TV: Nurse Jackie, Season 1

nursejackieOh man, MAN, this show is great.  After a summer/fall season of an amazing number of utterly awful new medical shows (Mercy, Trauma, HawthoRNe, Three Rivers – did I miss any?) it was absolutely thrilling to sit down and watch the entire first season of this brilliant show from start to finish.  Directed by the great Paul Feig (of Freaks and Geeks), I had seen the pilot when the show first premiered on Showtime last year and had been really intrigued by it.  But I wasn’t sure if it was going to be able to sustain its awesomeness for an entire season so I just parked the episodes and waited to see if it would make it through a whole season without being canceled.

Good news – it DID.

Jackie (the amazing Edie Falco) is an ER nurse in a big city hospital.  As the series opens, she’s taken on a young protégé, a n00b straight out of nursing school named Zoey (Merritt Wever).  Zoey is optimistic and chipper and sunny, which drives Jackie completely bananas.  It’s kind of ironic, though, because despite Jackie’s no-nonsense nature, the more we get to know her, the more we begin to realize she’s one of the most caring, accepting, loving people on staff at the hospital.  She’s amazing with the patients and their families, and her compassion for her friends – eventually even including Zoey – is intense and persistent and solid.

But Jackie’s not perfect, thank god.  For one thing, she’s a drug addict, snorting and swallowing painkillers on the job and at home.  She’s also carrying on an affair with a pharmacist at the hospital, who has no idea she’s married with children.  I don’t judge on either thing, but I still found it fascinating to watch how both these vulnerabilities pull and tear at Jackie’s steely facade.  At some point, Jackie is going to bust wide open, and not knowing when, how, or where is part of what makes this show impossible to stop watching.

There are obvious comparisons to be made between Nurse Jackie and the FOX series House – both feature main characters who are cantankerous drug addicts, after all.  But the thing is, of the two characters, I found Jackie infinitely more interesting than House ever has been.  One of my biggest complaints about House is that, while we occasionally catch a glimpse of something deeper, for the most part, he’s actually pretty boringly static and predictable.  Jackie, on the other hand, is a disaster of much more intriguing complexity.

I have no idea if this show has been renewed for a second season, but if it has been, it might be the first time since Deadwood I’ve been tempted to pay for a premium channel just to watch a single TV series.  Let’s do this thing, Jackie.  You and me together, girl.  Let’s break it all wide open.  WIDE.  OPEN.

[Netflix me | Buy me]

Genre:  Drama
Cast:  Edie Falco, Eve Best, Peter Facinelli, Merritt Wever

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2 Responses to “TV: Nurse Jackie, Season 1”

  1. alisaj29 Says:

    So, Verizion Fios messed up our bill this month, and when my hubby called they corrected it AND gave us HBO and Cinamax for free for 3mnths, ok cool. BUT then on Sunday they turned those two channels off, and again my hubby called and asked what was up, the cust serv rep had no idea, and said that she would have them turned back on, AND…. she threw in TMC, Starz, and Showtime for 3mnth for free. The point to my long butt story was… I finally was able to watch the first season of Nurse Jackie (still waiting for it to be release to Netflix) on the VOD, and I stayed up to late last night and watched 4 episodes. I LOVE this show.!

  2. Powlow Says:

    Very good site, i will come back 🙂

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