After weeks of buzz and excitement, Nurse Jackie finally premiered last night, and as expected, star Edie Falco was, you know, excellent, and the show clearly has the balls to make her character interesting. She’s a no-nonsense ER nurse with a pill-popping problem. Somewhat unfortunately, everyone else on the show could be swapped in from an episode of ER, Grey’s, St. Elsewhere, Nurses, Chicago Hope, Green Wing, or the upcoming Mercy: the hotshot doctor is an incompetent jerk, and the new nurse is super naive. How totally unlike other hospital shows!
Showtime is touting Jackie as a “dark comedy,” but I didn’t get that aspect of it at all; it played more like House or Dexter to me than anything humorous. Yeah, there are some shenanigans — an inappropriate boob-grab, a casual Heimlich maneuvering — but I’d call the show a stylized drama before I’d call it a comedy.
Complaints aside, I can’t wait to see more episodes. There’s a lot of potential here, and as the show grows into its voice a bit more, it could be great, especially with Falco getting so much screen time. EW TV critic Ken Tucker seems to agree with me: “With Falco front and center, you don’t really care if Nurse Jackie gets silly, as with the patient whose cat attacked his scrotum (er, eek). You just want to keep on watching Jackie snort and snicker her way through another day and make it home with a tired smile.” (Check out the rest of Ken’s review.)
Did you watch last night? What’d you think? Did it feel like a “dark comedy” or more like a drama? Or maybe we’ve just had enough hospital dramas for one lifetime?