Rescue Me-Complete First Season (2004)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-Feb-2006

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Dennis Leary And Peter Tolan - Pilot Episode, Sanctuary
Featurette-How It All Began
Featurette-The Cast
Featurette-The Look
Trailer-Sneak Peek At Season 2
Deleted Scenes
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 556:39
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (4)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Jace Alexander
Adam Bernstein
John Fortenberry
Jefery Levy

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Denis Leary
Mike Lombardi
James McCaffrey
Jack McGee
Steven Pasquale
Andrea Roth
John Scurti
Daniel Sunjata
Diane Farr
Natalie Distler
Charles Durning
Olivia Crocicchia
Trevor Heins
Case ?
RPI $49.95 Music Christopher Tyng

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes, and lots of it.
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    If you like your dark humour thick and almost painful like Turkish coffee, then you absolutely must see Denis Leary's bitter and almost sadistic comedy drama Rescue Me.

    Set in the wake of the events of 11 September 2001, Rescue Me tells the story of a group of New York City firefighters all failing to cope with the loss of their comrades in the collapse of the twin towers at the World Trade Centre. The central character of this bleak drama/comedy is Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary). An Irish Catholic divorced from his wife (Andrea Roth) and separated from his three children, Tommy has moved in across the street to stay close to his kids … and also to spy on his ex and sabotage her relationships with any prospective suitors. He also has a drinking problem, is far less choosy about who he spends his nights with than his ex wife, his father – an ex-firefighter from the old days – has left his mother and shacked up with his uncle to blow his money on drugs, alcohol and prostitutes, and to top it all off, Tommy has started seeing dead people – primarily the cousin he lost on September 11 (James McCaffrey), and whose widow (Callie Thorne) he now can't seem to avoid.

    But just because Tommy is the most messed up of his crew, don't think for an instant that his co-workers aren't also suffering their own brand of melt down. We have:

Rest assured, by the end of the season, they will all be resting in their own private version of hell, and it's only down hill from there into the second season. Truly, this makes Extras look charming.

    Although Leary is the central lynchpin for the show, it would be foolish to discount the remainder of the cast for what they add. This is, ultimately, a grand ensemble piece where the actors inhabit their characters with such conviction that it’s hard not to feel their plight, despite how awkward the scenarios become. And the clever writing styles used by the creators of this show create new amusing sequences – note in particular the phone calls which are subtitled with what the speakers actually mean, despite what they’re saying. Very funny.

    This show is amazing. A truly human drama that smoulders with more dark humour than most sitcoms could ever dream of attaining. Sick, twisted, tragic, but oh, so very, very funny - I cannot sing its praises high enough. You owe it to yourself to get a copy of this and its following seasons pronto.

    The following is a breakdown of how these episodes are distributed across the 4 discs of this season. For those of you who need a complete episode summary, you can get one at

Disc 1

Disc 2

Disc 3

Disc 4

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    Shot on with a hand-held Sony HDW-F900 on HDTV Digital Video this transfer is mastered in the original aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. In short, this transfer looks awesome.

    Although most shows to date filmed on digital video have suffered somewhat from the slow response time lag that inevitably leaves contrails behind bright lights, none of that is evident here – the picture is sharp, well defined and very clear. Further, the lack of artificial lighting enables the show to retain a gritty realism and enhanced shadow detail. There is a bit of graininess as a result, particularly in night shots, but nothing too severe.

    Colour saturation is good, though this has clearly been shot through some sort of filter that gives it an unusually bright look. As a result, reds are far more intense than any other colour in the spectrum on this show – hardly surprising given it is the colour of both fire and the fire trucks.

    There are no MPEG artefacts and no film-to-video transfer artefacts – this was filmed on video. Consequently, there are also no film artefacts.

    Subtitles are available in the languages set out above. I watched the English subtitles. They are white with a black border, clear and easy to read, and the follow the dialogue fairly closely – enough to get the gags, anyway.

    The dual layer pauses fall in the middle of the second episode on discs 1, 2 and 3, all well placed on scene changes and still moments where they are barely noticeable. The layer change on disc 4 is invisible and I suggest that chances are it falls in between the 2nd and 3rd episodes on that disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    Audio is available in English in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (192Kb/s) only.

    Despite being limited to stereo, this is a very good soundtrack, with clear dialogue, great surround effects even if just across the front stage, and some excellent bass, particularly during fire sequences and with the music.

    Sadly, no subwoofer use unless you use your system to redirect the bass.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The main menus are presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. There is a short lead in to the main menu. The main menu itself shows cuts from the series title credits, and has a 2.0 Dolby Stereo audio track of the theme music. The other menus are static and silent.

Episode Audio Commentaries

    Presented 2.0 Dolby Surround, the following episodes have audio commentaries:

Gag Reel (6:53) (Disc 1)

    Presented in 1.33:1 Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Stereo. Some amusing stuff ups here.

Featurettes (Disc 1)

    Presented in 1.33:1 Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Stereo, there are the following featurettes:

Sneak Peak at Season 2 (3:54) (Disc 1)

    Presented in 1.33:1 Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Stereo.

Deleted Scenes (Disc 2)

    Presented in 1.78:1 inset in a 1.33:1 Full Frame, with 2.0 Dolby Stereo sound.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The R1 release looks to be identical in content, albeit compressed on 3 discs rather than spread over 4 discs. That means the only real differences are NTSC and Region Coding. Buy whichever is cheapest.


    Rescue Me is one of the best comedy dramas on TV at the moment. Though you have to stay up late to catch it on Australian TV, it’s worth the effort: though for my money, skip the ads and just grab it on DVD.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVPNS92, using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-HS60 WXGA 3LCD Cineza Projector (10,000:1 contrast ratio) with 100" Longhom Pro-Series Micro-Textured White Matte PVC 1.78:1 16:9 Fixed Mount Screen with Black Velour Trim. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersJensen QX70 Centre Front, Jensen QX45 Left Front & Right Front, Jensen QX20 Left Rear & Right Rear, Jensen QX-90 Dual 10" 250 Watt Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE