Friday, March 7, 2014


First, Denis Leary did cops on THE JOB. Then, he did firefighters on RESCUE ME. Now, he’s doing paramedics on the new USA show, SIRENS. This is the story of three Chicago paramedics: Johnny, Hank and Brian. Johnny and Hank are best friends and have been at this for a long time, and Brian is the new guy.

Let’s face it, if your life was in danger, you’d probably be reluctant to let these guys help you. Even though they are very good at their job, their attitude would probably get them fired anywhere else. Johnny and Hank are more dedicated to being sardonic and dropping one-liners than they are in anything else. Brian’s a giddy, nervous guy who still lives with his parents and loves to get naked and dance when he’s drunk. Let the hijinks ensue.

For USA, this is a shocking show. It’s vulgar, employing words like “cock,” “cum” and “shit” (the latter of which USA never uses, even though the FCC is cool with it). Its humor is very politically incorrect. If you have touchy sensibilities, this show will offend the fuck out of you, which means it’s one funny motherfucking series, even though it’s only two episodes in so far.

In the first episode, they encounter a guy (played by stand-up comedian, Bob Kelly) who has shoved a soda bottle up his ass for sexual purposes and can’t get it out. (He would have used a carrot, but he was planning on making soup for dinner.) They can’t pull it out, and he offers them money to not bring him to the hospital, to handle the matter privately in his home. He offers an extra thousand if the “twink” pulls the bottle out. (They eventually jar it loose, and it comes in handy later in the episode in a very sickening, hilarious way.)

In the second episode, a guy Johnny and Hank saved gives them tickets to a Bears/Packers game . . . but they’ve committed to teaching kids how to do CPR for that day and can’t get out of it. They decide to do something really shady: teach an hours-long class in fifteen minutes so they can make it before kickoff. Things go wrong, of course, and after they feed these kids a pack of lies, one of them steals their ambulance. To get it back, they go to Johnny’s ex, a CPD cop, for help.

As funny as this show is, these guys are an absolute wreck. Johnny has commitment issues. Hank pulls these crazy, Machiavellian moves to sabotage his relationships. Brian just has DOOMED stamped on his forehead. In one scene, desperate for a cool nickname, he goes to Cash, the veteran in charge of such things. What does Brian end up with? KEVIN. Why? Because he looks like a Kevin. He’s not pleased with his lame nickname, but everyone else seems to be.

That’s where this show really excels: ball-busting. They’re just regular guys, working a shit job where the only joy they get out of life is making fun of their friends and talking shit, just like your co-workers. Hell, they even talk about movies and actors, which would ordinarily date a show, making it a bit harder for future generations to watch, but the way they do it is priceless.

It looks like this show will have more in common with THE JOB than RESCUE ME as far as tone goes. The latter was filled with equal parts comedy and tragedy while the former was just plain funny. (Although both shows did have a bunch of great moments in ball-busting history.) No matter how awkward and nasty a situation can be on SIRENS, it all ends with laughs. Sick, vulgar, awesome laughs. Be sure to check it out. It’s on Thursdays at 9 pm Central on USA.

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