Nurse Jackie

Nurse Jackie 2

A few months on from their confrontation which concluded season one, Nurse Jackie Peyton (Edie Falco) has cut all ties with pharmacist Eddie Walzer (Paul Schulze) and is determined to spend more time with her family. But Eddie has other ideas and gains her attention in a way she simply cannot avoid.

Back at All Saints, Emergency Room administrator Gloria Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith) is concerned with the growing disappearance of drugs, and Dr Eleanor O’Hara’s (Eve Best) life is complicated by the return of an ex-lover.

Dr Fitch “Coop” Cooper (Peter Facinelli) makes a formal complaint against Jackie and, as if that wasn’t enough, she also has to cope with an unwelcome new member of the nursing staff.


Nurse Jackie is currently airing every bloody night on BBC Two. I say ‘every bloody night’ because it’s irritating when a broadcaster assumes you’ll want to watch the same show every single evening at the same time.

BBC Two tried this with The Wire and it failed. They wanted to create the ‘boxset viewing experience’ and, well, the fundamental problem there is that, with a boxset, you can watch three episodes on the bounce and pause for piss-breaks.

Like The Wire, Nurse Jackie is a hip adult American import that has some realistic swearing in and mature approaches to adult material. Essentially, what I’m talking about here is that Nurse Jackie is having an affair with someone but isn’t weeping in windows and being all emo about it. In fact, like a lot of people, it looks like Nurse Jackie likes sex, but only inasmuch that it’s posher than frigging yourself off with the handle of a hairbrush.

Fact is, Nurse Jackie seems to deal with people’s indifference to life very well and very frequently. She’s a bit bored by work (which, in itself, is quite refreshing seeing as she works in a TV hyperdrama favourite – a hospital), a bit bored of her kids, a bit bored of people in general… she generally can’t be bothered with the world at large.

However, whilst the show is kinda good, it’s not brilliant. Jackie is played by Her Who Played Tony Soprano’s Wife and, as ever, she’s capable of a convincing performance.

That’s not stopped people fawning over the show though… and it’s clear that the only reason anyone would swoon over such a slowly paced programme this week is this: Nurse Jackie is the thing to heap praise on to let everyone else know that you’re ‘above’ watching the likes of Celebrity Big Brother.

This is the first time I can recall a show getting good reviews by virtue of the fact that it’s not another show that’s on at the same time.

It almost reminds me of those kids who tell you about their amazing cousin who had Reebok Pump and a special limited edition He-Man sword before anyone else. You’ll never meet this person, but you can bet that everything he does will be great when your back is turned.

Basically, the night I decide to tune in, all mutterings of Nurse Jackie stopped. “Yeah, you just caught a slow episode… it’s normally brilliant.” For Nurse Jackie to blow me out of the water, it seems that I’ll need to not watch it.

Of course, the delicious irony of it all is that, whilst these intellectual sorts thrill at how wonderfully flawed the fictional Nurse Jackie is, they’ll scoff and scorn at the same flaws on the people involved in reality TV.

Essentially, Nurse Jackie does a very good impression of real life. It’s long, drawn out and laborious and filled with disaffected weariness. Just like the Big Brother house. At least the Big Brother house currently has a talking tree and Stephanie Beacham.

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