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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents
Rescue Me: The Complete Second Season (2005)

"Do me a favor, next time call the hormone hotline, ok?"
- Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: May 08, 2006

Stars: Denis Leary
Other Stars: Diane Farr, Daniel Sunjata, Andrea Roth, Natalie Distler, Trevor Heins, Olivia Crocicchia, Callie Thorne, Robert John Burke, Jack McGee
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult language, violence, sexual situations)
Run Time: 09h:34m:00s
Release Date: May 09, 2006
UPC: 043396133440
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A+ A+AA+ A

DVD Review

The two-year-old hit TNT series, Rescue Me has a ton of things going for it, but it could never be the success it is without the involvement of Denis Leary. He's not only the star of the show, but the co-creator (along with Peter Tolan) and writer as well. With the third season of the show premiering in a few weeks, now's the perfect time to get caught up on the storyline with the new Rescue Me: The Complete Second Season DVD set.

When we left Tommy Gavin (Leary), his life was in a tailspin, and his battle with alcohol raged on. Now, he is dealing with Janet's (Andrea Roth) sudden decision to sell their house and leave town with his kids, Colleen (Natalie Distler), Connor (Trevor Heins), and Katy (Olivia Crocicchia). Tommy's newly pregnant girlfriend, Sheila (Callie Thorne) is an emotional wreck, and his role in an accident that injured fellow firefighter, Franco (Daniel Sunjata), has nearly ruined his career. His punishment is a transfer to a Staten Island station that sees only a small fraction of the action that his old post saw. With everything going wrong, something's got to give soon, or things could reach the ultimate breaking point for him.

The 13 Season Three episodes begin with Voicemail, which looks at the boring hell that Tommy is going through at his new firehouse. Harmony finds him joining his new company's barbershop quartet in order to get some time off and track Janet down. Numerous story arcs really pick up some steam in Balls, including a revealing discovery about Tommy's replacement, Sully; a new direction for Franco and Laura's (Diane Farr) relationship; and Sheila's secret about the baby.

Tommy's realistic visions of Jesus and other religious figures have been getting stranger, so in the fourth episode, &#!&, he goes to his cousin, Father Mickey (Robert John Burke), for help. We hit a real lull in the season with the next three episodes: Sensitivity, Reunion, and Shame, but a lull here could double as three incredible episodes in a lesser show. The single-word episode titles continue (and things get juicy again) with Believe, where Jack McGee gives an Emmy-worthy performance, as his Chief Reilly invites the fire crew to his gay son's birthday party.

Family is the focus the rest of the way, with Rebirth touching on a possible reconciliation for Tommy and Janet, while Brains and Bitch are Sheila-centric. Happy seems like a standard, penultimate episode until a shocking event occurs near the end. The consequences of this event are dealt with in the season finale, Justice, where the entire cast shows us why they gel so well as a unit.

With Season Two, Denis Leary and Peter Tolan pick up right where they left off from the show's first season, and then some; molding Rescue Me into one of the most complete TV series on the air. Week after week these amazing writers deliver the goods, offering a great mix of comedy, drama, and the most important constant: characters that we care deeply about. The various storylines are so engaging and deep, and with the incredible power of the last two episodes, this DVD collection is one that you simply should not ignore.

Rating for Style: A+
Rating for Substance: A+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers suit these episodes just fine, featuring crisp, pleasing image detail at all times. The color scheme and fleshtones are true, always maintaining natural hues regardless of the setting or time of day. There aren't any print flaws at all; not even a speck of dirt.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is also what we've come to expect from new TV shows with marginal budgets. Ambient sounds greatly benefit from these mixes, especially during the exterior sequences, while there's nice bass presence throughout. The expertly written dialogue is always clear, and blends in well with the inventive soundtrack and other sound effects.

Audio Transfer Grade: A+


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 91 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Underworld Evolution, The King of Queens, TV Action Favorites
1 TV Spots/Teasers
37 Deleted Scenes
1 Documentaries
5 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Nexpak
Picture Disc
4 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Gag Reel
Extras Review: An excellent extras collection is spread out among all four discs, beginning with a set of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD previews on Disc 1. This disc also houses nine of the deleted scenes (there are 37 in all) and a Rescue Me Season 3 Teaser that's only 30 seconds long and doesn't actually show any footage from the upcoming batch of episodes.

Disc 2 begins with a nine-minute featurette called The Second Season, during which Leary and Tolan do quite a bit of joking around, but find time to discuss the importance of this season as a whole. Shooting in New York is a 10-minute look at the locations used in the show; Leary and Tolan go into detail about specific places, but they also touch on how quite a bit was shot around Ground Zero. Also here is a very funny six-minute gag reel and four more deleted scenes.

Disc 3 has The Kitchen, a nearly five-minute piece that goes over the most important room in any firehouse, via interviews with Leary and other cast members. The nine-minute Writing for the Cast focuses mostly on the cast talking about Leary and Tolan's writing styles and the difficulties, at times, of balancing the show's dramatic and humorous elements. Another eight deleted scenes are featured on this disc.

Diane Farr Talks to the Real NYFD is arguably the best feature in the set, as this 22-minute segment follows the actress as she listens to a real fire crew discuss what the show's writers get wrong in their depiction of the profession. Real Life on the Set of Rescue Me runs for eight minutes and is more behind-the-scenes footage of various location shoots. The final 16 deleted scenes round out this disc.

Extras Grade: A


Final Comments

After a great inaugural season, Rescue Me is back for more in the summer of 2005, giving us more of a look at firefighter Tommy Gavin's mess of a life. Rescue Me: The Complete Second Season is another fine DVD edition from Sony, complete with excellent audio and video presentations and a great collection of extras.


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