Nurse Jackie Review: "The Astonishing"

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You won't believe this, but "The Astonishing" concluded with a close-up of the main character's intense, worried face. Isn't that a major shift from the norm?!?

For the umpteenth week in a row, the show made it look like Jackie was on the edge of losing it - drug supply dwindling, husband questioning their relationship, daughter on edge, co-workers suspicious - concluding an installment with what it must believe is a character-based cliffhanger.

Coop and Thor

But do any viewers really think this will be different? That something truly dramatic will take place next Monday?

I can, at least, admit that I didn't see Bill's death by truck coming. It was nice to be surprised for a change. Can't say I have any reaction to his demise, however. His presence as Jackie's drug dealer just served to kill some time for a couple weeks while she searched for ways to support her habit.

Might she get really desperate now? Might that result in some kind of drastic, series-altering action? I hope so. But I'm not confident.

Elsewhere, Coop's mourning period really has to end soon. It was sort of cute at first, it revealed just how child-like this doctor is... but now it's tiresome and it's making my favorite character less fun.

There were two positive notes from the episode, though:

  1. Who doesn't love former Wonder Years star Dan Lauria? His appearance also drove home just how committed to his marriage Kevin clearly is.
  2. Zoey used to be jail bait. Her bait used to be all about jail. Hilarious.

What did everyone else think?


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.8 / 5.0 (8 Votes)

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


you will find no criticizing here...such a great it...


Dr Cooper is a complete and utter twat !


you don't understand the nature of addiction man... if you had ever been in shoes similar to hers, you'd understand that every DAY is a fucking cliffhanger, not just every week. you constantly feel like the jig is gonna be up tomorrow--tomorrow i won't be able to score, tomorrow my family is gonna find out. but it persists as long as you let it. you find a way to make it work out that day just to escape the sickness. you find a way to convince your family you're getting better. the show is the most realistic portrayal of a functioning addict on television, i'm sorry you don't have the perspective to see that. if you could, maybe you wouldn't want the show to compromise it's integrity in that area just to give you a little more entertaining story arc. gotta hand it to chloe for calling you out.


Ten points to Chloe :)


Matt, but I absolutely loathe your reviews of Nurse Jackie. It's as if you're missing the point of the show entirely. You offer such a banal perspective of the show and it would be one thing if you had original lack-brain thoughts every week, but you don't. You consistently offer exactly the same trivial and preposterous solutions to what you consider a stagnant character, or perhaps even a stagnant show week in and week out. You present these supposed problems with the show or the main character, and you're so off-base it's astounding. You have absolutely no grasp on what the show represents, and your suggestions for the show are so contrived and absolutely counter-productive. If you had it your way Nurse Jackie would be a half-hour comedy fecal-palooza that wouldn't even make it through to mid-season. You would think a person who prides themselves on offering up essentially the same review every week would know a thing or two about stagnancy... But, alas... You don't seem to have a clue what you are talking about. Nurse Jackie is not a stagnant show, it would be one however, if Jackie became, and stayed sober, and if sober-Jackie were to appear any time soon the only other possibility to maintain some drama and keep the show from becoming less memorable than white bread would be to have her consistently relapse a-la-House. House offered us a perfect example of why a show about a drug addict doesn't work when it becomes a show about a recovered drug addict, or can only work for so long. You begin to lose the identity of the protagonist, you run out of means to keep the show feeling remotely authentic to that which it was when it began, and ultimately you lose the show itself because whatever it stood for in the begin is irrelevant and the show no longer has any meaningful direction to go in, less and less plot and development paths to take, until the show is nothing more than a blank piece of paper. Unless you ultimately want Nurse Jackie to be cancelled, the writers of the show are right in keeping her character high and flawed for as long as possible, because if she gets better the show becomes nothing more than a light-hearted comedy. Funny, with a chance of drama. You obviously don't know a thing about writing for a television show because if you had it your way the show would cannibalize itself. I can't decide whether you really are just a moron offering opinions about things way above your intellect or if you ultimately want the show to self-implode, or if you just simply dislike the character Jackie and want to see her get her comeuppance. If you're an idiot, work on that. If you hate the show, change the damn channel. you're looking for a light hearted comedy with the bi-weekly hint of drama, watch a CBS half-hour comedy. If regular character re-modeling with ever changing mini-plots for characters to navigate is what you're looking for, a daytime soap is probably the choice for you... If you simply want to watch people you dislike get theirs- perhaps a reality TV show is more up your alley... Survivor has a new season this fall just for you... Either way Goldi-Matt, all you have to do is change the channel and you'll find your perfect bowl of porridge! As for this website, it's a damn shame you only have one person writing such moronic drivel and calling it a review, especially for such a clever, intelligent, and fun show. To say that the author of these reviews doesn't get it is an understatement, and I really hope that the people who come onto this site looking for a sense on a show's merit or quality have the good sense to look elsewhere because they sure as hell won't get a pulse on this show or any other from Matt. Matt, your reviews are useless, and might I suggest you work on your own work's stagnancy before commenting on the works of writers far more talented, even on their off-days or off-episodes, than you could ever hope to be. Good Riddance.

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