Tag Archives: Rescue Me

A subway etiquette question. “Rescue Me” goes out in style. And the solution to cold toilet seats!

A subway etiquette question for my awesome readers:
So I’m on the F train the other day, on my way home from Manhattan back to Queens. It’s about 6 p.m. so of course the train is mad crowded, and with every seat taken I’m standing in a row of people right in front of the people sitting down on the benches.
After about 20 minutes of the ride, a seated person right in front of me gets up, creating a chance to sit down. There’s an older woman standing next to me, so being a sensitive male and all, I tap her on the shoulder and point out the seat to her, should she want it.
She sits down and smiles while quietly saying “Thanks.” A little while later, the subway is still crowded and I’m still standing up with a crowd. At the next stop three people get up from the seats in front of me, and so I grab one of them.
A woman who was standing near me shoots me a look and half-sniffs at me.
I quickly say “did you want to sit down?” and she shook her head.

So I ask you: Am I, as a male in 2011, supposed to offer a subway seat to every woman standing near me before I sit down? Or is one enough? I mean, I felt a little guilty when the second woman shot me that look, but I mean geez, I was tired, too.
It’s just so hard to know the rules on these things.

**I get emotionally attached to great television shows.
Especially when I’ve watched every episode of them, from the pilot all the way through.
Seriously, think about it: How many shows can you say you watched every single episode, and including watching it from the beginning the first time it aired? Not many, right?
But with “Rescue Me,” I was there right from the start, from the summer of 2004 and Franco’s first joke about how it was harder to get women now, being a firefighter, since in the few years after 9/11 it was so easy.
There for the incredible first three seasons, as the show combined raunchy humor and gut-wrenching drama. There when it went off the rails there for a couple of seasons, before coming back really strong last season and this one.
If you’re a fan, I hope you watched Wednesday’s series finale by now. If not, SKIP THIS NEXT PART.
I liked the last show a lot. Sure, I was seriously pissed off at the beginning, when it looked like all of Ladder 62 had perished save for Lou. But as almost always happens with “Rescue Me,” it was just a dream sequence. It angered me that it was Lou who died, but his poignant eulogy at the beginning, and his self-eulogy in his letter to be opened only after his death, made up for it.
I also loved how the final scene connected to the first big scene in the show’s history, as Denis Leary blistered the new firefighters who’d just graduated about honor, respect, and courage.
No television program I’ve ever seen combined the hilarious and the tragic as well as “Rescue Me.” At its best, it was as good as any show I’ve ever seen.
If you haven’t ever watched it, I recommend it highly (The whole series is live streaming on Netflix).
When it ended, with the shot of the New York skyline still obviously missing those two Towers, my heart caught in my throat.
And I yelled “Noooo!” at the TV, as the ending credits rolled.
That’s what happens when you get attached to something great. You get really, really sad when it ends.

**And finally for this Friday, I give you a product that solves a problem few of us were really complaining about: the cold toilet seat.
I give you… the Toastie Tush!


A father ruins his son’s Facebook rep, and it’s awesome. A fun Mitt Romney game. A terrific Springsteen cover. And “Rescue Me” really great this season.

This is one of those stories I came across on the Internet that I’m praying is real.
The father of a 15-year-old boy named Chris stumbled upon his son’s Facebook page when Chris left his account logged on to the family computer.
What the father saw surprised him. So he wrote this totally fabulous status update:

So great. Sure it’s a little mean, but sometimes parenting is like that.

**So as the race for the Republican presidential nomination heats up, it still looks like it’s Mitt Romney’s to lose, until Governor Rick “Secession” Perry jumps in this race.
So it’s always fun to remember that Mitt Romney, bless his heart, is perhaps the most two-faced politician of all time. A man named Matt Ortega has given us a fun way to watch Mitt change his position on every issue. It’s a website game called “Multiple Choice Mitt,” and you can play here. Ortega has lined up, side by side, Mitt flip-flopping on just about every issue in the political world.
The abortion and gun control ones are my favorite.
Ah, Mitt. We know: You were for it before you were against it.

