DVD REVIEWS: Rescue Me: Season 1

Series •••½ Picture/Sound •••• Extras •••½
This post-9/11 series is as compelling as any network TV drama currently in production. Like many of his comrades in the New York City Fire Department, Tommy Gavin (a very convincing Denis Leary) is equal parts heroic, insecure, juvenile, self-destructive, and compassionate. Episode after episode, Leary and co-writer/producer Peter Tolan find something compelling to say about the fire-fighting life, where hours of boredom are interspersed with dramatic situations most of us will never experience.

All 13 episodes on this three-disc set have excellent color and lots of detail and contrast in the many action scenes. The Dolby Surround sound is also quite involving, with appropriately boomy sonics and ambient effects when the hoses come out and the men attack a blaze. Extras include commentaries on the first and last episodes by Leary and Tolan, four worthwhile making-of featurettes, and a fun collection of bloopers and deleted scenes. [TV-MA] English, Dolby Surround; letterboxed (1.78:1) and anamorphic widescreen; three dual-layer discs.