I Finally Start NURSE JACKIE

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After years of seeing nominations for Nurse Jackie at various award ceremonies – and Merritt Wever’s now infamously hilarious acceptance speech for winning the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy – I finally sat down to watch the comedy…or drama…or dramedy. And I love it.

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Edie Falco (The Sopranos) shines as a cynical ER nurse, whose addiction to pain killers toggles with her own morality – all while leading a double life with a loving husband and two daughters. Jackie’s good cop/bad cop style of nursing allows the writers to add a host of compelling trauma patients to come through the doors of the bustling New York City hospital.

In the pilot, Jackie is tasked with mentoring a skittish nursing student, Zoey (Wever), who learns right off the bat to barf away from the severed human ear. The hospital has the most prestigious staff in the city, with the adorkable, Dr. Cooper (Peter Facinelli) – Coop for short – and the egocentric diva, Dr. O’Hara (Eve Best).

Something I love about the editing. Most shows fade to black during transitions, but in Nurse Jackie we fade to white. There’s something very lucid about this – mixing Jackie’s immoral addiction to pain killers with the very real sense of mortality in the hospital. In a very powerful moment in the first season, Zoey loses her first patient, and the quick-to-judge Jackie stands down for a moment to acknowledge the many dark horrors that come with working in the medical profession.

If you haven’t starting watching Nurse Jackie yet, don’t fret! It’s not too late! Well, I guess it’ll never be too late, unless, well…we all die eventually.

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Flashback: GIRL(S) Season 2

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Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have way too much time on my hands. And as I pace my way through the new season of Arrested Development, I have had time to binge on shows that I lost throughout the school year. One of which is HBO’s Girls, and if you could guess by this post’s title, the second season isn’t so much about the “girls” as it is a girl – Hannah.

While I fully support Lena Dunham in being the actor/writer/director she is, I feel as though season two of the Golden Globe winning and Emmy nominated series turned into a one-woman show, rather than an ensemble piece.

For example, in the episode “One Man’s Trash,” Dunham puts Hannah inside a forty-something’s brownstone and they begin an elongated (in terms of a thirty minute episode) affair for the day. Now, where was the sweet-loving Shoshanna in this episode? What was the beautiful and lonely Marnie up to that day? Was Jessa doing something intelligently stupid? If the show is called Girls, I want to see all the girls, darn it!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but did season two have a scene with all four of the girls? They have a dinner party in one of the earlier episodes, but Jessa is off with her husband.

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I still remember the image (shown above) that really intrigued me about the show. It comes from season one and the four friends are sitting uncomfortably on a New York City bench – their postures clearly define their personalities and the huddled mass reveals something completely innate about the relationship that they have with one another.

Despite my one complaint, the second season did not flop entirely. I will say, however, that the first five episodes show much more creativity and vigor from Dunham than the later five.

The introduction of Donald Glover and Andrew Rannells into the cast as Hannah’s new boyfriend and roommate certainly added some new angles for the show.

Both Marnie (Allison Williams) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) show tremendous character growth in this season. Marnie, who has it all during season one, essentially loses it all at the season’s turnover and is left to pick up the pieces in season two. Her instability drives her into an indescribable relationship with artist Booth Jonathan –arguable the most brilliant character Dunham created – and comes to the conclusion that she wants to be a singer.

Shoshanna, on the other hand, gets it all in season two. However, her thirty-something boyfriend is in a deadbeat job and she begins to question the world as only the fast-paced, innocent Shoshanna could.

Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is the only girl that has no character development. Actually, she disappears in the fifth episode – quite literally, too. This contributes to my whole Girls vs. Girl argument. Why did Dunham bother introducing this interesting-minded character only to have her disappear for half of the season? I hope it wasn’t to give Hannah more airtime picking at her ears with a Q-tip.

In the end, there is something that keeps me watching. Maybe it’s that image from the first season of the girls on that city bench. Maybe it’s Marnie’s singing of Kanye West’s “Stronger.” Maybe is just Shoshanna. Regardless, bring on season three, Lena Dunham!