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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

Cheers or Jeers? ‘Nurse Jackie' Brings Questionable Behaviors to an Art Form

Published March 29, 2010 12:18 PM by Valerie Newitt
If you enjoy the outlandishness of "Nurse Jackie," this week's Episode 2 is for you. If, on the other hand, the gutter-spiked vocabulary and leap-before-looking behaviors cause you to feel reflected disgust, better to dye some colored eggs than tune in.

Episode 2 opens with nurse Jackie (Edie Falco) rifling through plastic Easter eggs in a basement storage box. When she finds a colored egg with a telltale rattle, she splits it open and ingests the drugs she's hidden within. So starts another typical day for Jackie Peyton, RN.

But that's just an undertone to an episode rife with questionable behaviors. Dr. Eleanor O'Hara (Eve Best) sooths her state of "mourning" following the recent death of her mother with recreational drugs and casual sex with a new staff nurse.  And somehow, she is still able to perform as an ace physician. Go figure.

Rules Are Made to Be Broken???

Jackie dips her toe -- make that her whole leg -- into a pool of questionable compassion when she cuts through red tape and delivers an unconfirmed "negative" test result to parents anxiously waiting to find out if their child has cystic fibrosis. Sounds palatable until you find out it is merely false hope as a confirmed "positive" test result is eventually revealed. We never see the aftermath of that misstep, although Jackie asks to make the telephone call to the sure-to-be-devastated parents.

Meanwhile, the self-admiring Dr. Fitch "Coop" Cooper (Peter Facinelli) is tweeting the details of his in-the-moment life right from the ED. (Think it couldn't happen?  Check out "Scalpel, Suture, Tweet." As outrageous as some of these TV scenarios sound, they do mimic life -- somewhere.)

   These are just a few of the spicy storylines running through Episode 2, Season 2 of the nursing saga that has earned hit status on the Showtime Channel. What say you? Are you cheering or jeering?

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