The series' fourth season opener is a quality entry into the new season fold. Here is a series that is still worth watching.
When the Showtime series Nurse Jackie premiered in 2009 it had plenty going for it right out of the gate. Edie Falco, who plays the title character, had already made her mark as an acclaimed actress prior to taking the role, most notably as Carmela Soprano on the classic HBO series The Sopranos. Her co-stars Eve Best, Peter Facinelli, and Anna Deavere Smith were well-respected actors in their own right. Showrunner Liz Brixius was already a successful television writer, whose credits included That 70’s Show.
The winning combination has succeeded in creating a quirky “dramady”, which is now entering its fourth season. Judging by the advance screener of the season opener (which premieres April 8 on Showtime) the show is still as vital, compelling, and interesting as it ever was.
Jackie Peyton is an emergency room nurse who excels at her job at All Saints Hospital, despite her addiction to drugs. For three seasons she has been able to cover up her problem in a variety of clever ways. Her adeptness at lying has also enabled her to also hide her affair with pharmacist co-worker Eddie (Paul Schulze) from her husband Kevin (Dominic Fumusa). She has managed to hide her marriage from Eddie and everyone else she works with (excluding O’Hara, her beleaguered best friend and sounding board). Through it all, she never shirks her responsibilities to her and Kevin’s two daughters and generally succeeds at being a good mother.
In “Kettle Kettle Black Black”, the fourth season’s premiere, it appears Jackie has reached the end of this long road of lies and deception. When her addiction puts her in a compromising position (with guest star Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong), it finally convinces her that revealing her deceptions and checking into rehab are the only ways she will get life back on track. Will she learn her lesson after the 28-day treatment or will she eventually fall off the wagon and tumble back to her old ways?
Bobby Cannavale (Third Watch, Will and Grace) joins the cast as Mike Cruz, the handsome yet abrasive new hospital director. Cruz announces plans to implement a few drastic changes at All Saints. How his presence will affect those in his employ is sure to play out in the episodes to come.
If you’ve been engrossed in Jackie’s story over the past three seasons, you'll be happy to know the quality hasn't dissipated in the least. The season premiere proves that Nurse Jackie is a series with a lot of life left in it.