I praised Royal Pains last week and when I saw the second episode I was sorry I had. The show had turned gooey and uninteresting. Suddenly Dr. Hank is Robin Hood, no moral conflict, no self doubt, just good old American (and doctorly) self congratulation.
So it was a certain joy to watch the first episode of Nurse Jackie (Monday nights on Showtime). Jackie is saintly and flawed. As the most humane person at her hospital, she is Dr. Hank and then some. But she is also a pill popping adulterer, a lapsing Catholic, a nurse who accepts no medical authority higher than her own, and a lawsuit waiting to happen. Plus, she is portrayed here by Edie Falco who shows range and depth that did not show (that I could not see) in The Sopranos. This is a show that takes up the complexities it looked as if Royal Pains give us. This is chewy television.
If you don’t get Showtime, this is your excuse. It was mine.