**A random musical interlude: This is a really good cover of Springsteen’s classic “Atlantic City” by the Hold Steady. Gotta say, as much as I love the original, this one is almost as good. This is what a cover should do: add a little bit to the original.

**Finally, a few words about my favorite show “Rescue Me.” For those of you who are fans, hasn’t this season been great so far? I love the re-introduction of Maura Tierney’s character; I think Franco confronting Lou about his weight is long overdue (fantastic intensity in that fight scene this week), and Denis Leary continues to have some of the best lines on TV. Wednesday night’s episode, with Leary’s Tommy Gavin going off on a TV interviewer, and Garrity returning to the comedy which he does best, was so solid.

I’m legitimately bummed that there are only a few episodes left in the history of this series. It’s just been that damn good.

Stewart and Seinfeld kill on “The Daily Show.” “Rescue Me” is back for one more fire. And the cheesiest yet most awesome city promo video ever.

I was practically in tears laughing while watching this on “The Daily Show” Wednesday night.

Jon Stewart had just finished a piece mocking Marcus Bachmann, husband of Michele Bachmann, and a complete lunatic who compares gay people to barbarians and wants to “cure” them. Stewart and his special guest Jerry Seinfeld underwent some “comedy repression therapy” and it’s just too damn funny:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

**I’m an enormous fan of the Denis Leary show “Rescue Me,” which I’ve written about a few times on here. If you have never watched it, man, you are missing some seriously awesome TV.
Its final season started Wednesday night, and of course it was awesome. The firemen of Ladder 62 in New York have one final chance to fight fires, save lives, and be incredibly, outrageously, inappropriately funny as well.

Can’t wait to see how this show ends. I have no idea if Tommy Gavin (Leary’s character) is going to die, if Lou will ever find true love, and whether Sheila will finally go completely nutso and blow away every man in her life.
But I know it’s going to be a fabulous ride. Seriously, I implore you, watch this show once and you’ll be hooked. Wednesday nights, 10 p.m. on FX.

**Man, I had totally forgotten all about this next clip until I saw it on grantland.com Wednesday night. And I gotta admit, it totally made me laugh and smile.
In the early 1990s, NBC made this incredibly detailed “I Love New York” style promo video for the city. It was cheesy, hilarious in its “over the top”-ness, but also all kinds of awesome.
If you’re a New Yorker, or were back then, you’ll probably appreciate this the most…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

“Rescue Me” nailing it again this season. And my new favorite criminal, ever

I haven’t blogged about the best show on TV yet this season, mostly because I was on vacation and I forgot.
But a few episodes in, “Rescue Me” on FX has continued to kick ass. If you haven’t watched the show yet, you’re missing out, majorly. I’ve been telling people about “Rescue Me” for so long that one of my Facebook friends has started watching it, I think, primarily, to shut me up. (Hope you’re enjoying it, Amanda!)
Anyway, Denis Leary and the rest of the firehouse, Ladder Company 62, have been pretty entertaining so far.

Couple thoughts on Season 6, so far:
–I love that we’re now into Season 6, and Tommy Gavin (Leary’s character) is not evolving or growing.
At all. He just had his worst bender yet on the last episode, complete with three female hook-ups, thong-wearing, and losing his equally drunk 21-year-old daughter for about 24 hours.
Most shows would try to eventually redeem a rogue leading man like Tommy. Not this show. He’s almost died so many times on this show that you had to figure he’d learn his lesson by now. But nope, he’s still making the same mistakes.

–They’ve brought the funny back this season. Last year was pretty serious and heavy, with too much craziness from Sheila going on (she’s much better in smaller doses). But they’ve got Probie Mike and Shawn in a bunch of idiotic dialogues so far this year, and I’ve nearly fallen off the couch several times.

