rescuemeRescue Me

OK, I’m finally ready to proclaim what a lot of you already have: the FX network’s Tuesday night show Rescue Me is stunningly brilliant. It’s a good thing, too, because the setting for the show—a New York firehouse post-9/11 attacks—deserves the kind of great writing it has.

Blame my late public announcement on coming late to the Denis Leary/Peter Tolan-anchored firefighter drama, but thanks to the miracle of—a friend second only to a DVR box for any tragically over-scheduled house like mine—I’m finally caught up.

I honestly don’t think there’s a better drama on television right now, but that in itself is a miracle of sorts: the last couple of years of this five-season show were less than stellar. But after the writers’ strike and a reduced number of episodes in a season, Rescue Me is streamlined and sharp enough to reapply for that “Best Drama on TV” status.

Viewers need look no further than the last episode, where 9/11 firefighter widow Sheila Keefe (played by Callie Thorne) nailed a mouthful of inspired monologue in one freaking take. Yeah, five minutes in one take. It was, in a word, incredible.

The personal trials and tribulations within the show’s plot continue to thicken: Tommy Gavin (Leary) returns to Ground Zero and the back pain that Sean Garrity (Steven Pasquale) is experiencing turns out to be more than he bargained for/expected and Genevieve’s perspectives on the terrorist attacks push Gavin over the edge. Rescue Me airs tomorrow night and if you’re not watching it, you’re due to miss a five-alarm fire.

Follow Rescue Me here.

“Can We Taaalllk?”

Could there be a show on TV more deserving of The Who’s “Bargain” as its theme song than Celebrity Apprentice? And how about this season? Joan Rivers wins? Eeesh. How she is still considered a celebrity is beyond comprehension.

Full disclosure: I didn’t watch this train wreck. In fact, I’ve not watched a full season of the Donald Trump reality show since season one. And I fail to understand the appeal of the celebrity version at all. It’s always looked like Former Celebrity Apprentice to me.

Frankly, we’re all dumber as a society for obsessing about people who used to be famous and watching them fall apart in shows like this, I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Outta Here! and VH-1’s Celebrity Rehab. What’s more, it is run by the king of former celebrities, “The Donald” Trump himself. He’s pretty weak; tantamount to the male equivalent of Madonna in terms of marketing prowess.

If someone can explain the appeal of this show to me, I’ll autograph my copy of Trump’s The Art of the Deal for you. And I’d call that a bargain… the best you’ve ever had.

greys100 Episodes in and a Surprise Marriage on Grey’s Anatomy

Spoiler alert: If you’ve got the last episode of Grey’s on your DVR and have yet to watch it, click away now. For the rest of you avid followers of the medical drama, did you expect the plot twist? The Twittering and Meredith’s almost sterile attitude to the pending nuptials almost gave it away for me; and yet, I had no idea that the wedding of Meredith and Derek was going to yield the spontaneous marriage of Izzie and Alex.

Maybe I should have expected this, given that Izzie (Katherine Heigl) was so excited about all the wedding planning. What will be interesting to see, is if the writers decide to kill her off—that has been the biggest, buzzworthy thing about the show over the past couple of weeks—and given that the drama off the set that this show has experienced none of us should shock at anything

Grey’s still has its appeal: Over 15 million people tuned in for the “marriage-go-around,” dusting time-slot juggernaut C.S.I. by over 500,000 viewers.

A Note to the National Basketball Association and NBA Commissioner David Stern

As a Clevelander, and a gigantic LeBron James/Cleveland Cavaliers fan, I’m completely sucked into TNT’s coverage of the NBA playoffs. But I’m just as big of a fan of TNT’s coverage of the playoffs as I am of the team.

And I mean that even despite Charles “I Am Not a Role Model” Barkley’s apparent disdain for my hometown.

I digress: I wish the NBA could find some way to incorporate the staff from TNT into the coverage of “The Finals” that ESPN/ABC co-produce and anchor. Because, frankly, “The Finals” are pretty sterile compared to the rest of basketball’s postseason. I’m sure Barkley would, erm, drink to that. Go Cavs!

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About the Author

Peter Chakerian

Peter Chakerian is an award-winning writer, reporter and journalist. In over 18 years, his byline has appeared in The Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal, Sun Newspapers, Cleveland Magazine, Northern Ohio Live, Scene Magazine, Cleveland Free Times, America Online,, and dozens of other publications throughout the Midwest. A lifelong Clevelander, Chakerian is a graduate of Cleveland State University and the Managing Editor of – a subscription-based, "e-blast" electronic newsletter delivered to tens of thousands of Northeast Ohio residents every week. His new book on Cleveland's impact on popular culture arrives this fall. Chakerian lives in Bay Village, Ohio with his wife and two children.

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