Binge Guide

Weekly Binge: Nurse Jackie

by | April 8, 2015 | Comments

Hello, Nurse! Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, returning on Apr. 12 for its seventh and final season, is a show on many people’s “I’m gonna get to that” list. It’s totally binge-worthy, so here’s what you need to know before starting. Could be just what the doctor — er, nurse — ordered.


Nurse Jackie

Nurse Jackie
What’s the premise? A pill-popping nurse in a frenzied New York City hospital struggles to keep a handle on her addiction and deal with a destructing marriage while tending to patients in need.

What’s it like? Sort of like a Grey’s Anatomy on steroids (or Vicodin, Xanax, Oxycontin, Adderall, or Percocet), Nurse Jackie has become a reference point for shows dubbed “dramedies.” Its charming treatment of real-life anguish steers viewers into a place of hope, connecting us to these wondrous and fragile characters. Due to its succinct thirty minute episodes, Jackie often ends up on “comedy” lists for award nominations, but its comedy is fueled by an honest portrayal of tragedy, with stand-out comedic performances by Merritt Weaver (Zoey) and Anna Deavere Smith (Gloria Akalitus).

Where can I see it? Nurse Jackie can be found on Showtime (online with subscription), Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, iTunes, Google Play, Xbox Video, and XFinity by Comcast. All six seasons are also available on DVD/Blu-Ray for all you old-schoolers. Season seven premieres Apr. 12, on Showtime.

How long will it take? There are six seasons and a total of 66 episodes. With each episode running around 30 minutes, it’ll take you a total of 33 hours. You may want to schedule a visiting nurse to bring you food and fluff your pillows while you watch.

What do the critics think? Nurse Jackie is Fresh as far as the critics are concerned. Season one is Certified Fresh at 95 percent, while seasons two through five are 75 percent, 80 percent, 100 percent and 71 percent respectively on the Tomatometer. Season six drops a bit to 67%. Over the years, critics have responded positively to the show. Of season five, Matthew Gilbert from the Boston Globe said, “It’s honest, credible, trustworthy storytelling.” Matt Roush of TV Guide reviewed season four, calling it “one of TV’s most uncompromising dark comedies.” Of season one, Popmatters’ Michael Abernathy said Nurse Jackie “offers both gripping drama and outrageous comedy.” Since its debut in 2009, Nurse Jackie has been a standout work that has fans and critics laughing and crying along.

Why should I watch this? In the role of Nurse Jackie, Edie Falco has been nominated for five Emmys, one of which she won in 2010 (the show itself won three additional Emmys), and she’s also been nominated for six SAG Awards and four Golden Globes. But one stellar performance is not reason enough to get addicted to a TV series. Excellent supporting players and gripping scripts make Nurse Jackie a winner with its perfectly balanced combination of funny and sad. Many may suspect that Nurse Jackie is more of a “women’s show,” but the issues of addiction and adultery resonate across genders. And ultimately what keeps everyone coming back is the biting hilarity of the dialogue.

What’s my next step? Edie Falco’s award-winning performance on The Sopranos should be your first step. Grey’s Anatomy is an obvious choice for those who are addicted to medical dramas. And another current medical drama is NBC’s The Night Shift. Highly recommended, though, is the short-lived Laura Dern- and Mike White-created TV show Enlightened, which has a similar tone to Nurse Jackie. For those who enjoy more traditional medical dramas, there’s ER, Chicago Hope and the short runs of Trauma Center and Monday Mornings, but for sitcom-style medical antics, try Scrubs. Jackie costar Peter Facinelli can now be seen on American Odyssey. Fans of the show should also enjoy the Certifed Fresh shows The Good Wife and The Knick, which stars Clive Owen as the cocaine-addled Dr. Thackery in turn-of-the-century New York City. On the film side, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is worth watching for its critique of healthcare institutions and Erin Brockovich shows another funny-yet-serious depiction of strong women making a difference.

