Coffee and Opinions

My two cents on stuff

Cutting the cord - plus, my “Nurse Jackie” review

So in March Verizon FIOS stuck me with a mega-bill after all my free goodies and discounts of my contract suddenly expired. I called them immediately. (Sadly, that’s what you have to do if you are an existing customer… if you want discounts, you have to pick up the phone, wait in line, then haggle.)

When I couldn’t get a decent offer for a cable/internet package at a price even close to what I paid previously (~$95 including tax, with free HBO), I went ahead and joined the cord cutters. No more cable for me! I’m paying $55 including taxes and fees now, for bare 5050 Fios internet service.

It surprised me how much - at first - I missed the experience of flopping down on the sofa and flipping through my DVR recordings, or through live channels “to see what’s on.” (Netflix’s new Auto-Play feature does remedy that somewhat … but it’s still not the same as catching an interesting show mid-way through.)

Fortunately I got over that very quickly. It takes more effort to research shows to watch and locate them on Netflix/Amazon Instant/Hulu/whatever, but it’s rewarding as you end up discovering much stuff and suffer through much fewer (or no) commercials. (Still waiting for a commercial-free Hulu!).

I’ll be writing reviews of some shows which I discovered - and that keep me hooked (or not). I’ll start with Nurse Jackie… not because it’s a particular standout, just because it was the first one I discovered this year. (Yes… I was kind of late to the party with this one, just like with many other shows.)

So, here is my review of…

Nurse Jackie

A comedy/drama has just a tad bit too much sitcom flavor to be truly excellent. The lead actress is awesome though, and there was enough good stuff to keep me hooked. A nurse hiding a drug addiction features just enough built-in conflict and suspense to make you want to watch the next episode, and the next, and the next…

The major drawback of the show for me was that annoying stock plot line (that’s apparently a requirement now for any TV show targeting middle-aged women) where young, smashing, handsome men fall for neurotic high-maintenance 40-something women who treat them like shit.

That kind of stuff annoys me because it’s clearly pandering towards the audience and purports to break down stereotypes (“see?? Women use men for sex just like the other way around!!”) when it has become a stereotype in itself already. It’s also just not realistic. I can’t imagine any of the men who fall in love with Nurse Jackie giving her a second look in real life. (Even the good-hearted pharmacist feels like he’s way out of Jackie’s league… there is very little rationale why he’d risk his lifelihood for her by supplying her with drugs.) The guy playing her ex-husband is also extremely mis-cast… it seems unfathomable that they were ever married.

I guess these days everyone is so much on the “all genders are equal” bandwagon that media just has to drill the message into us over and over again that aging women want young hunks, just like aging men want young women. When that’s just not true.

So… Nurse Jackie is definitely a watchable show (especially the first couple seasons). But it could have been so much better if it had feature even one, true, authentic-feeling relationship between Jackie and a love interest.


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