Wednesday, April 8, 2009
"can't you see that i'm lonely..."
well, the guys are back. & the crazy gavin family too. it was all right there in the first episode of the fifth season last night: the wild fiery rescues, alcoholism, dysfunctional families, sex, & the serious silly interactions between "the guys." this show has lurched along a tightrope of outrageous comedy & serious "real" drama. the show's creator, denis leary, began as a standup comic & the show has those kinds of instincts: when something is working, you work it till it stops working & if it's not working you drop it while making fun of it. there's the clever conceit of having leary's tommy gavin character be a black hole of chaos & despair & selfishness while being surrounded by a world of chaos & despair & selfishness. it creates some kind of weird balance. like last night, when his family of loony drunks are watching ancient family 8mm films & reminiscing about the past. tommy gets up to leave, sickened by their delusional saccharine memories & they force him to say what's on his mind. in his savage monologue, initially met w/fierce objections, the character relieves them of all their false memories but somehow seems to settle them all down, even himself, by his brutality.
i stumbled onto this show at the end of it's second season. i've always liked leary. my television satori-moments are usually me thinking to myself, "where are they taking this next?" it happened w/"deadwood" & "the wire." it usually indicates to me that the writing or the characterizations or the visual style of the episode has succeeded in one way or another. it's true that i thought this after seeing joss whedon's "dollhouse" but for all the wrong reasons. w/that initial episode of "rescue me," it felt like most of the right reasons were foregrounded.
this is no "the wire"(probably the greatest television show ever)& it's not "deadwood"(the second best tv show ever written) but it's damn good television & if you watch tv & think that there are actually good shows on & you're NOT watching this show, you don't know your ass from your elbow.