5 awesome complete television series you can binge watch right now

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#4. Rescue Me

Rescue Me is the story of Tommy Gavin, a New York City firefighter played by Denis Leary. He has PTSD after being at ground zero during the 9/11 attacks, and he sees the ghost of his cousin who was killed when the towers fell.

I know this show sounds super depressing, but where Rescue Me succeeds is in the way it deals with these dark issues with comedy. Leary is dynamic as Tommy Gavin, scoring a Golden Globe nomination and a handful of Emmy nominations as well. But it’s the supporting cast that truly makes the show so much fun, despite them all dealing with their own issues, ranging from repressed homosexuality to alcoholism.

RESCUE ME: Denis Leary as Tommy Gavin on RESCUE ME airing Tuesday, July 13 on FX. CR: Jeff Neira / FX

Rescue Me ran for 7 seasons, kind of. The show took a year off of filming between season 4 and 5 and came back with an ambitious 22 episode season to make up for lost time. The show has its ups and downs, with the highest highs coming in the first 4 seasons. While the show did dip some in later years, they were able to reel the story back in for the final season, with a satisfying, bittersweet finale that I personally love.

When the show was on, it was as hard hitting as anything on HBO. They never shied away from the bloody, depressing reality of being a first responder, but thanks to Leary and the writing team, they were able to handle those moments with dark comedy and respect.

Much like Leary’s standup, the show makes it a point to intentionally cross the line when discussing topics such as religion, race, and sexuality. But the show is never offensive with the desire to harm, but rather to offend for the sake of their own sanity. Their job and their lives are dark enough, and they deal with it through humor, booze, and relationships. And food.

The show was always at its best when the guys were at the firehouse talking. The same episode could have a child get severely hurt or pass away in a fire or accident, and then the crew would go back to the firehouse, pour some “coffee”, and hash their feelings out with jokes. Rescue Me is available on Hulu.