Jason DeCrow,AP Photo

The countdown of the best stuff on the dockett for 2011 continues. It's gonna be tough to say goodbye to one of the best shows on television (again), but the one set to break our hearts in the new year is "Rescue Me" as it returns to FX for it's 7th and final season. 

 #2: Rescue Me: If you've never seen this show do me (and yourself) a favor and start catching up now. I believe a good number of seasons' past are available on Netflix instant queue so that should make it fairly easy. The show highlights the struggles of New York firefighters in the wake of 9/11 and their damaged personal lives with the spotlight on a firefighting hero/womanizing alcoholic, Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary). Leary is brilliant as the sometimes recovering alcoholic who is trying to make things work with his estranged wife and family after having a long time affair with his brothers widow. I know it sounds like a soap opera but this is a straight up dude's show. The best moments usually come from the pointless (and vulgar) ball-breaking between the guys back at the firehouse, which accounts for some of the realest moments on scripted television. There is also a great supporting cast who welcomed the underrated Larenz Tate (Dead Presidents/O-Dog from Menace II Society) to it's roster two seasons back. The show is going to end symbolically (as Leary and co-creator Peter Tolan had always planned) on the ten year anniversary of 9/11 with the shows finale airing 9/11/11. The upcoming final season was shot back to back with the previous season so I really hope that nobody talks and ruins the outcome of the show. In past interviews Leary has said he would love to end the show by killing all characters in a fire in the middle of the season to catch everyone off guard. Let's hope that after seven years with these characters he cares too much about them to end the show that way. The seventh season kicks off it's final 9 episode run Tuesday, July 12th @ 10p. After proofreading this, I realized that I forgot to say this show is one of the funniest on TV despite it's gritty dark side. Check out this trailer for the show featuring Pearl Jam's 'Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town' (Great song choice BTW)