Other than watching the local sports teams occasionally, and the O’Reilly Factor more regularly, television isn’t too appealing. Exploitation and humiliation aren’t interesting to me, unless of course it’s of George Costanza, and that will hopefully be available forever in syndication. I met the short, beady-eyed actor once in an elevator at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. He said he was “up for once” in the casino and went on his way. Like “the Meathead,” “Hawkeye Pierce,” and “Andy Sippowitz,” some actors achieve immortality through one character. Jason Alexander is forever “George.”
I’ve always been a fan of Denis Leary and his acerbic, biting comedy. It turns out he’s also a very good actor. In Rescue Me on FX, Leary plays Tommy Gavin, a New York City firefighter who battles inner demons that rage more furiously than the flames he’s paid to quell. Recently, I caught the last two episodes of season one late night after being woken by my own unsettled psyche. Rescue Me was on opposite much of the baseball playoffs, so unfortunately it was missed first time around. The writing is smart and sharp, and delivered at a snappy pace by a gritty cast.
In one of the most powerful TV segments I’ve ever seen, Tommy comes home to find that his wife took their kids and moved out. He completely loses it and starts destroying the house with a bat, all while “Fell On Bad Days” by Rubyhorse blares on the soundtrack. The scene fades out with Tommy standing in the middle of the destroyed living room, throwing back a bottle of vodka like it was cold water after a long firefight. The Season One DVD comes out in August.