Even when other networks were ducking into Olympic-time reruns, FX boomed ahead with new episodes of good shows. Now the Olympics are over and people might notice again. There's an excellent "Tyrant" episode Wednesday, the "Strain" season-opener on Sunday and some darkly funny comedies in early September. And "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll" is ending its season sharply, over the next two Thursdays (Aug. 25 and Sept. 1). This week's episode includes a Denis Leary specialty, the big fight scene. Here's the story I sent to papers:
By Mike Hughes
There are certain
things we expect from a Denis Leary show – comedy and chaos, rock
and rage, Callie Thorne and a big fight scene.
Now it's all there,
in this second season of “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll.”
Thursday's episode starts by introducing Thorne as the noisy and sexy
ex-lover of Johnny Rock; it ends with a massive fight scene.
“We spent a lot
time with storyboard artists, mapping it out,” said
director-producer Jim Serpico. “Then we brought everyone in the
room and it completely fell apart.”
Fights are a Leary
specialty, both in real life and on TV. “Rescue Me” gave Tommy
(Leary) verbal fights with Thorne (who played Sheila, his cousin's
noisy widow) and physical ones with others. He sent his brother to
the hospital ... which may have beenn foreshadowed by real life.
“I shared a room
with my older broyther for 18 years .... We fought all the time,”
Leary said. “My brother was into (progressive) rock in the early
'70s, which is the worst music in the world, and we only had one
little stereo system to share in the room. So we fought all the time;
I melted his records.
bigger than me and can beat the (bleep) out of me. I was like
0-and-375 against” him.
Later, Leary learned how the other half
lives. On a podcast, comedian Marc Maron told him he doesn't get in
fights; for Leary, 59, who grew up as a hockey player near Boston,
brothers lived next to me, man,” he said. “They used to get in
fights. Their father used to come out with a hose and hose them down
.... We just expressed our opinions all the time, very loudly.”
So do his
characters. Now Johnny is surrounded by three strong women:
-- Gigi (Elizabeth
Gillies), the daughter he didn't know about. She wants to be a star,
with his mentoring, her mom's money and her own immense talent.
-- The mom (Thorne),
who arrives this week.
-- Ava, his
long-time back-up singer and lover. This season, she's flashed strong
talent as a cabaret singer. “Denis writes women so well and makes
them so strong,” said Elaine Hendrix, who plays her. “And I get
to do comedy and I get to perform. It's this dream moment.”
Then there are the
guys in the band. Rehab (John Ales), the bassist, and Bam Bam (Robert
Kelly), the drummer, are still arguing about Rehab's Broadway
musical. Flash (John Corbett), the lead guitarist, was Gigi's lover;
she rejected his marriage proposal and he ended up with Ava.
That left a father
and daughter feeling simultaneously abandoned. “Johnny and Gigi
really kind of bond together,” Leary said. “He starts to slowly
but surely become a responsible dad.”
Still, Leary's shows
aren't about pouting. Gigi remodelled Flash's apartment with a
chainsaw; tonight, everyone gets involved in thefight scene –
inspired by one Leary once saw, involving rockers: “Nobody wanted
to hurt their hands or their faces, because they all had gigs coming
All of this
commotion is pretty much the opposite of Corbett's real life. He's
had a 14-year relationship with Bo Derek (of “10” and poster
fame), living in rural California.
“If you saw my
life at home, you'd be bored,” he said with a grin. “I might be
to sleep by 9 o'clock and up at 6 to feed the horses.” Then work
beckons; he enters Leary's world of creative chaos.
“Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll,” FX network
-- New episode --
introducing Callie Thorne's character and ending with the fight scene
– is 10 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 25), rerunning at 11:06 p.m., 1:39 a.m.
and then at 10:30 p.m. Sept. 1
-- Previous episode,
with the Broadway opening, reruns at 10:33 p.m. Thursday.
-- Season-finale is
10 p.m. Sept. 1, rerunning at 11 p.m. and 1:30 a.m.