Tuesday, June 13, 2006

TV on DVD: Rescue Me

In my efforts to provide better-quality recaps of Rescue Me, I've been watching the first season on DVD, and I must say, I'm loving the show. Denis Leary has created one hell of a character for himself in Tommy Gavin: sarcastic, fiery, emotional, disturbed, sexy, brave, and hostile. If Logan Echolls decided to grow up and fight fires, I imagine he'd turn out a lot like Tommy.

The pilot commentary by Denis Leary and executive producer Peter Tolan, who co-wrote the episode, is surprisingly informative. Unlike some of the other commentary I've heard, they don't ramble about unrelated things and they remember the episode quite well. What also surprised me is that cussing in the commentary is bleeped out. What the #$%@? Cussing is to Denis Leary as cuddling is to a puppy; it's natural, and I like watching it.

So let's get down to the details:

- The speech Tommy gives to new firefighters is based on a real speech given by a friend of Denis'. Mike Lombardi, who plays Siletti, had to watch the speech as part of his prep.

- Denis Leary is a habitual line-stepper. They said he couldn't give the finger, but he did it anyway. They also wanted to take out some of the racial slurs, and the line "surrounded by fags", but Leary wouldn't budge.

- Denis' son found the theme song, "C'mon C'mon." Originally, they had some slower music and fewer cuts, but Denis wanted something energetic that would bring to mind an engine roaring out of the firehouse. When they re-cut it with the new song and faster pace, everyone was happier. To quote Denis: "Again, I was f---ing right, and the world was wrong."

- The throwaway joke where the Chief asks Garrity to get a box and he brings back a bag was improvised.

- Leary sneaks in t-shirts all the time, often for the Leary Firefighters Foundation or other organizations.

- The hepatitis gag (where they trick the Probie into leaving the urine and stool samples on the Chief's desk) is an actual gag from a real firehouse. The "river of piss" is also based on real life. Consequently, I am really gagging now.

- They filmed a scene where Tommy spies on his ex-wife dressing across the street; Andrea Roth went topless for the scene and they had to clear the whole street for privacy, but it ended up being cut.

- The chick who comes on to Tommy in the pilot, Marissa Clark, was one of the two finalists in on the show Outback Jack, which prevented her from appearing in later episodes. (I remember her! She was less emotionally available than Natalie. Yes, I admit I watched Outback Jack. Admitting that you have a problem is the first step towards recovery.)

- There's some very morbid discussion of how firefighters are trained to make it easy for searchers to find their bodies. If a firefighter knows he or she is going to die, they're trained to put their axes or badges somewhere prominent to help locate or identify them.

- "The bitch" is a real nickname firefighters have given for the fire.

- The scene with Denis Leary and the therapist who visits the firehouse was performed in one take. What a pro!

- The whole idea for the show actually began as an idea for a movie, which came to Denis Leary while listening to Coldplay's Don't Panic. Leary ended up using the song at the close of the pilot episode.

Unfortunately, I don't think the second season contains any commentaries; I'll have to make do with the behind-the-scenes featurettes.


At 2:26 PM, Blogger Abbey said...

I've watched a few of these episodes...not too bad. But nothing I could really get into.

BUT! I truly enjoyed this post. I Looove hearing the "back story" of shows... Very interesting!

At 2:31 PM, Blogger Joobie said...

Well, then, you'll enjoy the rest of this week. :) If there's more trivia tidbits you'd like to know from other shows, let me know! I aim to please.


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