**I love that this recent bender by Tommy was caused by his belief wife Janet cheated on him with Franco, especially considering Tommy has slept with SO many other women over the five years of the show. And this time Janet’s innocent.

— We need more fires on the show. We’ve had hardly any this season. Just saying.

OK, stop reading this and go watch “Rescue Me.” Start with Season 1 on DVD to get the real feel, but it’s on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX if you want to just start now and not do all the hard background work.

**Ah, you have to love the chutzpah of some criminals. New Yorker Daryl Simon was convicted of credit card fraud back in 2007, but was a fugitive on the loose until 2008.
He was finally sentenced on July 19, but not before, and I swear I’m not making this up, submitting “fake letters of support from individuals and charitable organizations and altered photographs, in which he digitally inserted his own image into photographs of disabled and elderly patients in hospitals and groups of children at school.”

I love it. Let’s get the judge to think I’m a good guy by Photoshopping pictures of me helping old ladies across the street! Or volunteering at a hospital!

Apparently the prosecutors got suspicious when Simon was wearing the same shirt in all the photos.

He got 285 months for his crime. He should’ve gotten 10 more years on a stupidity charge.

The hilarious Denis Leary on Twitter. The germy iPads. And a classic movie that never gets old




In preparation for the return of my favorite show on television, “Rescue Me” later this month (you think those “Friday Night Lights” fanatics are obsessively devoted to telling people how great their show is? That’s how I am with “Rescue Me”) I checked out Denis Leary’s Twitter feed the other day.

Brilliant, of course. Sample tweets:  “World Cup News: England blames ball design for US goal. Fair enough. We still blame them for Boy George.”


“CIA made fake video of Bin Laden drinking booze, talking with young boys about sex. At end of tape Osama was transferred to another parish.”

Seriously, who’s funny more often than Denis Leary? I’m so glad he’s got a good career now, because for a while he was criminally under-appreciated.

Check out the Twitter feed and have a good laugh.

**OK, from the “information I could’ve lived without” department:

The New York Daily News did an investigation of how much bacteria and germs were on the display iPads sitting in a typical Apple Store. I’d guess quite a lot, off the top of my head, because thousands of people probably pick them up every day and play with them.

Well, turns out, yep, they’re gross. Of the four iPads the Daily News swabbed and sent to a lab recently, two of them came back positive for “harmful pathogens.”

So there you go. Don’t get an iPad, it could kill you!

**Finally, we all have movies that make us weak in the knees, that we can watch over and over again. Films that you stop and watch just about every time they’re on TV.

Ever since my father sat me down and had me view it for the first time when I was a kid, 12 Angry Men has always been one of those flicks for me. Caught it again late Friday night. What a masterpiece of filmmaking. It’s just 12 men (duh), sitting in one room, for 101 minutes, talking about a murder case they’ve been handed as jury members.

It’s just brilliant. Every time I watch it, I see a small detail I hadn’t noticed before. Friday night, in addition to the amazing performances of Lee J. Cobb and Henry Fonda, and the brilliant script, I appreciated the old man (juror No. 9) a lot more. He really does steal the scene every time he speaks. I also love Jack Warden’s one-liners, and the scene where Cobb threatens to kill Fonda’s Juror No. 8 always gets me on the edge of my seat.

I wish Michael Bay and some of these other action-movie fools would sit and watch 12 Angry Men sometime.  Then they could see that all you need for a memorable flick is a great script, a compelling story, and good actors who know exactly what they’re trying to get across in their part. That’s it.

“Rescue Me” and “Weeds” sign off in style


So for most people who watch TV, the summer is the boring, slow, nothing-on time.

For me, it’s when the best stuff is aired. My two favorite shows left on air (since ABC stupidly killed “Dirty Sexy Money,” and yeah, I’ll get over it eventually) both ended fantastic seasons the last two nights, and since I can’t call every one of you and discuss the season finales of “Rescue Me” and “Weeds,” well, that’s what this blog is for!

