(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.
Don't get me wrong. I've actually watched The Real Housewives of Orange County, as well as the New York City ladies and even the newest creation, those Jersey girls, The Real Housewives of New Jersey. The latter, in fact, are a hoot if you can get past the similarities to Carmela Soprano that imbue the entire series. I keep expecting Tony or Uncle Junior to pop up at one of their parties.
Several weeks ago, Senator Hillary Clinton asked the public to help her come up with a theme song for her presidential campaign. And then The Sopranos ended its historic run. And it was too much of a good opportunity to pass up.
So Hillary and hubby Bill made a video for her web site discussing what song the Senator had selected. Only the video is a parody of the Sopranos' last scene in the diner, with Hillary as Carmela, Bill as Tony, Chelsea as the parallel parking Meadow, a bowl of carrot sticks substituting for onion rings (Bill's got heart problems) and an abrupt cut-to-black.
See the video after the jump. (And if you have a burning desire to find out what campaign song Clinton chose, you can go here.)
Matriarch Shannon Tweed prodded Gene about bringing another bundle of joy into the Simmons' clan. Less than excited, Gene suggested they adopt a child and bet that she'd drop the idea after enduring a year-long process.
Following in the footsteps of Madonna and Angelina Jolie, Shannon brought home an innocent African-American baby. This is where the situation stops being funny. Although there were very cute moments between the baby and Gene, it's really become unpalatable to watch another celebrity bring home a child like a pet. Even if it was in jest, it just seems in bad taste to make adopting a baby such a cavalier joke.
Last night, we also welcomed back the Sopranos family into our homes ...
(WARNING: Spoilers ahead)
(S06E13) We've all been waiting long enough for it, and that Sunday in April finally came. Tonight, we were returned to the scene of the crime as far as the Soprano family goes, or at least the scene where Tony left Johnny Sack to get snatched by the cops way back in 2004. It was definitely helpful to have something absolutely material to the current plot line be "ripped" from something we all more or less forgot about, in Tony's tossing of the gun as he ran from the yard that winter day. As the episode's title would suggest, however, "family" was definitely what it was all about.
The foreshadowing of Tony speaking with Bobby about hunting and killing - and how he hadn't done so as far as people went, at least - was curious at least, but the way this show had been going the last season or two, I hadn't expected to see things come to fruition so quickly. As far as "family" goes, however, there are a lot of different ways to look at things. AJ certainly dropped a few pounds and has a new "look" that he's sporting, ink and all, Tony isn't letting the "pork chop" nickname go to his head or anything (not that anyone would ever call him that to his face), and while health might not be the first concern for the Jersey team, Phil most certainly is looking healthy and is looking to assert himself with his family, even if there is someone else (a much younger someone else) being groomed for the job.
(S06E06) And to think that I was worried that the whole Vito plotline would be left out in the cold for too long. As it turns out, it came right back into play this week, with the word from Sal and the boys after seeing Vito in the gay bar making the rounds and back to Christopher, at his addict's meeting, no less. (Did anyone else find it comical that the guys went outside to smoke a cigarette to decompress from talking about drug addiction?) Chris quicky relays the story to the guys back at the Bing, and his sponsor clearly was finding this whole thing way too amusing, because he was mighty full of jokes.
Instead of "Live Free or Die," we could have titled this episode "Family Problems" because they were all over the place. Tony's got issues with the "family," Carmela and her fam are getting into it over the building materials on her spec house (and the missing bundt cake pan, apparently), Vito's wife and Phil Leotardo - Vito's wife's cousin - are discussing Vito a bit, and the word is out that they are now "separated."
Making a full recovery is something that the Soprano clan was hoping for when it comes to Tony - getting someone who is really really realistic about life and where it's all going is what they most likely hadn't bargained for. Last week's promos looked like it could have been curtains from someone in the crew - but it wasn't really to be, at least this week. But if you were going to throw a wrench into the overall storyline and not have it be directly affecting Tony or his actual relatives, you probably couldn't have pulled a rabbit out of your hat that would have been any stranger looking than the one that Chase & Gang did this week.
Also, it took almost the whole episode to come out, but Carmela's ratting out of Vito and Paulie - mostly Vito - isn't going to work out well. And now that Paulie has put the screws to the Barone kid, he might not escape the Boss' furor, considering how Tony gave his word to Mrs. Barone in the hospital. Oh, and not to harp too much on titles for this show or anything, but is it just me or are they always right on when it comes to adding value to the show? I mean, "Fleshy part of the Thigh" looks odd at first glance, but after catching the whole show, we can obviously figure out why it was chosen.
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