Tag Cloud

Cartoon Network 20th Century Fox Teen TV Avengers Cosplay HBO Pixar 2017 zombies Marvel Food Network harry potter Hallmark Christmas movies dceu binge Western LGBT teaser historical drama Marvel Television DC Comics Country TV renewals dramedy Pirates Film Festival Nominations vampires Music toy story miniseries Extras Adult Swim Nat Geo crime drama The Purge TNT sag awards TCA casting Opinion GLAAD Certified Fresh The CW Comedy Central HBO Max Apple TV+ DGA Universal CW Seed Peacock AMC thriller psychological thriller werewolf First Look Summer tv talk independent ESPN Logo Grammys ghosts cartoon CMT Set visit Mindy Kaling dragons Crackle mockumentary 2015 nature Columbia Pictures theme song streaming Ovation hist Bravo science fiction biography DirecTV BBC America slashers A24 children's TV unscripted Mary Tyler Moore golden globes Turner Classic Movies Spike Tomatazos Brie Larson doctor who ITV SXSW jamie lee curtis Ellie Kemper The Witch RT History Shudder 71st Emmy Awards Tarantino cats cops Esquire Reality foreign Heroines travel Star Trek Best and Worst Anna Paquin quibi IFC politics game show Turner justice league Quiz sports comics FX south america spy thriller Mudbound Apple TV Plus finale Family robots Character Guide 2020 elevated horror Winners Photos free movies romance Musicals Hulu ABC The Arrangement Captain marvel Lifetime Christmas movies what to watch GoT OWN Countdown Holidays FOX talk show renewed TV shows TIFF CNN Stephen King true crime revenge Thanksgiving Animation Superheroe animated Watching Series 2019 Oscars Winter TV supernatural Awards Sony Pictures Pride Month New York Comic Con anime Black Mirror Polls and Games crime medical drama Box Office MCU Star Wars social media award winner 24 frames Comics on TV Infographic Writers Guild of America period drama diversity cancelled joker Disney streaming service Mystery spanish language Endgame Pet Sematary Elton John President Lucasfilm serial killer Rom-Com crossover BBC 21st Century Fox E3 Red Carpet hispanic anthology television Film Walt Disney Pictures political drama Lifetime WGN Sneak Peek YouTube Red facebook Comedy adventure Academy Awards Video Games Reality Competition directors Mary Poppins Returns TLC Schedule Starz Shondaland based on movie Premiere Dates comiccon Creative Arts Emmys comic SDCC Classic Film YA Disney spain SundanceTV Syfy Netflix Christmas movies Emmy Nominations Marvel Studios Valentine's Day Ghostbusters cancelled television composers USA Network LGBTQ movies Crunchyroll discovery Pop zero dark thirty DC streaming service Sci-Fi 2018 Disney Channel kids aliens E! boxoffice Hallmark TCM Sundance TCA 2017 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt blaxploitation singing competition Tumblr Mary poppins Sundance Now ABC Family game of thrones Interview See It Skip It Tubi Action San Diego Comic-Con Freeform Lionsgate Trivia adaptation Disney Plus spinoff 2016 richard e. Grant name the review The Walking Dead BET screen actors guild canceled TBS green book disaster war witnail book Acorn TV Disney+ Disney Plus MSNBC Trailer screenings Television Academy Women's History Month Drama Fantasy Horror Martial Arts Dark Horse Comics sitcom YouTube Premium mutant Christmas PaleyFest Marathons Discovery Channel stand-up comedy cancelled TV series Chernobyl halloween natural history YouTube Trophy Talk VICE Biopics series cars Arrowverse police drama Spring TV Super Bowl dc Kids & Family Election RT21 Cannes cults spider-man christmas movies Song of Ice and Fire NBC sequel video Rocketman GIFs PBS Emmys festivals X-Men FXX Rocky rotten movies we love Baby Yoda 45 blockbuster technology Fall TV APB Binge Guide docudrama indie Paramount Masterpiece reboot First Reviews TCA Winter 2020 Spectrum Originals Amazon Prime Video Paramount Network VH1 CBS All Access crime thriller IFC Films WarnerMedia strong female leads Fox News ratings canceled TV shows Rock TV Land cinemax American Society of Cinematographers 007 Comic Book latino space A&E Vudu DC Universe OneApp Netflix cancelled TV shows Calendar CBS Warner Bros. El Rey Holiday Musical Podcast Superheroes romantic comedy National Geographic cooking Awards Tour Sundance TV TruTV Amazon Toys breaking bad versus Epix zombie psycho Apple Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Amazon Prime NYCC transformers Britbox MTV Nickelodeon Year in Review batman USA History Showtime