Warning: If you’re a fan of the shows and haven’t seen the season finales, you might wanna stop reading here until you’ve seen them. Because I’m gonna be talking about the shocking endings of both. OK, we now resume our regularly scheduled blog.

My first thought: They’re not really going to kill Tommy Gavin, are they?

After so many near-misses, after he survived a hundred building explosions, and Sheila drugging him and setting his house on fire, and all the other times he should’ve been killed, this is how they’re going to kill Tommy? With crazy Uncle Teddy shooting him and then not letting anyone go for help?

It’s delicious to think they might have Denis Leary’s lead character die, and then have him come back and haunt people as some sort of revenge for Jimmy Keefe and Jesus and his son Connor (Tommy’s son, not Jesus’, that sentence sounded weird so I wanted to clarify) haunting him all these years.

But they’re not going to kill Tommy. Leary and co-creator Peter Tolan admitted as much in an interview I just read on TV Guide. They’ll find some way to keep him alive.

Still, pretty freakin’ great ending, to a great final episode of a great “Rescue Me” season. Before I go any further, I must pay homage again to Leary and the writers, for so many classic scenes and lines this year:

My three favorites have to be the “Sean’s penis has turned a different color, and everyone must weigh in,” the brilliantly written and acted scene where Lou completely turns the tables on Candy and steals all of her money and calls the cops on her (and the true beauty of that scene? We were waiting, waiting for Lou to turn on her, and finally get revenge. And just when I’d lost hope it was going to happen? BAM.),

And of course, the scene that had my wife and I laughing so hard we had to stop the DVR for 2 minutes, when Probie, Sean and Damian discuss “Carpe Diem” and Joba Chamberlain and Indians. You have to see it to believe it (and damn it I can’t find it on YouTube.)

Anyway, back to the season finale: I loved that finally someone said out loud why I’ve been wondering: Why are Sheila and Janet fighting so hard over Tommy?

Fantastic line, too by Maura Tierney’s character Kelly, about Sheila: “She’s like Joe Pesci with tits!” Perfect.

And the ending? Well, I guess it’s sort of coming full circle, though Teddy blaming Tommy for his wife’s death, because he was the bartender the night she got wasted, drove drunk and died, seemed a bit of a stretch. But Teddy’s always been a loose cannon, and his ending speech over a prone Tommy was picture-perfect.

Only 19 more episodes of “Rescue Me,” Leary and Tolan have announced; two more short seasons and the whole thing will be over.

I’m already missing the best show on TV.


OK, “Weeds.” Shane Botwin just kicks so much ass I can’t even tell you.

All year, we’ve seen no-longer little Shane go through a lot of crap on “Weeds,” the most subversive show going for five seasons now.

Dude got shot, he held a knife to some other guys’ throat, and he watched one of Esteban’s goons beat the holy hell out of a golfer at a driving range. Shane has some issues, no doubt. Ever since the first season when he wrote the greatest “white boy rap” ever (I’d embed it but my Mom reads this blog), and then shot that wild bear or whatever the hell it was roaming Agrestic, I knew Shane had some violence in him.

But killing evil Mexican puppeteer druglord Pilar with a croquet mallet was just brilliant.

Also loved seeing Celia put together her own drug cartel, with the terminally underrated Sanjay back in the fold! Now if they’d just bring Helia and Conrad back to the show, I’d be really happy. Seeing teenager Isabelle declaring herself the “brains” of the operation was fabulous; no one there could argue.

And of course, Andy hasn’t grown at all; wimps out completely when the nut-job from the abortion clinic Audra works at shows up to terrorize them. I love Andy; they always give him the best lines but man I just wish once in a while he’d act like a grown up. Esteban, too, seemed wildly wussy-ish (is that word? probably not) this season; he’s supposed to be this big powerful drug lord, and yet he’s powerless to control anyone in his life.

