Daily Archives: January 7, 2010

Nurse Jackie: No lady with a lamp

I’ve come late to Nurse Jackie, but I’m pleased to have found it. Starring the brilliant Edie ‘Carmela’ Falco in blue scrubs, I love the fact that the whole of the first episode had her struggling through a day at work (including a quickie in a cupboard), with an entirely realistic looking bad back. I’ve had days like that. Without the cupboard sex. Or snorting the contents of illicit pain pills. Or dealing with a teenager off his tits on drugs who has scrotal burns from blowing a candle out of his arse. Oh yes, or flushing a severed ear down the toilet after yelling ‘fuck you’ into the bloody lobe.

The ear bit reminded me of the first episode of Nip/Tuck, in which an end-of-her-tether Joely Richardson *flushes a pet hamster down a toilet. Psychotic female behaviour a la Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (a packet of valium liquidised in gazpacho -my favourite ever  psycho recipe). 

*The flushing device only really works effectively in American dramas though, because of their flat pan toilets, where you see the object swirling round.

Nurse Jackie is not a medical drama like House, where medical staff are totally dedicated to their work, neither are the doctors in any way heroic. Quite the opposite. The character of Nurse Jackie is presented as morally and ethically flawed (despite the cupboard sex, she has a husband and kids at home) but with a kind of ‘saintly’ deep commitment to her patients, with greater knowledge and insight than many doctor colleagues. It’s her that spots a brain bleed on a bike messenger, although the attending doctor dismisses her when she tells him. The patient then dies and she fakes an organ donor card for the dead guy. His impoverished and heavily pregnant girlfriend comes in, but ends up begging for an organ to sell because she’s so poor. Unable to afford the cab fare home, at the end of the episode, Jackie has stolen her some cosy boots and a wad of cash. The money is from the pocket of the severed-ear guy whom we know to be a baddie because his ear was cut off by a prostitute after he had repeatedly stabbed her. The police can’t prosecute him because he’s from the Libyan Embassy, which is why Jackie flushes his ear down the pan.

Apart from adoring seeing the ever watchable Edie Falco land such a plum role, what I enjoyed about this drama was the way it addresses the real/dark side of medicine. Doctors being arrogant or careless, nurses fucking up after working too much overtime, or high on painkillers due to a bad back. Uncomfortable to be sure, but gripping nonetheless.

Posted by Inkface

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Celebrity Big Brother: Wicked

There is something somnambulant about the housemates this year. I think their bodies are telling them they need to be hibernating so it’s all very low key, and frankly a bit dull. Despite that, horniness will out, and last night we saw Jonas whispering to skinny blonde (I’m not bitter, honest) Katia that he finds her ‘wicked’ and ‘awesome’. I’m not so sure of his judgement, since this is a man who recently got a tattoo of his production company’s logo on his calf muscle. I think what he wants is a shag, and given both of their histories, neither are probably too squeamish to do it on camera. But I didn’t watch their flirting with any particular interest. Maybe it’s me that needs to be packed away snugly by a Blue Peter presenter in a cardboard box to have snooze for a few months. With my name Tippex-ed on my shell.

The one person I’m enjoying making up mental evil tasks for (thank you for that idea, pauseliveaction) is the exceptionally smug irksome  twat of a ‘Man on a Mission’ Stephen Baldwin. The quote of last night: ‘if someone held a gun to my daughter’s head and asked her to say there was no Jesus, I’d expect her to say ‘there is a Jesus’ like I’d taught her and then I’d see her in Heaven’.

Can we try that with him, producers, can we, please? Test his faith with a Diary Room game of Russian Roulette. A gun vs the Lord. I loved the look on Heidi Fleiss’s face as he droned on incredibly tediously about how God is the other man in his wife’s life, and the person who keeps the marriage on-track. Because the devil is out there, trying to corrupt and ruin things. I wish someone would slap him round his smug, self-absorbed chops with his bloody bible.

And, oh yes, boring Baldy boy, the devil is out there. She’s me and she would love to chuck you in a vat of hellfire to warm up poor Vinnie Jones after being stuck in the freezing phone box in his shorts and a t shirt, pitifully clutching onto a hot water bottle.

Posted by Inkface

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