Three years ago Nurse Jackie premiered on Showtime. It was Edie Falco's first series since her role as "Carmelo Soprano" in the massive hit show The Sopranos. The question was could Falco best or at least equal her popularity in that show. That question was quickly answered as Falco delivered an award winning performance week after week. She was amazing then and she is amazing now. She alone is a solid reason to watch this show.
Then there is this show itself. Falco has always been good in her role of Jackie Peyton, a nurse at All Saints Hospital, but the rest of the cast and the plot of the series didn't always keep up with her. It has been an evolving process that has reached a pinnacle with this new season. This year everything and everyone is at the top of their game.
In the past viewers have disliked Jackie because of her immorality regarding her marriage, and her dangerous drug use. Jackie's life was always on the verge of disaster and this year it has all crumbled. She and her husband Kevin (Dominic Fumusa) have separated because of his infidelity. Her oldest daughter is resentful of her and expresses it in a million ways; her drug use is getting the better of her. All of these events add up to a perfect storm that forces Jackie to take a long, hard look at her life.
Watching Jackie emerge from the ashes is one of the most amazing adventures in television that I have ever seen. Falco provides every emotion for us to see. She is stripped bare of pretension and is more vulnerable than ever. You watch the show glued to the screen because of the scripts; you watch her in rapt awe because of her amazing talent.
Happily Falco is now not the only reason to watch Nurse Jackie. All of the other actors have upped their performances -- thanks in part, I am sure, because of Falco's high standard of talent. Eve Best has added more complexities and depth to her role of Dr. Ellie O'Hara, Jackie's best friend at the hospital. Merritt Wever is still a tad annoying as Jackie's co-worker Zoe but she is growing on me. Peter Facinelli has toned it down a notch as Dr. Fitch Cooper and is actually sympathetic this season.
Bobby Cannavale is a special guest star this season and his presence and performance add another level of quality to the show. He plays a new doctor sent to the hospital when a major takeover of the hospital occurs. He blends in with an already smart ensemble of characters.
Best of all is Anna Deavere Smith who plays hospital administrator Gloria Akalitus. Something life changing occurs with her character at the start of Season 4 and it makes this character much more relatable for viewers. Smith is an amazing actress but up to this point she has been something of a caricature on the show. This season all that changes.
If you haven't watched the first three seasons of Nurse Jackie you have been missing out on one of the best shows on cable. If you don't watch the fourth season of Nurse Jackie you will be missing out on one of the best shows on television ever.
Falco and friends are ready to entertain you so make sure you are present when they appear on Showtime, April 8 at 9PM.