NURSE JACKIE “Play Me” Review

NURSE JACKIE “Play Me” Season 3 Episode 3 – Sometimes a episode of a show—a good show especially—doesn’t have to go anywhere to be good. We saw it all the time with Seinfeld, the Show About Nothing. I knew it would be a slightly different episode when it opened with music from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Very little happened in “Play Me;” it was closer to a day-in-the-life vignette of all the little things that go on at All Saints. And sure, episodes that nudge the plot forward aren’t a bad thing. I’m just saying these casual ones aren’t bad either. Casual can be good. Casual can be funny. I certainly prefer the funny emergencies to the sort of daily heart-wrenchers you get on Grey’s Anatomy. Two New York street vendors getting into a street fight, one pressing the other’s face to a grill—and the retaliation of a kabob skewer being shoved through his cheek? Yes please.

I liked how “Play Me” swung from one character to the next. The writing (Linda Wallem) seemed effortless; it’s probably a credit to the creators of the series (of which Wallem is one of) that the various characters feel so in tune with the episode’s flow. And credit the actors too, which by association means the casting department—Ross Meyerson and Julie Tucker. The acting on Nurse Jackie is stellar. I simply sat and enjoyed the episode. That’s what good television does. I looked down at my notebook (the half hour flew by) and had barely scrawled a thing. This is work? Sign me up.

Put it to you another way: I was also forced (for another purpose) to watch an hour of Chuck last night. Lauded in some circled though that bizarre show might be, I saw firsthand how bad writing makes decent actors look terrible. That one hour felt like two.

I have not given enough credit this season to Edie Falco; I think she’s forced on many occasion into a sort of wry straight-man role, what with all the other strange characters bouncing about, and it’s a credit to her that she does so with skill and humor. She’s certainly no slouch of an actress (the only actress to win both Best Actress in a Drama and Best Actress in a Comedy Emmys), and the fact that she’s able to so deftly anchor the show speaks volumes. Kudos to her.

I liked the fact that we got to see God (Michael Buscemi) again, though it was odd this was the first episode this season his (more famous) bother did not direct. Perhaps they are feuding. Quick, someone call TMZ!

God stole a rather colorful piano. All Saints now has it. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of that sucker.

I like how Zoey (Merritt Wever) and Lenny (Lenny Jacobson) advanced their relationship: with a cracked tooth. Oh, Lenny.

Doctor Coop’s (Peter Facinelli) sudden need to bond with Thor (Stephen Wallem) was a worthy scene, especially for this exchange:

Coop: “It’s so I can win. They’re mean. They’re like the ones who gave me sh*t for having gay moms. Dude, they called me Martina.”

Thor: “Oh my god, you’re so much prettier than she is.”

Coop: “Thank you.”

Winner.

Next episode: Kevin leaves?? Guess we’re done with vignettes!

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