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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nurse Jackie is back

      Showtime's Nurse Jackie is a brilliant show.  Here's why.  It's a totally character driven drama.  Sure, other shows are character driven dramas, too, like House, or virtually any show on USA.  But Jackie does it better.  The main character (the amazing Edie Falco) is completely morally ambiguous.  She seems like a devote family woman, but she carried on an affair for a year with her pharmacist.  She frequently steals and abuses medicine, yet she goes out of her way to help patients.  She hides every bit of her personal life at work, but has the best bedside manner of anyone on the staff.  Is she a good or bad person at heart?  That depends.  Certainly she violates at least one of your decency standards, and yet, it's hard not to like her.

     She is also surrounded by a slew of interesting co-workers.  Gloria Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith, The West Wing) may be my favorite.  She's the hard nosed administrator who only occasionally let her soft side out, but it's always a delight when she does.  Dr. O'Hara (Eve Best) is Jackie's best friend, and doesn't judge her, despite knowing most of the sordid details that no one else does.  Even Cooper (Peter Facinelli, Twilight) started annoying, but has grown into a highly entertaining plaything for Jackie's mental games.

     In the season premiere last night, Eddie (Paul Schulze, 24), Jackie's spurned lover, swallows a bottle of pills so he can see her as a patient in the ER.  It seems that he will endeavor to become more and more involved in her life, even though he now knows all about her family.  The walls are also closing in on Jackie at work, as her boss is becoming suspicious that someone is stealing meds.  Also, the temp she fired last year for coming to work high has been hired full time, and he may have figured her out.

     All in all, it was a thrilling half hour, with more promising plot to come.  If you want to see television's most well developed shade of gray, tune in to Nurse Jackie Mondays at 10pm on Showtime.

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