It is sometimes very hard to keep up to date with the latest happening hip television series. Who has the time?, and in Australia, the TV programs of merit are usually on PayTV or delegated to very late night slots on free-to-air. Of course now that I own a DVD recorder at least I can tape the late night screenings. It takes ages for them to be released on DVD. Thank god for Amazon.com.
There are so many around now it is astonishing. Weeds, The Wire, Breaking Bad, True Blood, Pushing Daisies Oz, Dexter , Glee , Entourage, 30 Rock, Mad Men (some still in production, some cancelled). And beware! many more to come, of which I will keep you posted – The C Word & A Miraculous Year for example. How many times does somebody tell you….oh have you seen that great show????? I am still catching up with most of them. And god forgive me, I never got into Six Feet Under, or The Sopranos (I am sure one day I will). Just for the record, I am a big fan of Weeds, Oz, True Blood, Glee & Pushing Daisies. Which brings me to my next blab.
Produced by Showtime, who are responsible for a lot of the above mentioned. It stars the suberb Edie Falco, formely of The Sopranos. She was a multi award winner for her Soprano role, and she has her set of devoted admirers. Now you can add me to that list.
Basically it is a half hour show that details the life of a very dedicated nurse as she deals with a serious addiction to prescription drugs, infidelity, family life ands it’s ups and downs, the tragedies of an emergency department in a major city hospital, (show is set & filmed in New York City), leading a double life. The list goes on. Great fodder for a series that you can seriously become addicted to.
The show triumphs due to the fact that the characters are very real and recognisable, the situations seem very lifelike, and up pops an absurd moment. I think the true reason the show works is that all of the characters are seriously flawed, therefore anyone who is honest with themselves can relate. The only argument I have is that the show is classed as a comedy (well at least at award time), but I feel it is more a drama with some comic moments. Beats me who decides what is what.
Aside from the wonderful Miss Falco, the show has a terrific supporting cast. And to be honest an oddball performance that doesn’t quite fit in, but is amusing anyway. I won’t go into all of them, you will have to see for yourself, and choose your own faves. But for me. I love Eve Best as Nurse Jackie’s confidant, she plays a doctor (obviously well paid) with a taste for designer duds, and a penchant for fine dining restaurants, which are often a highlight of some eps. She knows Jackie’s secret, and has a great sense of humour. I am looking forward to her character development. Eve Best is an English actress, who came to fame with Gotham audiences with her Tony nominated performance in a revival of “A Moon For The Misbegotten”, a few years ago. Casting agents must have been impressed. I also enjoy the performance of Merrit Wever as Zoe, a student nurse, she is at once jovial and perky, and then reflective and sad when the realities of nursing in a big city hospital hits home. Her scenes with Miss Falco are a delight. The male characters are kind of interesting as well, but I feel the female roles are more rounded. The one oddball out, is Anna Deavere Smith (herself a respected playwrite in NYC) as the head honcho of the department, she seems to fly in like the wicked witch of the west, and her performance is just as highly OTT as the great Margaret Hamilton, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Then again, she is very watchable.
The show has been nominated for a swag of Emmys this year, of course Miss Falco is up there for best actress in a comedy. The veteran actor Eli Wallach has been nominated for his guest appearance as a man dying ,and trying to keep it from his wife, he was superb. Plus various technical nods and one for direction for it’s very strong pilot episode.
As is de rigueur with cable tv shows, the titles are excellent, and also nommed for an Emmy
Please forgive me for being behind the 8 ball on this show, and if you haven’t caught up with it yet, go buy the DVD. I am sure you will fall in love with Nurse Jackie and all her friends, warts & all.
Footnote: I am only up to episode 5 of season 1, so there is a way to go. 2 seasons have been produced.
I am very excited as it seems a swag of Broadway performers turn up. For example the great Judith Ivey, and Blythe Danner, can’t wait to see them.
Thank god for shows produced and filmed in New York, so many wonderful performers from stage turn up giving such good performances.