Monday, April 19, 2010

Nurse Jackie

"Doctor, doctor, give me the news -
I've got a bad case of lovin' you.
No pill's gonna cure my ill.
I've got a bad case of lovin' you ..."
Robert Palmer

DAY 192:  Without a doubt, my favorite series on television right now is Nurse Jackie.  I look forward to it every Monday night with GREAT anticipation and I would pay for Showtime monthly even if this were the ONLY program showing on that pay network.  When the show was on hiatus between Seasons One and Two, I REALLY missed it.  But, Nurse Jackie is BACK and it just keeps getting BETTER!  It is heartbreaking, gut-bustingly funny, and raw, often all at the same time.  The dialogue is insightful, real, and cuts straight to the chase like a sharp scalpel.

The writing is stellar, the characters are wonderfully complex and wonderfully flawed ... even the most minor of characters (including the patients themselves) are fascinating studies.  From the beleaguered Ms. Akalitus, to the irrepressible Zoey, to the appallingly self-involved Dr. Cooper, and the HYSTERICAL Dr. O'Hara, I feel like these characters have become friends of mine and I can't wait to see what they're up to each week.

At the center of it all, though, is Nurse Jackie herself, as performed by the REMARKABLE Edie Falco.  What makes her character so incredibly compelling is her role as a true tragic hero.  This is a woman who will break every rule necessary to do what's right, what's best for her patients, to mete out justice where needed, to tell anyone EXACTLY what they need to hear.  She is a woman you would want on your side and someone you'd love to have a drink with.  Oddly enough, though, this woman is HARDLY a saint ... she is unabashedly unsentimental, addicted to pain killers (which she partakes of frequently, even while on duty) and is having an extramarital affair, even when it appears that her husband is loving and devoted.  It is this show's ability to get us to sympathize and identify with, admire, and even root for Jackie that makes it BRILLIANT, in my opinion.

I'm grateful for my weekly visit to the Emergency Room of All Saints' Hospital ... thanks, Showtime!

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