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"Rescue Me" returns Wednesday for final season

Denis Leary in the season 7 premiere of "Rescue Me." Will Hart/FX

(CBS) "Rescue Me," the Denis Leary-starring show about a New York City firefighter, begins its final season Wednesday night.

Over the years, the show has been praised for its treatment of Sept. 11, for its examination of alcoholism and for the cast's performances. It's also been criticized for all those things.

Pictures: Denis Leary

The critics are taking to the Interwebs to weigh in on this last run. James Poniewozik in Time hopes "getting a final season will free the show from having to spin out the same stories and focus it in its closing episodes, a la FX's 'The Shield.'"

Mike Thomas of the Chicago Sun-Times writes in the no-mystery-here titled "'Rescue Me' is going out strong," "Not since 'MASH' has a show been so adept (albeit in an edgier and more graphic way) at eliciting belly laughs and tears, shocked amusement and unsettling horror."

In the New York Times, Alessandra Stanley writes, "The FX show is a well-made, enjoyable series that was created with the best of intentions but somehow never quite rose to greatness. That could be because, for all the show's earthy candor and scathing wit, it's a soap opera at heart."

What do you think of "Rescue Me"? Will you watch the final season?

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