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Bruno’s TV Journal: USA Network’s Sirens Shows us its Heart and Still Makes us Laugh 

Photo Credit: Scott Schafer/USA Network
Photo Credit: Scott Schafer/USA Network

I love a sitcom with heart. I also love to laugh, so when a sitcom can make you feel something while making you laugh hysterically, there isn’t much within the format that could be better. NBC’s Parks and Recreation may be the best at this difficult blend, but it’s also one of the better sitcoms of the last ten years. USA Network — known for its blue-sky procedurals/whatever you would call Suits — premiered its first sitcom in March and the series has took some time to find its comedic rhythm, but in its penultimate episode, “There’s No ‘I’ in Cream,” Sirens came together in a way that bodes well for the shows creative future.

If for some reason you have no idea what Sirens is about, or that it even existed, it revolves around three Chicago EMT’s who are of course qualified to do their jobs, but are also a bit narcissistic, a bit full of themselves and hilariously perfect as a trio. There’s Johnny (Michael Mosley), the good-looking one who is on and off with his ex-girlfriend Theresa (Jessica McNamee), who is a sexy badass police officer that intertwines with the guys from time to time. There’s Hank (Kevin Daniels), the all-knowing gay guy and is Johnny’s best pal. The rookie is Brian (Kevin Bigley), who isn’t the brightest, but has that heart and sensitivity that sometimes lacks in the other two.

Photo Credit: Chuck Hodes/USA Network
Photo Credit: Chuck Hodes/USA Network

The chemistry shines through with this cast and it’s a remarkable achievement that culminates in the aforementioned “There’s No “I” in Cream.” The episode takes us through a mundane day with the crew that turns into a difficult one while they teach a class of prospective EMT’s in the present day. It’s a great approach as the ninth episode of a ten-episode first season, which allows for an episode of poignant moments of love and affection for everyone in the crew, but also allows for a nice comedic bit where Johnny tries to find out who ate the last donut. It’s the shows best episode and it makes me wish the next one wasn’t the season finale.

But what I like about this episode, and the series as a whole, is it’s comedic sensibilities, which come from Denis Leary and Bob Fisher. It’s not going to force a joke, but it’s also not going to deliver a punch line either. The show finds ways to come off as naturally funny because the cast is so good at delivering conversational dialogue. It also finds a way to bring raw emotion to a profession that can be extremely difficult emotionally. As in the penultimate episode, where Johnny arrives to work with a box full of Bavarian cream donuts, which aren’t cheap, to show his love for his work family. It’s a nice note in an episode full of them, including an EMT ride in which a young boy with a bullet wound is asked by Hank what his favorite superhero is, which could turn out to be the best use of that difficult sitcom blend I mentioned. It’s a short scene, but it’s a great moment for Sirens in showing its heart while still making its audience laugh.

This isn’t groundbreaking television, but sometimes you just need a half hour to chill with three dudes in an EMT van. Sometimes you just need to turn off the brain for a short period to laugh with a bunch of people doing a job that is underappreciated and not really shown on television. Sirens will probably be on my list of best new shows of 2014, but from where I’m sitting I don’t think they would care. It’s a great first sitcom for USA and one I hope stays on the air long enough to resonate with a sizable audience.

The season finale of Sirens airs tonight at 10/9c on USA.

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1 Comment

  1. Gérard Agati

    Hi,
    I am french.
    My name is Gérard AGATI, but my great grandma name was Rosa Saraceno .
    I do not know much about her except that she left Reggio di Calabria to settle down somewhere in the state of New Jersey before 1900.
    Last April I visited New York and saw the wall of honnor in Ellis Island.
    On this wall of honnor I found the names of several Saraceno stated as donator with their origins from Reggio.
    I am just trying to find out whether we could be “relatives” in any way.
    Best regards,
    Gérard

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