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Is ''Rescue Me'' jumping the shark?

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Rescue Me: Eric Liebowitz

Is ”Rescue Me” jumping the shark?

Do the recent ”actions” on Rescue Me qualify as ”jumping the shark”? I don’t think so, but the talk going around online tells me otherwise. —Aleks Chan

Let’s see, Aleks, do you mean the episode in which Sheila (Callie Thorne) drugged and date-raped Tommy (Denis Leary)? Or the time that Sexy Older Lady (guest star Susan Sarandon) basically stole Franco’s daughter — and Franco (Daniel Sunjata) kinda wrote it off, except for a temper tantrum and some wistfulness? I could name a half dozen other oh-come-on! moments in season 3, but I’d actually agree with you. It’s less a case of ”jumping the shark” than ”grabbing shiny object.” Rescue Me — which I should add I’ll never stop watching — can’t sit still enough to play out a plotline. Heck, the writers killed off Tommy’s son and can’t even keep that as a thread. Still, despite my sniping, there are few better ensemble casts on TV: Dean Winters, as Tommy’s ex-wife-snatching brother, is a great, cool foil to hothead Leary, and breezy Marisa Tomei should be convinced to join as a regular. Bonus points for giving more screen time to Steven Pasquale, as dim-bulb Sean Garrity. You’ve got to love anyone who can convincingly court Tatum O’Neal and pull off a sleep-walking scene — which was easily one of the summer’s funniest moments.

(Got a TV-related question for Gillian? Post it here.)