My first television review! Season 3 of Nurse Jackie premiered last Monday night on Showtime. After spending the winter months watching the super frothy Real Housewives (Beverly Hills, Atlanta and now Miami—no Real Housewives of Buffalo, Minneapolis or Cleveland??) I was ready for something a little grittier. Something with a little meat to it. Let me make sure to preface this review with the fact that Nurse Jackie is probably rated R. It’s on at 10pm on Showtime and that’s probably enough of a clue that it’s an “adult” dramedy, but just in case, it’s not a children’s show. There’s a lot of rated “R” language and situations, but I still thoroughly enjoy it. We used to love Entourage, but it’s only about five times every two years. We used to love Weeds, but once the kids were in danger and there was a new baby involved, I just couldn’t stomach Nancy’s business choices anymore. That leaves us with the devilish and entertaining Edie Falco as Nurse Jackie.
It was like the Easter Bunny delivered a very naughty and satisfying treat on my doorstep Monday night. I even bypassed my new Monday night favorite on Bravo, Bethenny Ever After (I adore her in-laws—they are too sweet) to dive straight into the train wreck known as Nurse Jackie.
Nurse Jackie is so totally corrupt and devoid of a moral compass that I cannot turn away. By the time the 30 minutes have flown by I completely forget all of my own problems. Last season was gut-wrenching to watch. Jackie hiding her addiction to pain killers from her husband, co-workers, lover and best friend. To see into the twisted mind of an addict is both terrifying and surreal all at once. Jackie likes to play God. She makes judgment calls about her patients and her family that while harsh, you can usually see where she is coming from. It seems that most of her work as a nurse comes from a place where she decides right and wrong and doles out judgment accordingly.
In the background is her marriage to Kevin who struggles to make ends meet as the owner of a bar as well as their two daughters who seem to rarely be with their mother. Then there is her convenient affair with the hospital pharmacist, Eddie. Last season we watched as Eddie befriended Jackie’s husband as Jackie’s work world and her real life started on a collision course of disaster.
It’s agonizing to see her use the people around her. It’s painful to see what extremes an addict will go to for the next high. Lies on top of lies. Twisting the truth like a Twizzler licorice stick. Using friends and family to get what she wants. No holds barred. It’s painful at times, but Edie Falco makes it all so real and so engaging.
Providing much needed comic relief is the supporting cast. From the hospital administrator, Akalitus—a sarcastic and caustic former nurse, to Dr. Cooper—a physician who suffers from a form of Tourette syndrome in which he grabs women’s breasts when he gets stressed—the supporting cast could each star in a show of their own.
Is Nurse Jackie for everyone? Hardly. It’s gritty. It’s twisted. It’s fun. A guilty pleasure (given my Bravo shows addiction—Housewives, Bethenny, Top Chef—I’m an expert at guilty pleasure shows). If you are looking for something to sink your teeth into, check out Nurse Jackie, Monday nights at 10pm on Showtime, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!