Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Nurse Jackie: Sharper than a new scalpel

I'm bummed I no longer have Showtime, given the greatness of "Weeds" and "The Tudors," but now that they're putting some of their premieres on YouTube with just a minimally irritating commercial at the beginning of the show, I'm really jonesing for Showtime.

"Nurse Jackie" premiered this week and it is amazing. You can watch the whole thing here.

Carmela from "The Sopranos" finally got her day in the sun -- and she finally got to hook up with Father Phil, this time in the hospital pharmacy with Paul Schulze channeling her doctor lover. Edie Falco did her own post-Sopranos thing on Broadway, and now the TV-viewing public gets to enjoy her phenomenal acting talent on HBO's rival. Set at a fictitious Catholic Manhattan hospital on Third Avenue, "Nurse Jackie" features Falco playing a bitchy, brilliant nurse with a good heart and a smart mouth, who just so happens to have a little addiction to Oxy, due to a bad back. The flawed heroine's character shines through razor sharp dialogue, thanks to top-notch writing. One part "Six Feet Under," one part "Sopranos," one part "House." With lots of swearing, true to New York fashion.

To give you an idea of the script, here's a scene where she diagnoses a bike messenger who's just had an accident. The cocky young doctor "Coop" ignores Nurse Jackie's plea to have his brained scanned for glucose levels to rule out that the cerebrospinal fluid cushioning his brain isn't screwed up, which would in turn cause a brain hemmorage, as she suspects is the case. The doctor, however, ignores her, wrongly believing that the patient's injuries are relegated to his banged-up leg. And the bike messenger dies on the operating table.

After altruistically and illegally signing the dead kid off as an organ donor, she approaches the incompetent doctor who's washing up. He acts all nonchalant, asking her what he can do for her.

NURSE JACKIE: What you can do for me is this. You can stay the fuck out of my way, that's what you can do for me.

DOCTOR COOPER: Do you need to use the sink?

NURSE JACKIE: No, what I need for you to know is that I know you. I've seen hundred of you jerkoffs blow through these doors. You graduated what, top ten, five percent of your class, right? Test scores through the roof but a total fucking retard when it comes to actual patients? I know you! I just had to sit there and look that kid's mother in the eye and tell her we did everything we could, you dumb shit! That was my patient. I told you he was slipping and he was. If I tell you to order a scan then you order a goddamned scan because if you don't I'll just go to the next doctor, and the next doctor after that, and that kid died, and it is all on you.

Stupid-ass Scrubs this ain't. Go Showtime.

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