[NOTE: Care taken not to give any explicit spoilers in the review below]
I think that I am going to stop here on S02 with Rescue Me. The acting is good and the handy cam/reality TV type of filming is sort of original. But the pathos is just too, well, pathetic. The Tommy character’s brief transformation in the middle of the season was a bit too radical although it did provide some comic relief, but I think that the mega-tragedies that befall EVERY ONE of the characters in the show toward the end were just heavier and heavier that I felt a bit oppressed myself. OK, so 9-1-1 was a catastrophe and the firefighters that survived got a rough deal. I can definitely respect them for their courage and I can understand the post-traumatic syndrome that must be a major challenge to deal with over time. However, the catastrophes just were over the top. One or two of them would have been OK, but everything just seems to go to shit at the end and I feel a little too down to continue watching into Season 3. So, in typical geek fashion, I read the Internet’s equivalent of Cliff Notes – the ever present and critical Wikipedia – and know more or less what is going to happen up until the end of the show in Season 7. I am probably missing a little bit of humor, but I am also missing my share of issues of violence, alcoholism, and loss. And given my current state of stress, I can probably find more positive, encouraging shows than this one.
As for the season itself, it is probably not as novel as the first season (I know, duh!), but didn’t really bring all that much new stuff to the table. For the most part, some of the suspense as it was from season 1 had to be dealt with and then the new story lines were nothing spectacular. As I mentioned, the acting is good – particularly Lou and Tommy – and there are some funny moments – but other than the gruesome realities of firefighting and the aforementioned human drama that crescendos towards the end, I didn’t find this season particularly rewarding. But then, that’s just me.
And yes, you could say, but Fino, Breaking Bad was depressing and you didn’t diss that one. Well, two points: first, Breaking Bad wasn’t a comedy trying to be serious or a drama trying to be funny – it was riveting suspense throughout and second, every season is almost completely different: the central scenes change, the core suspense and bad guys change, and it builds to the spectacular ending of S04. So, that’s why I was blown away by Walt and depressed by Tommy.