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DVD review: 'Nurse Jackie' offers healthy dose of diversion

Gene Triplett Modified: May 15, 2013 at 11:45 am •  Published: March 29, 2010
“Nurse Jackie” Season One

Life’s worries and troubles got you down? Take 30 minutes of “Nurse Jackie” every Monday night at 9, and see if you don’t feel better fast. Better yet, take all 12 episodes of season one at once if you’ve got six hours to kill and you’re not afraid of overdosing on one of the smartest, wickedest comedy-dramas ever offered over the premium cable counter.

Three-time Emmy winner Edie Falco stars in the title role of this Showtime series about Jackie Peyton, a tough-minded, big-hearted, deeply flawed emergency room nurse struggling to maintain a delicate balance between the demands of her frenetic job and a fragile home life. At work she’s sharp-tongued, quick-witted, competent, dedicated and a pillar of strength to lean on for everyone from the most seasoned doctor to the lowliest orderly. At home she’s a loving wife to her younger husband (Dominic Fumusa) and adores their two little girls, constantly worrying over her oldest child, Grace, who has generalized anxiety disorder.

What hubby doesn’t know is that Jackie is having a blazing affair with hospital pharmacist Eddie (Paul Schulze), who keeps her supplied with painkillers for her bad back. Conversely, Eddie doesn’t know Jackie’s married with children, nor does anyone else at work, except for her one confidant, the cool, classy, unflappable Dr. Eleanor O’Hara (scene stealer Eve Best).

 You think you’ve got troubles?

 Rich characters and performances abound, particularly those of Anna Deavere Smith as the uptight unit supervisor, Merritt Weaver as an eager-to-please student nurse in over her head and of course Falco, as brilliant as she was in “The Sopranos” as the soiled saint. This stuff is addictive.

— Gene Triplett