There are some shows so freakin' awesome that you await their new seasons with anxious anticipation. Showtime's Nurse Jackie is one of those shows. Though I am usually getting ready to go to sleep around the time that Nurse Jackie comes on, I was too excited for the third season premiere last night, "Game On," to slumber without watching it. Am I glad I did! The episode did justice to the high expectations I hold for the show as it kicked off a whole new season.
It's hard to think of other half-hour shows that pack as much into their limited time as Nurse Jackie does. In the premiere, besides Jackie's (Edie Falco) personal drama with her husband and best friend, who each get their own scenes, there are two patients, new shoes, Zoey (Merritt Wever) glowing from post-coital bliss, and a series of de-facings done to a simple sign that had me rolling in laughter. I think the poster may have been my favorite part, just because it was so random and unexpected. What starts as a warning to not kiss the statues in the chapel because they may have lead paint, ends up being a caution not to feed Nurse Thor (Stephen Wallem). Hehe.
As for Zoey, I'm glad she got laid, but I share her co-workers' revulsion at her trying to slip in details. No one needs to know. It's a private act. Zoey has boundary issues, and she always has had them. It's perfectly in character. You forgive her, though, because Wever exudes innocence and sweetness in the role.
In fact, it's the little, funny bits like that that make Nurse Jackie one of my favorite shows. The aformentioned sign is posted by Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith), probably my favorite character. Akalitus got several noteworthy moments in the premiere. Besides the signs, and telling all the nurses they had better be on their game, because they could easily be replaced with nurses recently let go from shut down hospitals, she also masters the art of facial expressions. Let me explain.