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November 26, 2014

Nurse Jackie: Pilot (series premiere)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jun 9th 2009 2:46AM
Nurse Jackie

(S01E01) "Shut up. I don't like chatty. I don't do chatty. I like quiet." - Nurse Jackie to young nurse Zoey


It's hard not to think of Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano, because she's so identified with the role. But I have a feeling that after a few episodes of Nurse Jackie, Carmela will fade a bit in our minds and Jackie will start to take over. She's a complex character who snorts painkillers, has sex with the hospital druggist, looks after patients with a vengeance, tells doctors off, and goes home each night to a loving husband and two kids. She's one hot mess.

Seriously, they had me with the opening song, "Theme from Valley of the Dolls," sung by one of my favorite singers in the world, Dionne Warwick. They couldn't have picked a better song to start this series. Like the three women in that movie, Jackie is on a mission, but gets messed up in the process.

If you've ever had any dealings with the medical world, you're probably cheering her as she breaks all the rules to look after the patients' best interests -- whether that means flushing an ear (yes, an ear) down the toilet or telling a doctor how to treat a patient. When the patient dies (because the stupid doc doesn't follow Jackie's instructions), she's determined that something good might come of it. So she forges the dead guy's signature on an organ donor card.

I totally identified with Jackie when she exclaimed to her female doctor friend, "What do you doctors have against healing people, for Christ's sake?!" Our health care system is so screwed up. I hope the next time I'm in a medical situation, there's a Nurse Jackie there for me.

Other stuff:

I appreciate seeing Peter Facinelli as a lascivious doctor who grabs Jackie's breast and claims it's because of a stress-induced Tourettes-type thing. This guy's a long way from his character of Dr. Carlisle Cullen in Twilight.

Nurse Jackie
isn't for the faint of heart. Looks like we'll be seeing some blood and guts on a regular basis.

Loved it when she and her doctor friend were at lunch, and a woman started choking at the table next to them. "I am off the clock," said Jackie. And then, "Eh, I got it. You're buying lunch."

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Puppies

hasnt come on tv here yet, but i just seen the preview and i typed into google "Nurse Jackie Rip off of House." and here we are. =) I will watch it... i am so desperate for house to return... :( this is a sad...very very sad replacement to fill the hole the absence of House has left.

msn: puppies_and_beryl_bffl@live.co.uk

August 30 2009 at 8:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
b zeigler

I think the show is great....but does anyone else but me find her kind'a old to have such a young looking husband and 2 young kids? Seems miscast to me. Maybe if the kids were teenages and the husband was a little bald or something....maybe I am just trying to recreate the Sopanos....but it does really bother me.

July 04 2009 at 8:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ChrysAx

It is a bloodier, gutsier, druggier version of House... which is ok...since House is the best medical drama I've seen in a long, long, while.

But that still makes Nurse Jackie a rank copy.

June 16 2009 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cyn

I thought the show was OK. I will tune in again for next week and then make a decision whether I like it or not or whether it is DVR worthy.
It doesn't feel fresh or original and has a funny vibe.

We'll see....

June 10 2009 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Erin

It is funny how many different opinions there are about this show. And I hadn't even thought about the similarities to House until reading the comments above. I also read for the first time, different views from nurses. There are some that love the show (comments above as well) and some that hate it or are stuck in the middle (see this site: http://www.scrubsmag.com/?utm_source=e&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=bc)

June 10 2009 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mb

As much as her character ended up being so irritating in the Sopranos, I think she's found a perfect role.

There's so much that I find interesting about this show, that I hope it gets better. Although, most of the "funny" parts were all in the trailers leading up to the premiere.

Interesting about her romantic double-life. That got my girlfriend's interest up.

One possible exception - get rid of Peter Facinelli's doctor character. If he's the extreme comedy relief, then they really have to do better that him.

(caveat: I've never seen House).

June 09 2009 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Daisy Shaver

I am a nurse and I really liked Nurse Jackie premiere. While Jackie is a "hot mess" she is also a great nurse. The first episode shows her exercising excellent clinical skills. It also features what every experienced nurse has experienced....the jerk doctor who thinks they are a god and don't know what they are doing. Jackie, who is much more experienced than the resident, advises him and he ignores her. The patient dies. All doctors should learn this lesson, nurses are professionals who often have way more experience than them. Consider nurses colleagues instead of underlings and you'll get much further docs. And it's better patient care!!!!

June 09 2009 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
catherine wilson

i loved this show so much......she is great in this role and the whole cast was super.....very, very well done.

June 09 2009 at 9:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

Forget House, how about the fact that the last scene was a pure, 100% ripoff of the Mad Men pilot's final scene? There's not a thing original about this show. Stale writing, forgettable concept, and cribbing from other, better shows. Boo.

June 09 2009 at 8:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Chris's comment
Christina

On his blog, Alan Sepinwall points out that the Mad Men scene was something he'd seen done a bunch of times before anyway, so he doesn't see the NJ scene as ripping off MM specifically.

June 09 2009 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jboursaw

Hey Bruce - You know, I almost made the comparison to House, but stopped short because Jackie seems to really care about the patients, and House is often just as rude to them as everyone else. There are definitely some similarities in the two shows, though, not the least of which is the pill-popping (or snorting, in her case).

June 09 2009 at 4:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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