I was going to do a post about how I don’t think I’m gonna make it through this health care debate with my f-a-c-u-l-t-i-e-s intact because I’m already developing an autonomic eye twitch every time I hear “public option” just a few weeks in. BUT Athenae already wrote that post this morning, eleventy times better than I ever could have so I’m gonna post about teevee instead.
Last week when I shared that I chose to goAC-free this summer
, I purposely left out a fact that some might take as proof that my already-questionable priorities are even more skewed. Not only do I happily still pay for internet, I’ve kept the cable, AND I’ve even added back HBO and Showtime for the summer. Plain old sweating I can deal with but the thought of going through the summer missing a new season ofWeeds
, not to mention the return ofTrue Blood
What? Do you people think I’m made of steel?
If you aren’t watching any of them yet, of the three, Nurse Jackie’s probably the easiest to jump into because it’s brand new, plus some of the eps are up at Showtime. I was looking forward to this show before it arrived, and damn, I’m falling harder for it every week. The supporting characters alone make it rock, with the endearing Zoey pulling ahead as an early crowd favorite, but after repeated viewings, I’ve got to say that all of them (and the actors) are just as full of win. I mean, c’mon, Anna Deveare Smith? Brilliant genius legend, right? She’s not even in one of the top tier roles but as Jackie’s main opponent, every syllable of dialogue is delivered to the fullest, and what a delight to see her doing comedy.
Of course, it’s Edie Falco who’s the sun in the middle. LikeJacob
says, you just don’t want to take your eyes off her. Jackie has to use her body like a soldier, her heart like a saint, her mind like a computer, and that’s where the whole show flows from — keeping all those superpowers going. In the very first scene of the series, the first crack is revealed: “What do you call a nurse with a bad back? Unemployed.” Cue the bouncing grains of painkillers and “Theme to Valley of the Dolls.” Jackie may be a saint but she’s also a (very high functioning) drug addict. A cynical, snarky, compassionate, wound-up, shut-down, skilled and efficient drug addict. Watch this show.
As forTrue Blood
? Love it. Despite the atrocious accents, despite the fact that the show itself will never bring the chilling menace of the amazing opening credit sequence, it’s still a big juicy ripping yarn, an over-the-top bloody comic book. I never read the books the show’s based on so I don’t know if it’s better or worse, but no matter what, it’s always over too soon. Plus, Michelle Forbes
as this year’s big bad? Shut up, right? You know when Michelle Forbes shows up naked at the crossroads with a pig after midnight that shit just got real, ya’ll.
Weeds could be a whole other post. Even though a lot of folks don’t seem to have ever caught the bug or have left the fold due to one excess or another, I’m in for the duration. Yeah, it’s swung all over the place, it’s sometimes inconsistent, some narrative holes never got patched, but when it’s locked in and firing on all cylinders, there are very few shows as good atshowing instead of telling as this one.
Four years in and Nancy Botwin is more exasperating andWTF-are-you-thinking? than ever but I recognize that character. She’s messed up and shut down the way real people you know are messed up and sometimes those people get worse, not better. The show’s early seasons were, at the core, not just about this one family but about the whole fucked-up, brittle, anesthetized country. This season, we’re circling in on Nancy finally and there’s not much “there” there. We’re in the dark wood, more casualties are almost certain, and of all people, Nancy’s formerly neurotically slapdash, ethically-challenged brother-in-law Andy has emerged as the show’s moral center. Justin Kirk is breaking my heart this season. Give this man his Emmy, his Golden Globe, whatever, he’s earned it.