner circle but he can't help being exactly what he is. The show examines that in such a way that I really want to like him yet despise many of his behaviors, the humor coming from the oddest of places at times.

S4 also shows him as sober, not having had a drink in 11+ months, the guy finding solace in religion, and coming to terms with EXACTLY how he has been treating people his whole life. That was key to my appreciating it more than I would otherwise have done; the self loathing he always had being made more prominent unfiltered by booze and drugs, replacing those with the Bible he reads specific text from (each passage key to something going on at the moment). That his equally dysfunctional family is just as bad has always been acknowledged but now he's seeing them without the distortions of the chemicals he used to take the edge off with; making it more interesting.

The only real beef I had with the season that wasn't in the review was the continual product placement for Vitamin Water; the bottles either mentioned or prominently placed all over the place. It was no "Frontier ad" but it was a pain in the ass all the same...

Again, thanks for commenting!
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Old 05-27-08, 09:26 AM
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you know Dan, you make some very interesting and valid points about Tommy.

i always loved that he was this very flawed anti-hero that would save the day with fire fighting and in the home front and yet get zero appreciation. yes, he was extremely reckless in both, but could usually be counted on, especially since he was sober.

i mean he does so much for his kids and did so much for Janet, but yet got sh*t on by them all the time, especially Colleen, who he gave so much $$ and other stuff. and then when Janet snapped after Connor's death i really felt bad for Tommy and was hoping their relationship would grow stronger, of course Janet and Johnny's relationship didn't help matters, but alas as the show goes so does solid relationships.

I don't think Tommy is the meanest character, not by a long shot. you see his struggles and his trying so hard with everything, but everyone around him seems to dump on him. he really is the brunt of all others character flaws.

i dunno, you got me thinking and i think i will pick up S4 just to give it a second chance, but i will get with hesitation and hope i do find solace that the show hasn't deviated as much as i remember watching the first runs.
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Old 05-27-08, 01:50 PM
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"Chief Feinberg as a consummate Jew adding a few extra laughs as well."

Acceptable?

Does it have consummate christians or negroes for me to laugh at?
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Old 05-27-08, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by pjflyer
"Chief Feinberg as a consummate Jew adding a few extra laughs as well."

Acceptable?

Does it have consummate christians or negroes for me to laugh at?
The new Chief is just that, the perfect Jew; a family man that attempts to take care of his troops, respects them, and totally confounds them with his old world sayings. If anything, the series spends an abnormal amount of time peering into the hypocrisies of Catholicism (primarily, though not limited to it) in every single episode; doing so consciously by the way, as it peels back the layers of societal norms. The humor derived from the veritable clash of cultures was only just starting but if you're familiar with the series in the slightest, you'll know it has no sacred cows or off limit topics.
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Old 05-27-08, 09:16 PM
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I think what this review needs is some nude screenshots.

= J
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Old 05-27-08, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Tarantino
I think what this review needs is some nude screenshots.
With or without censoring bars?
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Old 05-27-08, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Houstondon
With or without censoring bars?
but doesnt fx only show the backsides and never the front, or have they changed that policy.
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Old 05-27-08, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Rypro 525
but doesnt fx only show the backsides and never the front, or have they changed that policy.
Rescue Me S4 had a few backsides and well placed "side shots" but I can't say I recall any breasts in it that weren't covered up. As much sex and sexual innuendos as the show has, it's more about alcoholism and firemen coping with the stresses of life (typically unsuccessfully; probably due to Jim Serpico's involvement). Now if FX dropped the show and National Lampoon picked it up...there might be ten whole seconds of nudity on the unrated & uncensored version of the show... lol
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Old 05-28-08, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Rypro 525
but doesnt fx only show the backsides and never the front,
Don't worry, Don can do a vertical censoring bar too.
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Old 05-28-08, 07:59 AM
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I'd like to thank you for the review. I am a HUGE Rescue Me fan (it's in my top 3 TV shows of all time) and own the first three seasons. I HATED season 4. None of the episodes seamed to work for me. I remember posting that I would not be buying it on DVD either.

Now I'm beginning to reconsider. Nothing could have lived up to the hype I had built up inside after the first three seasons, so maybe I was unrealistic in my expectations. Also coming to DVDTalk after every episode didn't help maters, there was plenty of room on the hater band wagon.

I'm currently rewatching the first three seasons, so maybe with my expectation in check and back to back on DVD it will be better.
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Old 05-28-08, 10:23 AM
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Yeah, as a fan of the show's previous season, season 4 was a shit sandwich. Aimless, directionless and ultimately pointless - it was a just a collection of situations with little to no character growth or any story progression to speak of. It was as insubstantial as a season's worth of dream sequences.
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Old 05-28-08, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Tarantino
I think what this review needs is some nude screenshots.

