It took me a while to get into Rescue Me The Complete Third Season. Not having seen the first two seasons of this firefighter soap opera starring and not being a big fan of Denis Leary in the first place I had a bit of a hard time with Rescue Me. There is a lot of back story you need to know to enjoy the first few shows. Once you are in the groove and figure out who is who it kind of gets interesting. In fact after a few episodes I found this show kind of mesmerizing and hard to stop watching.
Rescue Me is your basic firefighter soap opera and sometimes drama about a group of New York City firefighters. You get to see their life as a group in the Engine 62 firehouse and as individuals in their private lives. This is a very gritty, adult oriented drama not for the particularly sensitive language or situation wise. For example Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary) forces himself on his ex-wife during separation talks but he then gets raped by his dead friend's wife. You do not get to see that on the afternoon soaps.
Denis Leary plays firefighter Tommy Gavin and he is having a rather bad time in Rescue Me The Complete Third Season: his son died, his brother is going out with his ex-wife, a colleague is going out with his sister, and he ends up dating the high school teacher who seduced his nephew before he moves on to his brother's ex-wife. There's also the fact all of his colleagues are basically dysfunctional and all have serious problems of their own. The chief has a gambling problem and another fireman has a drinking problem.
What I find mush less interesting about Rescue Me The Complete Third Season is most of the characters are playing musical beds more often than a character in an afternoon soap. As one of the character says, "Throw in a brain tumor and throw in an evil twin and it's an episode of Young and the Restless." Tommy does talk to a ghost from time to time so that kind of makes up for the brain tumor. I understand the series does not want to be a fire truck equivalent to Emergency! with Randolph Mantooth but I am not sure these personal lives are that interesting.
There is a strong element of very dark humor in Rescue Me The Complete Third Season: Sean has to impress his girlfriend by beating up another guy before sex. The boys get even with their captain's boss, Probie has a sleepwalking problem one episode. Maybe it is part of why I watched all the shows in this 4 DVD 13 episode box set.
Look for Susan Sarandon in the role of an older woman who seduces one of the younger firefighters. Also look for one of the All My Children people, Alexa Havins, as a very, very talkative young woman which leads to a really funny scene later on in the second show of Rescue Me. Other cameos include Marisa Tomei, Patti D'Arbanville, Tatum O'Neal as Johnny's sister, and hockey great Phil Esposito.
Extra features on Rescue Me The Complete Third Season include deleted scenes, a gag reel, behind the scenes, a testimonial by real NYFD firefighters about the difficulties of working in New York City, a location tour, and many others.