Monday, March 22, 2010

'Nurse Jackie' & 'United States of Tara' reviews: Sepinwall on TV

In today's column, I review the new seasons of "Nurse Jackie" and "United States of Tara." As you can tell by reading it, I was more of a fan of "Tara" season two than "Jackie," and given what a hellacious spring this is for me as a guy who writes about TV, my plan for now is to give "Tara" the episode-by-episode treatment while either skipping over "Jackie" altogether or touching on it from time to time if I have thoughts on a specific episode.

So, back tonight at 11 with a separate "Tara" premiere review, and if you want to talk about the "Jackie" premiere, feel free to do it here.

12 comments:

MrsB said...

Can't wait to watch Tara! I liked Nurse Jackie last season, but I just loved Tara. I'll be watching them both to see where they go this season.

Craig Ranapia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig Ranapia said...

One of my new year resolutions was to stop torturing myself with shows that don't really have a lot going on besides solid leads.

Lie to Me, while not brilliant, seems to have stopped coasting on Tim Roth and give the rest of the cast plot lines and dialogue worth coming to work for. Any reason for me to believe either Jackie or Tara is doing the same -- or are two very talented leads still stuck in shows that confuse four-letter words and smug condescension with being "edgy"?

Matthew L said...

Wow. I have absolutely no memory of Jackie passing out on morphine. When you were discussing on the podcast them not following through on the cliffhanger, I thought you were referring to the scene where Jackie's lover discovered her husband. Did I really care that little about the show that I could forget its main character possibly OD'ing?

tag said...

I am so sad to see Momo was cut from Nurse Jackie. The Momo-Jackie relationship was the best on the show. Trying to fill in with Thor just isn't as good.

Mo Ryan said...

I'm pretty astounded by how much I'm liking Tara this season. Given how much of a mess I found Season 1 (I gave up halfway through), I ended up thinking it was an interesting premise with a great lead actor that just wasn't going to work.

Imagine my surprise when the new season of Tara started out good and kept getting better. It's really good.

I was disappointed in the way Jackie set the reset button as well. Some watchable, good stuff this season but I agree with a lot of Alan's critiques.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the premise of Tara actually Steven Spielberg's idea, Alan?

I don't think Jackie hit the reset button. In fact, I don't really think the finale was that much of a cliffhanger. The only question was would she get caught while she was on the floor. Clearly she didn't. But they do address the drugs missing from the machine and there is more fallout of Eddie finding out the truth.

dead souls said...

I think your review will finally be enough to convince me to give up on Nurse Jackie.

I found the entire first season to be rather disappointing. It's a shame that the writers haven't been able to get it together since they have a pretty good cast to work with.

On the other hand, I really enjoyed season one of Tara and can't wait to watch more of it.

april said...

I kind of agree with everyone. I've lost a bit of interest in Nurse Jackie, but it's only a half hour so I'll probably stick with it. I'll miss Momo though.

I've gotten more and more into Tara because I tend to like her a little more than Jackie. I have trouble sticking with either show for an entire season, but I watch even if some is in fast forward.

Sam Garret said...

I was kind of amazed at the reset button in Nurse Jackie - so much that it took me a while to even see it, initially thinking that the opening was some morphine-induced vision of happy family life with a dark presence in the background. But nope - it's all real, and somehow a nurse has managed to down three ampules(is that what they're called) of morphine - to the point of lying down and hallucinating - on hospital premises without discovery. I can't recall if it was in the pill dispensary itself, but if it was, that makes even less sense. It just didn't make sense for me and I lost a certain respect for the show - it's one thing to have Jackie skirting the rules all the time, but to do something so egregious without consequences makes it hard to see the rules of the show as anything but arbitrary.

Then again, I've been enjoying Mercy lately as an occasionally duct-cleaning weepy with some good performances, so what do I know from medical dramas?

Word verification: agroffem, for the treatment of irritations caused by young male doctors

Anonymous said...

Alan, I agree with most of your review of Nurse Junkie. Besides last season cliff hanger (her morphine trip), her best friend (the English Dr.), really needed Jackie to be with her when her Mother's body arrived. No mention of the hurt that must have caused? No, Dr. wants to set up a college fund for Jackie's kids. Not being in the medical field, I find it hard to believe that a NY city hospital would use a machine to dispence medicine, verses having a "real" pharmacy on site. Jackie's anxiety ridden daughter (which is somehow tied into Jackie working long hours), needs professional help ASAP. Instead, Jackie & hubby just talk about her
problem. You think a nurse would know to have her child professionally evaluated, and take the steps to get her better. Finally, when the obnoxious male Dr., went to administrator to complain about Jackie undermining him in front of patients & staff, the administrator just blew it off. Sure, the Dr. did it out of spite because of Jackie's "want you/don't want you" BS, but his complaints was valid.Question: when did Jackie hit the reset button on the medicine machine. I thought she took an extra vile of some kind of orange powder(when demonstrating the machine). When she came home from work early, she went up to her bathroom to use that drug. Last observence-I thought it was very telling when Jackie's (wonderful) student nurse mentioned that while Jackie was demonstrating the pill machine, she noticed a few guilty faces. The girl isn't dumb, and I think she's slowly closing in on Jackie and her secrets.

Anonymous said...

I'm so surprised how everyone likes Tara so much. Multiple Personality Disorder is very rare and i think that they have so far portrayed it in a very cartoon character-ish sort of way. Plus i find watching toni collete trying to play a trucker extremely irritating and not very believable. but i'm obviously in the minority. but i do enjoy the rest of the characters. I enjoy jackie more for the characters than for the plot-obviously zoey is hysterical and i enjoy the appearances by the british doctor. but where the plot is going based on the preview for upcoming episodes looks a little desperate and gimmicky. eddie infiltrating the family is like a bad thriller movie.