Fabulous season for Weeds, can’t wait for it to come back, and God bless Mary-Louise Parker for being such a fabulous actress on such a fabulous show.

OK, I’m done.

Oh yeah, my tennis blog from the U.S. Open, Day 2, is up: Check it out:

That “inglorious basterd” Tarantino made a great flick


OK, first things first. The U.S. Open has started; I’m blogging it daily for my newspaper; here’s the link for my thoughts on Day 1: Pretty routine day, Venus Williams nearly went down, and Andre Agassi gave a great speech.

Also very psyched for the “Rescue Me” season finale Tuesday night; I have no idea what will happen except that I’m sure some characters will almost die, Tommy will survive, and there’ll be lots of sex and violence. How could anyone not love this show?

And could someone please explain to me what the hell is going on with the Kansas City Chiefs? New coach Todd Haley fires the offensive coordinator in the preseason.  He can’t be that stupid as to panic over a team’s preseason results, can he?

Well, it is the Chiefs. Boy it stinks to be a Kansas City sports fan these days.

And oh yeah, last month you may remember I was bellyaching that there were no creative basebell nicknames left. “The Splendid Splinter,” “Joltin’ Joe,” “The Human Rain Delay,” all those were fabulous.

Well, thanks to my sportswriting god Joe Posnanski, I have found a new great one. Royals soft-tossing minor leaguer pitcher Chris Hayes has acquired the nickname “Disco.”

Why? Because he throws in the 70s.

Perfect. I so hope he makes The Show.

OK, now on to the “Siskel and Ebert” portion of our blog; saw two really good movies over the weekend; will save the other one for tomorrow because quite frankly, I’m not sure you all have time to read 1,500 word blog posts.

Quentin Tarantino, to me, has been like that long-lost friend you see every once in a while, have an awesome time with, and then when they leave you’re like “Why don’t we spend more time together?” Only time goes by and you forget about the friend for a while.

When I actually take the time to watch a Tarantino movie, I’m wildly entertained. “True Romance?” Brilliant. “Pulp Fiction,” well, if you don’t think it was great, than we’re probably not going to get along. “Jackie Brown” was also solid.

But I don’t know why, but I tend to miss a lot of Tarantino’s movies. Still haven’t seen “Kill Bill” in either of his volumes, and I’ve missed some of Tarantino’s other flicks, too.

But I am extraordinarily pleased I wandered to the cinema (I always loved that word, “cinema,” sounds so old-fashioned) Saturday to see “Inglorious Basterds.”

You know how there are some movies where at the end you’re like “I spent 9 bucks for that?” Well, let me tell you, you get your money’s worth here. The story, which I’m sure you know by now, is about a group of ass-kicking Jews in World War II, led by, of course, Brad Pitt, who try to kill as many Nazis as they can.

(Let’s pause for a moment. You know, you just don’t get to write the phrase “ass-kicking Jews” very often. Reminds me of that great scene in “The West Wing” where after Toby and Sam are in a bar fight, Toby calls back to Washington and talks to Will Bailey, who already knows about the brawl.

“It’s big news in Washington?” Toby asks.

“Are you kidding?” Will replies. “A Jew won a bar fight. It’s big news everywhere.”

(God, I love Aaron Sorkin. But I digress.)

 Along the way in Tarantino’s film, we meet some superbly drawn characters; Tarantino is fabulous at giving his characters dimension. There’s Pitt, who I only love in his comedic performances, as the non-Jew leader looking to scalp Nazis. There’s a beautiful Jewish woman, Shoshanna,  who escaped and now plots revenge.

Every actor is fabulous in this movie, but the absolute standout is the German SS Colonel Landa, who mesmerizes you every time he’s on screen. If this guy (Christoph Waltz) doesn’t get an Oscar nomination out of this, I’ll be pissed.

Now of course the movie is totally fiction, and the ending is truly mind-bending in its improbability. But that’s the point of movies, isn’t it, to show us a world we can’t imagine?

