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October 6, 2015

Thankfully, the Jackie Worship on 'Nurse Jackie' is Ending

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 19th 2010 7:03PM
Edie Falco in 'Nurse Jackie'One of the things that drove me nuts about the first season of Showtime's 'Nurse Jackie' was all the Jackie worship going on.

Yes, Edie Falco's character of the drug-addicted, adultering nurse Jackie Peyton was good at her job, and seems to have a much better bedside manner than most of the people working at All Saints Hospital. And, yes, the premise of the show, especially in that first season, was that she was somehow keeping all of her worlds separate and her lies in order, despite being in a highly stressful job.

But most of the juggling that Jackie was doing seemed pretty unrealistic -- especially in the romance department -- and I'm happy to see that some of those balls are finally falling to the ground.

Jackie's romantic life was the most eye-rolling aspect of season one. Think about what Jackie Peyton's like when she's at work: perpetually tired and grumpy, sporting no make-up, harshly short mom hair, and a frown on her face. She bosses around the doctors, undermines the administrators, and generally acts like she rules the roost. The only people she seems to be nice to are the patients.

Yet, in season one, she was not only trying to manage her marriage to Kevin (Dominic Fumusa) -- who looks ten years younger than she is -- and her affair with her lover/pusher Eddie (Paul Schulze), but she was also fending off the advances of Dr. Cooper (Peter Facinelli). Even formerly spaced-out nurse Sam (Arjun Gupta) seemed to have a little thing for her.

Now, Cooper is in the hate phase of his love/hate relationship with her, and she's trying to distance herself from Eddie after he crossed her self-imposed divide and befriended Kevin. And Sam is fully realizing why Jackie's been gunning for him since day one; he knows an addict when he sees one.

As the season goes on, these entanglements are likely to get even more entangled (I've seen the entire second season, but will try to keep this description spoiler-free). We've already seen signs that Jackie will go to great lengths to keep her secrets in check, like when she broke her own finger to explain to Kevin why her wedding ring had to be cut away when she couldn't take it off in the hospital. Jackie's the best liar on TV who's not named Walter White, but even her crafty stories are bound to catch up with her eventually.

Season two seems like it's more down to earth in the examination of Jackie's life, where she's no longer getting away with her terrible behavior. But there are still gaps. There was no consequence to Jackie zonking herself out in an exam room after Eddie tells her he knows about Kevin. There doesn't seem to be any follow-up with how Jackie is gaming the system on the Pill-O-Matix to get her fix. And somehow, some way, any mistake that Jackie has made on the job can be explained away either by one of her convenient lies or by people shrugging their shoulders in a "that's Jackie being Jackie" fashion.

But the show is definitely getting better, especially as it takes some of the focus off of Falco and starts exploring the lives of some of the other folks at All Saints. For instance, tonight, viewers will see another aspect of Dr. O'Hara (Eve Best) that makes her much less of the officious 'Sex And The City' wannabe she's been to this point. And I'm always happy to see Zoey (Merritt Wever) learning and growing in her adorable panda/kitty/puppy scrubs of the week. As long as Jackie keeps falling from grace, I'll keep watching.

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moon unit

Although I agree with what you wrote, I'm ticked off at the inference of Jackie being 10 years older than her husband. It's legal in America for a wife to be older than her husband. In real life, the actors are only five years apart in age.

April 19 2010 at 8:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to moon unit's comment
Joel Keller

But I'm pretty sure the characters are supposed to be around the same age. As in within a year or so of each other. That's what makes it even look even worse.

April 19 2010 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I totally agree that Jackie looks 10 years older than her husband. They imply that they attended high school together with Ginny Flynn, which would usually mean that the farthest apart their ages should be is 4 years. I don't think there is anything wrong with an older lady being married to a younger man, but they want us to believe they are close in age when they look at least 10 years apart. My 13 year old daughter (who is not allowed to watch it!) came into the room and asked me if they are married. I told her yes and she wanted to know how much older Jackie was than her husband. She thought Jackie was A LOT older than her husband. I noticed that Edie Falco looks a lot older with that short haircut, but it is perfect for Jackie. Maybe when she was cast she had her longer hair and looked younger? Who knows! I just think that maybe they should have used it to add another element to her story. It could have been one of the reasons she had an affair, because she feels old around her husband. It would have been a good explanation as to why she picked Eddie to have an affair with (other than him supplying her with drugs). Just a thought!

April 21 2010 at 1:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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