Rescue Me finished off its second season with two episodes that piled the melodrama on the increasingly Job-like central character played by Denis Leary. The positive qualities of the show remain as they have been since its inception. Individual scenes rise to the heights of the best television, many of the actors do fine jobs, the show can be in turn funny and tragic, and the portrayal of masculinity is celebratory but critical in a making-fun sort of way. Unfortunately, the problems with the show are not getting better. While the juxtaposition of humor and drama is a welcome idea, too often the execution is clunky ... the elements don't blend, they feel like two different series that got smushed into one. Most important, though, is that the frequent brilliance of the show on the level of single scenes does not extend to the show as a whole ... Rescue Me is less than the sum of its parts. Plot devices are too often clearly that, devices, while other plot threads, having served their purpose, are forgotten.
Still, it's hard to be too harsh on a show so unafraid to offer a central character who is so unlikeable. Grade for Season Two: B+ (same as for Season One).