There’s this great series starring Denis Leary called Rescue Me. It’s about an immoral firefighter who is haunted by the people he has failed to save in post 9/11 New York.
But that is not the show we’re focusing on here.
Before Rescue Me kicked off in 2004 on US cable, Denis Leary had starred in, co-written, and co-produced a series for US free to air station ABC. This was called The Job. The show was about an immoral policeman who struggles to keep his relationship with his girlfriend away from his wife. In many ways, its almost the exact same show as Rescue Me. The difference seems to be that 9/11 made Denis Leary grow up.
What the bejeezus was it all about?
Denis Leary is Mike, an NYPD detective who has been cheating on his wife. His only solid relationship is with his partner, Pip. He lusts after the female member of their squad. Oh, and its safe to say that he’s not the only member of the squad that doesn’t exactly take the job that seriously. Watch as they investigate a severed foot found outside a pediatrists office and the practical jokes that follow utilising the foot. The foot that really should be left in an evidence room.
The Job is a comedy series. Shot with a single camera with great production value, The Job could easily be mistaken for the lighter moments found in the series Homicide: Life On The Street. Sure, they go the cheap laugh instead of the intense dramatic moment, but, in many ways, that just makes it feel more realistic than most other TV series. Cop shows have always taken themselves too seriously (Barney Miller notwithstanding), but The Job ignores that and is all the better for it.
It’s difficult to consider this show without also taking Rescue Me into consideration. They’re so very similar in so many ways (from characters to the casting). The problem with Rescue Me is that its premise is so heavily rooted in such a dramatic moment of our time that I’m not convinced that the show will be able to last the test of time. The Job, however, is so simple in concept and in spirit with themes and jokes that will last eternal that it will remain far more watchable than Rescue Me can offer.
Surely something made it memorable?
The sheer fun of the show is enough to keep it memorable. It’s funny, the characters all resonate as feeling real (despite not being particularly well fleshed out until near the end of the series run), and you’ll be left eager for more when you realise you’ve reached the end of its 19 episode run.
Did at least one episode stick out?
Mike is sent out to discover whether or not a local massage parlour is really a rub ‘n tug joint, but is astounded at the abilities of his masseusse when he ‘finishes up’ in record time. Naturally by the end of the episode, each of the guys have experienced some massage oil.
Why the heck is it consigned to the depths of forgotten telly lore?
September 11. After coming on the air as a mid-season replacement in the US, it was set to commence its second season when September 11 took place. A cop show set in New York about some less than noble officers was suddenly an awkward programming choice, so the show was essentially dumped with episodes screened randomly on the schedule. The world barely got to know of its existence.