Nurse Jackie

Life's full of little pricks

If painkiller addiction wasn’t both illegal, dangerous and in general looked down upon, Jackie would rock at life!
Nurse Jackie is not your average hospital drama.

 

I love Nurse Jackie, it’s a dark comedy about a nurse in the emergency department at All Saint’s hospital in New York. What makes this show different is that Jackie isn’t just a nurse, she’s a nurse with a habit.
If you haven’t seen it, I’d thoroughly recommend it.

Like I said at the start of this, if drug addiction wasn’t the social taboo it is, things might well work out differently for Jackie.
It’s the sneaking around and lies she has to tell to keep the drug use secret that gets her into trouble. From episode one we see Jackie having an affair with the hospital pharmacist, she clearly cared for Eddie but it’s really about easy access to drugs.

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What I love most about Nurse Jackie is that Jackie is a complex and complicated person. She is a wife, mother, Nurse, hypocrite, junkie and good person!
A contradiction in terms no? NO! She can be all these things.

At the end of Season 6 for example, Jackie is on her way to the airport and is stuck in traffic. She might miss her flight so pulls into the other lane to drive around the traffic jam only to find out there’s been an accident. No police or ambulance has made it to the crash site yet and a man is screaming for help as his wife is in a bad way.
Jackie takes the briefest of moments to think things through, she really needs to catch that plane but as we all know, Jackie is a good person and a dammed good nurse, so what does she has to do, she pulls over gets out and gets straight to work on helping the mans wife.

As she’s shown throughout the seasons she will always put others before herself but the drugs come first. Jackie is one of the realist characters on TV, she shows us what we are and what we could become if we don’t keep our shit together.

Edie Falco has spoken about her own troubles with addiction, for her it was alcohol for Nurse Jackie it’s painkillers but I suspect that Falco’s own experiences are what help to make Nurse Jackie seem really authentic.
Nurse Jackie has probably shone a light on drug abuse within the health system. American Nurse Today in 2011 claimed 10-15% of nurses were using, I can only assume that figure has stayed the same or grown.
Who can blame them? Nurses work insane hours, are constantly on the move, and have to stay sharp. (and all for little pay I might add.)
It’s no surprise to me that nurses succumb to drugs, in fact I’m surprised the statistics weren’t higher.

But Nurse Jackie is more than just Jack herself. The guys on the show are great but the women on the show are the draw for me. You have the comedy powerhouse that is Merritt Weaver as nursing student Zoey Barkow. I love Zoey.
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She is just a joy to watch on screen and gets some of the best lines and opportunities to let her comedic talents fly.
Hospital administrator Gloria Akalitus is played to perfection by Anna Deavere Smith, even Dr Roman (played by Betty Gilpin) who I loathed for the longest time has started growing on me. I was never on board with the actor who plays Jackie’s husband. He is a flatline actor, nothing behind the eyes. I just don’t like the actor but he really is the only weak link in the show.

So, if you’ve never seen any Nurse Jackie, do yourself a favour, put the kettle on, sit down and join the party!

PIlls                                   So Season Six, the last season. Spoilers ahead.

I somehow had the willpower to wait for the season to be over before I watched any. That way I could spend a day binging on the new season and I did and it was good.

So, where the hell is Dr O’Hara?!!
Dr O'HaraShe’s such a great character and the friendship she has with Jackie was great. Aside from the drugs, O’Hara knew about everything going on Jack’s life, so Jackie doesn’t really have that anymore.
Well, she has her sponsor, newcomer to the show Julie White, Antoinette.
Jackie meets Antoinette in AA, now she’s back on the pills, she doesn’t want to go through the tedium of the meetings. Enter Antoinette, a straight talking no bullshit lady who wants to help keep Jackie on the straight and narrow, so she becomes Jackie’s  sponsor.

It’s this new found friendship with Antoinette and her subsequent betrayal that has caused some fans to turn against Jackie. After I watched the last episode I went onto the IMDB message boards to read what other people had thought of the season (and to see if I could get any goss on why no Dr O’Hara!).
In the episode 10 Sidecars and Spermicide Antoinette has found out Jackie is using again and is on a mission to let everyone know about it. Antoinette has been leaving messages on Jackie’s phone all day, desperate to talk her into rehab.
Jackie is, of course furious and when she finally talks to Antoinette it turns out Antoinette is on the verge of drinking.
Despite her anger Jackie puts her feelings aside to talk Antoinette down and tells her they’ll meet up for dinner to talk. At dinner Jackie admits that maybe Antoinette is right about rehab but if she’s going to rehab she’s going to have one great night first!
Antoinette is caught up in the ‘Thelma and Louise’ of it all and decides to have a few drinks.
Cut to next morning, a very drunk Antoinette and a high as hell Jackie arrive at rehab. Once she’s through the doors Jackie sobers up immediately and tells the receptionist she’s called ahead to book Antoinette in for rehab and Jackie is able to stroll out the door, leaving Antoinette to call her all the names under the sun and justifiably betrayed.

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This is by far the worst thing Jack has done, not only encouraging a recovering alcoholic to drink but then to have her locked away in rehab is a low more but instead of hating Jackie for it, I couldn’t help but laugh, she’s so creative! And Jack needs to have her relationship with drugs without the judgment etc

My only frustration with the show and it’s such a minor thing but sometimes I’d like Jackie to spend more time with patients. I always liked the dynamics at the hospital, so many great characters and sometimes it was how those characters reacted and responded to patients that brought the comedy element.

Season 6 saw Jackie fall off the wagon, she had been clean for a year at the end of the last season, when, just before the credits roll you see her take a pill.
It’s a sad statistic but a lot of ex addicts who turn back to drugs often overdose because they think they can handle the drugs like they used to, when they had a certain level of tolerance.
And this is certainly true of Jackie, she has a couple of scares and makes a medical mistake because she’s not used to the drugs being in her system.

This season saw Jakie up to her old tricks, doing what she has to so she can get her fix. I thoroughly enjoyed this season and while I could tell what was coming in the last episode it was still interesting to see how it would play out.
Although I do have some questions, was she really going to make it through security with all those drugs in her suitcase? Where was she really off to? Are we going to make it to season 7 just for Jackie to wake up and reveal all of season 6 be a dream?
Nurse Jackie has been renewed for a 7th season..which will see Dr Cooper make an exit, maybe we’ll get O’Hara back..we can but hope.

Until Season 7 Jackie..
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About Moxie McMurder

Mad, bad and dangerous to know.
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