Background

Denis Leary Plays with Fire on ‘Rescue Me’
A news article that discusses the pseudo-rape scene involving Tommy Gavin.

Controversy over Sex Scene in ‘Rescue Me’
Peter Nolan, co-creator of the show, joined a heated online discussion in an attempt to explain and justify the controversial scene.

Analysis: The Post-Mortem on ‘Rescue Me’
How the show began as an innovative take on the September 11 tragedy and on heroism, but lost its way by straying away from the historic event that inspired it.

Emotional Rescue
An article in The New Yorker explains the concept for the show and how it seeks to dig underneath the stories of heroism to reveal the real, dark underside of life as a firefighter.

Rescue Me on IMDb
Background, clips and reviews of the show from the online movie database site.

Critics

Sickening Scene
This Chicago Tribune reviewer writes that the debated sex scene crossed the line and is a turn-off for both male and female viewers.

Parents Television Council Rating of ‘Rescue Me’
A pressure group that champions family-friendly programming gives the show its worst rating (a red light) for profanity, sexual content, and offensive religious material.

Women in Peril
Disturbing depictions of television violence and victimization targeted at females have been on the rise, according to this study from the Parents Television Council.

DQ Puts Rescue Me on “Do Not Air” Advertising List
Following complaints from a group concerned about the show’s content, Dairy Queen decides to end placement of its ads on the ‘Rescue Me’ show.

Protecting Children or Protecting Hollywood?
In this report, the Parents Television Council critiques the TV content ratings system, describing it as flawed and incapable of protecting children from distasteful programming.

Champions

Rape or Not Rape?
Dennis Leary and Peter Tolan defend the sex scene that has generated much controversy and discussion.

Denis Leary Doesn’t Care if you’re Angry
In this article, the actor and co-creator of the show refuses to apologize for the contentious scene, but promises that Garvin will suffer karmic payback for his actions.

“Janet Gavin” Discusses the Controversial Episode
The actress who played the role of Tommy Gavin’s wife suggests in this interview that the controversial scene was ambivalent, rather than a clear-cut case of rape.

‘Rescue Me’ Sparks Review
This article suggests that while the sex scene may be troubling to watch, it makes for compelling and original television in a show that seeks to push the boundaries.

‘Rescue Me’ on Rotten Tomatoes
This online movie review site shows that an overwhelming majority of viewers of the show like it, in spite of the concerns of critics.

Related Topics

Most Sexually Explicit TV Shows
A listing of some of the most sexually graphic shows recently broadcast on U.S. television.

A History of Violence
A movie with a sex scene that some have compared to the incident in the Sparks episode of Rescue Me.

The Shield
Another gritty law enforcement drama from the FX Network, the same station that broadcast the ‘Rescue Me’ series.

How a Shower Scene Changed Television History
How four minutes from the Born Innocent TV movie helped transform primetime and herald the Family Viewing Hour.

Violence and Sex on TV Do Not Sell Products
This research study found that shows containing explicit violence and sexuality may not be effective program choices for advertisers.

Other

FX Networks
The official website of the cable station behind the Rescue Me drama series.

He’s Cornering the Market on Misfit TV Heroes
How Denis Leary has spawned a new, grittier type of law enforcement drama that draws on and also departs from old favorites like Law and Order.

Court Overrules Law Restricting Cable Sex Shows
Article on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that gave constitutional approval to cable stations seeking to air sexual content throughout the day.