Denis Leary, Rescue Me
Credit: Rescue Me: Craig Blankenhorn

Denis Leary and cocreator Peter Tolan (The Job) imbue FX’s provocative firehouse drama of Rescue Me: The Complete First Season with such warts-and-all authenticity that some people might be scared off. Doing a slow burn since 9/11, firefighter Tommy Gavin (a perfectly acerbic Leary) drinks on duty, tortures his estranged wife’s boyfriend, and talks to ghosts. His comrades grapple with stalkers, infidelity, and intimate body waxing. And that’s all in the first 13 episodes. (Season 2 starts June 21.) It’s their flaws and the ways they deal with them that make these men tangible and so compelling. EXTRAS The gag reel is mostly bleeped F-words (why censor a gag reel?), and four featurettes cover ”How It All Began,” ”Authenticity,” ”The Cast,” and ”The Look.” But Leary and Tolan’s commentary on the first and last episodes reveals the most: They discuss real-life inspirations (like FDNY legend Capt. Patty Brown, who died Sept. 11) and behind-the-scenes facts (did you know that firemen are encouraged to hide dead pets from kids and trained to mark where their bodies can be found if they’re fatally injured?).