= J
I think what season 4 needed were some nude screenshots.
Incidentally, I thought season 4 was really shitty. Just not entertaining at all, and really disjointed. I will most likely pick it up though, as I would like to try to rewatch it before the next season.
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Old 05-29-08, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by DeputyDave
Now I'm beginning to reconsider. Nothing could have lived up to the hype I had built up inside after the first three seasons, so maybe I was unrealistic in my expectations. Also coming to DVDTalk after every episode didn't help matters, there was plenty of room on the hater band wagon.
I purposely avoided reading anything about the series, skipping any threads here and not visiting the dedicated websites because the amount of fair weather friends the series had/has was/is huge. Objectively, the main characters are not particularly likable (even Chief, who some seemed to claim was a saint once his fate was sealed, regardless of having almost killed the gay guy in the earlier season, acted like a prick to his son, and succumbed to his personal demons far too many times for those willing to rewrite history to explain away) and there are times when I wonder if I watched the same show as some of these people.

Originally Posted by slop101
season 4 was a shit sandwich. Aimless, directionless and ultimately pointless - it was a just a collection of situations with little to no character growth or any story progression to speak of. It was as insubstantial as a season's worth of dream sequences.
I've been asking this question a lot over the past week but...did you watch the entire season, in order, as it aired? I see a major trend with some of the comments coming from those that have not seen it completely. That said, I'm respectfully curious as to what aim, direction, and character growth you saw in previous seasons that was lacking this time. As Tommy dries out, he embraces religion this time; not exactly helping his outlook (though setting him up for S5 nicely) but helping him see the same flaws in his family/friends that most viewers have noticed about him in the past. Lou is still a skirt chasing guy but he finds that getting all the trim you want can satiate even the best of us (the guy wanting more than sex by the time he's through with his nympho), Franco showed plenty of growth in a similar light (despite his near fatal relationship move with Alicia that she fends off), Sean/Mikey/Colleen/etc all showed growth too. They might not have grown the way you wanted but they all showed some changes.

Originally Posted by jjcool
Incidentally, I thought season 4 was really shitty. Just not entertaining at all, and really disjointed.
I know a lot of people hated the season for all sorts of reasons (many of them completely opposite) but I'm curious what you were expecting that wasn't provided. I'm generally curious as to what people saw previously that wasn't present this time too. I'm trying to catch up on what people said about the show since I went out of my way to avoid watching the show and read stuff until I watched the DVD set completely (waiting a year really took patience too).

Is it possible that watching the series on DVD, in a few sittings, makes it a different (better) experience than as it airs on TV? Thanks for any help you may collectively provide.
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Old 06-03-08, 11:22 AM
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well damn you Don! i bit and bought this today at Best Buy. they had a bonus disc and i am a sucker for bonus discs. i really was gonna wait till it went to $19.99, but oh well. i will give it a 2nd look and see how it goes.

anyone know when S5 starts up?
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Old 06-04-08, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by scott1598
well damn you Don! i bit and bought this today at Best Buy. they had a bonus disc and i am a sucker for bonus discs. i really was gonna wait till it went to $19.99, but oh well. i will give it a 2nd look and see how it goes.

anyone know when S5 starts up?
I'd like to know what you thought of it; we can even discuss it via email without worrying about spoilers if you like. What was on the bonus disc?

S5 was postponed by the writer's strike until next year though there are reportedly numerous comedic "minisodes" that will bridge the gap until then. I found the reasoning for the season's delay a bit strange since Leary and his team write almost all of it and so much of the rest is ad libbed on the set but I can wait patiently (maybe they won't delay the season set so long this time too).
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Old 06-04-08, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Houstondon
I'd like to know what you thought of it; we can even discuss it via email without worrying about spoilers if you like. What was on the bonus disc?
sounds good. i have it in one DVD player right now, but also have the 1st season of "The West Wing" in another and really hooked again. but what i do is switch off and i will try hard to do so. i will let you know what my initial thoughts are on the re-viewings and then overall when i get through it.
i haven't popped in the bonus disc yet and there is no description on the cardboard sleeve. i'll let you know on that too.

Originally Posted by Houstondon
S5 was postponed by the writer's strike until next year though there are reportedly numerous comedic "minisodes" that will bridge the gap until then. I found the reasoning for the season's delay a bit strange since Leary and his team write almost all of it and so much of the rest is ad libbed on the set but I can wait patiently (maybe they won't delay the season set so long this time too).
you know i just read that on "Attack of the Show" on G4 last night, i seem to be getting all my entertainment news from them now.

don't know what those "minisodes" could be, but a "comedic" take? i mean i know Leary got his start in comedy, but he seems to have progressed beyond and is doing great, especially his turn in HBO's "Recount". but, i guess it will have to do.

i also read that it won't air until next April! i guess to make way for the last season of"The Shield" or something. who knows, what i do know is that i think Leary heard the criticism of S4 and i think the show will have a resurgence. i know you liked it Don, but i think it was predominantly panned. either way i always look forward to smartly written, clever dramas with a heart and this show has so far done that in spades.

i haven't been invested in characters like these in a long time. i also did like Dean Winters and really didn't want to see him go full-time at least (if you know what i mean), but the first 3 seasons have worked very well for me. and who knows with a 2nd helping of S4...

Last edited by OldBoy; 06-04-08 at 10:44 AM.
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