Slightly premature spoilers (so don't read 'em till 11 p.m. or so Eastern) for "Rescue Me" coming up just as soon as I hide all my flatware...
Why do I continue to watch and write about a show where I can barely tolerate the main character, where I can't decide whether the writing of the female characters is misogynist or just incompetent, where all the dramatic storylines have become a complete mess?
I watch because of scenes like the kitchen table discussion of the spank bank, that's why. Because even when "Rescue Me" is fumbling everything else it does, the show is still comedy gold when it's just the guys in the kitchen, preferably (as Lou points out) started by Garrity or Mike using the phrase, "Hey guys, can I ask you something?"
I don't understand Sheila's insurance scheme -- Why not just tell the truth, while maybe omitting the RoHypnol stuff? -- nor do I care about the outcome. I'm not interested in Colleen running away to live with her rock singer boyfriend, nor any of the other semi-serious elements working through last week's episode and this one, but dammit this show can still bring the funny when it wants to.
Not sure whether I laughed more at Lou moving quickly to hide the knives at Sean's mention of Janet being in his spank bank, or at Sean's look of abject terror when Tommy suggests Colleen might be in the bank as well, but that was just a gem of a scene.
Some of the other comedy bits were more hit or miss. I liked Lou and Franco brainstorming how to woo Larenz Tate (particularly the "Laugh, put your arm around me like I said something funny" gag), but I thought they wrote Mike a few IQ points too low in his scene with the doctor. Uncle Teddy still feels like he's off in his own show. The scenes with Richie and Franco are usually ridiculous enough to make me ignore just how offensive they are, but the jewelry store scene didn't go far enough.
Still, it was all worth it for the spank bank scene. I admire the attempts to service all the members of their large ensemble, but the show's becoming too disjointed. I go back and occasionally rewatch my DVDs of "The Job," and that was a much tighter show, even if it was less ambitious than "Rescue Me" is. Lately, I'm starting to wish that Leary and Tolan could go back to that format -- if not half-hour, then at least all-comedy.
What did everybody else think?