Four stars for this movie from me. It’s not as good as “Pulp Fiction,” but to me this is Quentin’s second-best film.

Again, it’s a movie with Jews kicking ass for two hours. When do you ever get to see that?

Certainly not at my high school when I was growing up, that I can assure you.

“Rescue Me” and Rickey’s induction speech


So I’m one of those people who gets really mad when my friends and family don’t watch a TV show I recommend heavily.

I think I have a secret fear that if I don’t zealously spread the word, it’ll get canceled.

I told everyone I knew to watch “Freaks and Geeks,” still the best show about high school ever. Few did. It got canceled after 18 episodes.

I raved about an old Jay Mohr show called “Action,” which was hilarious but criminally unloved. I loved “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” which lasted a whole season.

After the pilot, I spread the gospel of “Dirty Sexy Money.” “It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s well acted, and it’s probably way too smart for most of America!” I exclaimed. It too got canceled.

With that track record, friends and family have grown skeptical. But dammit, sometimes I’m right. And from the first episode in 2004, my favorite show on television has been FX’s “Rescue Me.

If you are not familiar with it, a brief primer: It’s about life in a New York City firehouse post 9/11. The adventures of Ladder 62 make for the most hilarious yet heartbreaking show I’ve ever seen. In one minute, you’ll be busting out laughing at the wildly inappropriate humor. A few minutes later you’ll be devastated by the drama.

If you haven’t seen it, I beg you to give this hilarious clip a try. Or this unbelievably heart-wrenching one.

No show I’ve ever seen does comedy and dark humor better. Denis Leary is the star and is a genius. He plays Tommy Gavin, who has so many terrible qualities but so many great ones. Leary has been on other shows before and I’ve always watched them, because the dude is flat-out funny. When I was 14 I wore out his “No Cure for Cancer” comedy cassette, I played it so much. (The joke about the guy with the voice-box pulling up to the drive-through at McDonald’s still kills me).

Turns out Leary, who is one of the writers, is also a great actor, and the rest of the cast is fantastic, too. There’s Franco, the Puerto Rican tough guy who gets all the ladies and was revealed this season to have some interesting 9/11 theories. There’s Mike the probie, who is just so stupid but so endearingly earnest. There’s Ken (aka Lou), a great foil to Leary’s Tommy, who’s unlucky with women but has a great heart. There’s Sean, a great partner for Mike who has great comic timing and facial expressions.

There are lots more terrific, well-drawn characters, too, including a pair of crazy women Tommy’s constantly ping-ponging between. (For fans of the show, yes, I know that’s an old picture of the cast I’ve got up top, but I’m still mad they killed off Jerry the Chief a few years ago. I loved him.)

I don’t know why the Emmy Awards people keep snubbing this show, but it’s in the middle of Season 6 now and it’s still fantastic.

OK, end of arm-twist. It’s on tonight at 10 on FX, and it’s well worth your time.


**On another note, I was wildly disappointed in Rickey Henderson’s Baseball Hall of Fame induction speech. Not only was Rickey one of my favorite players growing up (at least when he was a Yankee), but the dude was 100 percent unintentionally funny. He spoke in the third person constantly; one of my favorite Henderson stories was when, disgruntled with the team he was on, he called every GM in baseball and said “This is Rickey, calling on behalf of Rickey, letting you know that Rickey is available in a trade.”

Then there’s the story, which may be apocryphal, when he went up to John Olerud and said he played with a guy in New York who also wore a batting helmet in the field.

“Um, Rickey, that was me,” Olerud allegedly said.

Anyway, Henderson’s speech was anticipated since he was elected in January; what would such a strange dude say on the biggest day of his life?
Sadly for us, it was a straight, emotional, speech. Rickey didn’t even call himself “Rickey” during the 14-minute talk.

I’d say it was a pretty big letdown. Oh well. We still have the great Phil Rizzuto speech from1994 to appreciate.