DVD Review: Nurse Jackie Season Three

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Our friends out at Lions Gate sent over one of the strangest slices of life Showtime can offer with Nurse Jackie Season Three, and while the first two seasons have been pretty impressive in their own right, the third season will have a lot to live up to. Thankfully, it’s quite up to the task.

Nurse Jackie Season Three takes us out to everyone’s favorite Catholic hospital since St. Elsewhere, where the title character, Jackie Payton, is a no-nonsense, ultra-efficient nurse, mother and wife. Of course, she’s also got a drug addiction of spectacular depths, but her extensive medical training allows her to not only know precisely how much to take in any given situation, but also where to get more. Much in the way an accountant can carry out embezzlement and tax fraud better than most, a nurse can handle drugs to a degree that ordinary people simply can’t. But like in most cases, even the best frauds can only carry on so long. And now, the fraud is rapidly coming unraveled, as she recently found herself in the midst of an intervention.

Normally there would be a clear winner in a show as well put together as “Nurse Jackie” is, though here, it’s a tough call. Between Edie Falco’s patently impressive performance, the incredible backup provided by the rest of the cast, and the sheer brilliance of the writing, there is no clear winner. These guys are doing something pretty impressive out here, and despite the fact that we’re now in three seasons of this, it’s absolutely no less impressive now than it was what it got started.

The show has a strange tendency to waver between the dramatic and the hilarious, and this can have a couple different effects based on the proportions and the timing. Sometimes it’s a welcome treat, like the salty-sweet of a chocolate covered pretzel, but other times it can have the potential to be a bit jarring. Too much drama / comedy / drama switching can make the head spin, but thankfully, that doesn’t happen often. There are more laughs than tears in “Nurse Jackie”, just know that there are both in play at any given time.

The end result here is that “Nurse Jackie” in general, and Nurse Jackie Season Three in particular, will be a very nicely executed and equally nicely planned work, bringing together a fine mix of drama and comedy to make a whole that’s much unlike anything that you might see anywhere else. And since that’s the case, it’s definitely time to enjoy some of Showtime’s best right here.

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