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Nurse Jackie Season Premiere Review: Blow Her...

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Jackie is just defiant. Don't get in her way. She's just going to do what she's going to do. - Producer Liz Brixius on the opening scene in the third season premiere, "Game On."

There's no doubt that Jackie Peyton is a defiant woman. She's also stubborn, manipulative and a very impressive liar. All of these traits make for an interesting character, played brilliantly by Edie Falco, but they also make for a series that hasn't evolved much in two seasons and one episode.

Season Three Premiere Scene

Such was my reaction after watching the third season premiere. Within minutes, Jackie had stormed out of the house, laid guilt upon Kevin for his stance on his daughter's tuition and returned to the hospital, more or less back to her regular life of using and lying.

Yes, her husband is closer to the truth than ever before. So is her supervisor.

But does anyone expect Jackie to visit rehab any time soon? To put an end to her addiction, no matter what the final scene teased? She may need to get more creative with her cover-ups, but Brixius says it best above:

Jackie is going to do what Jackie is going to do. Doesn't leave much room for character growth, which makes the show feel like its treading water at times.

Fortunately, Merritt Wever and Peter Facinelli are around to bring the funny. They are legitimately, laugh-out-loud hilarious as Zoey and Coop, respectively, from the former sharing way too much about her sex life to the latter begging his co-workers to comment on their expensive shoes.

It can be easy to forget that Nurse Jackie is considered a comedy - that's the Emmy category into which Falco is entered every year - unless these two are on screen.

There does seem to be a serious schism in Jackie's relationship with O'Hara, at least, with the doctor telling her pal that she "broke her heart." We've seen a lot more of these two together than we have of Jackie and Kevin, causing me to be more invested in their interactions and intrigued by a season that might not involve daily lunch dates as a duo.

That, Falco's work and everything about Zoey are enough to keep me around each week. I just don't tune at this point expecting to see anyone other than the Jackie Peyton we met on the season premiere.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
  • 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (11 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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i think the fact that nurse jackie takes pills and still function is amazing. I personally know how it is to be imperfect , yet seem so perfect can hold alot of pressure. I am in a situation i wished i would have never gotten into. I wish i knew a way out. Unlike jackie, i will probably go the rest of my life regreting my decision, confusing my decision with pity. 'Oh' so much pity. Wheres my drugs ?

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i disagree michael. i think it was realistic that jackie denied, denied, denied and went back to 'normal'. i also think there was just enough. you have to remember: 1. gloria telling everyone to be on their feet as 3-4 surrounding hospitals have closed. maybe momo will be back!!! competition may get to jackie. 2. kevin showing up at all saints. everyone knows she's married now. she has kids. eddie. her double life has completely shattered into pieces. it will be exquisite to see how she's going to handle it. i think there'll be more chance for jackie to OD over the stress and pressure of everything that's going to eventually come up. rehab and relapse hopefully will be left for future seasons.

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I also definitely got the feeling of treading water from the premiere. After being backed into such a cliffhanging corner, you'd expect something to happen other than that she just goes back to her normal life. I think it would have been more interesting if she had left the bathroom, told her husband and the doctor friend that she was sorry sorry sorry, and agreed to stop drugs, etc., even enter rehab or whatever and THEN about halfway through the season, start up behind everyone's back.
As it is, I'm not sure how this season is going to be much different than the others.

C-f-ohara

Sometimes treading water is enough, better than drowning. I was happy to have our notorious nurse back last night. Jackie is like the R.N. version of Hank Moody. Theres no helping people who don't want to be helped, but it doesn't mean they can't be entertaining. I am very much looking forward to Zoey and Coop playing a bigger part of the show and the introduction of Kevin's sister should provide some fireworks. Love her line in the trailer, "interventions are just rude!" She looks like a gem.