I don’t write about comedies enough, and that’s a shame because some of my favorite shows right now are thirty minute sitcoms. I also don’t write too much about USA and their line-up either and that is also a shame since they are coming out strong this midseason. One of the standouts is the thirty minute, workplace comedy about EMTs in Chicago, from creators Denis Leary and Bob Fisher (Wedding Crashers). Sirens is not Rescue Me, by any means, but stands on its own as a semi-raunchy sitcom about young, pretty people with exciting and dangerous jobs. The humor, however, stems from the interplay among the characters and the fearlessness of the jokes that fire (and sometimes misfire) at each other’s expense. I think it speaks more to my specific sense of humor that I find jokes about genitalia and porn pretty funny, and that I prefer to laugh at my favorite characters rather than with them, so if you fall into that camp, then this show is for you too.
The show follows two EMT partners, Hank (Kevin Daniels) and Johnny (Michael Mosely) as they train a fresh-faced newbie on his first day. Brian (Kevin Bigley) is the butt of most of the jokes in these first episodes, but there is not much that is off-limits. Race, sexuality, age; these are all fodder for the off-color tone of the show, and I respect its diplomacy in mocking everything and everyone. It has a frat-house charm to it that makes you want to simultaneously be friends with these characters and file harassment charges against them. They aren’t meant to seem like folks-next-door. Their characters are exaggerated versions of many of the archetypes we see on television right now, but with a fresh twist. Bigley plays the African-American, gay Hank as a randy, sex-crazed, macho tail-chaser, while Bigley makes Johnny out to be a selfish, stunted, man-child that is the obvious protagonist of the show; these characters take the hero out of anti-hero.
Sirens is funny, and I want you to watch it because it has the kind of chops shows need to last the long haul. It is still feeling around for its boundaries (there is a dick joke one minute into the pilot that took me by surprise), but the characters are genuinely funny and are authentically relatable; it’s a good time. The show airs Thursdays at ten, so check it out this week and tweet me what you think. I am counting on guys to make this show work, because there is no greater pain than investing in a show that nobody else is watching and having to mourn it when it’s cancelled. So watch. And Tweet. @sroseholt