The TV show "Nurse Jacky", with starring Edie Falco is an American comedy series that premiered on June 8 2009 on Showtime, Movie central and the movie network. It starts with a siren sound followed by a sad song, which is a rather dead giveaway for a show with a hospital plot. Then the narration breaks the song where nurse Jacky is reciting what sounds like a very sentimental quote, that she got from her elementary school teacher. This forms the basis of the narration as the show unfolds to bring the viewer to the life of an emergency room nurse, who is also a wife, a mother and has a lot going for her in her overworked world.
The show has serialized the main character in that the whole act is about the things she does and the people with whom she interacts. In the second episode, sweet n all, what seems to be a normal day breakfast set easily turns into a solo act for Jackie's drug fetish? This continues as she goes to work at the hospital and proceeds to have every employee interacting with her, a routine that is repetitive over in the other following episodes. This continues across the whole show.
The show is under comedy, which I disagree with since it is not funny. The plot unfolds in the narrator's voice as she narrates her daily life experience. The patients in the hospital lack dramatic character and emotions. The medical cases dealt with in the show do not give the audience the deserved intrigue of modern medicine, and it is tedious that every scene revolves around the nurse. There is a good follow up on her life as the main character since most of the sets revolve around her every move.
Its unusual how her apparent loving husband does not have a clue about her double life with her affair and so much use of vicodin. The writers have down played the husbands ability to know when something is not right and this reduces the drama, suspense and emotion that the show deserves. The fact that she is a bully, a drug addict and a mum should have more consequences on her work, her peers and her family. For example, the way Eddy reacts in season one, episode 7(Steak Knife) when she rejects the bracelet he gives her, should trigger a series of emotions instead of him forgiving her in the same episode like nothing happened (Steak Knife, 2009).
In the second season, the unresolved issues like the commitment to her marriage are not resolved. The show continues to be a solo act with Jackie being the center of it as she narrates every action and emotion of her life. There is not much of a story building on the other characters. Most of the plot is about her life.
The individual episodes are an array of personal dramas. This makes them to have a short life span. Except for the main character, the stories on the individual episodes are resolved. In sn1 ep5 daffodil, the story on Jackie's daughter grace having a problem was resolved too fast. The same case applies to the case on season 1 episode 7 steak knife, where a baby was abandoned in the hospital and the parents came back for him at the end of the episode. That killed potential for a wider story on the baby the parents, and the hospital.
There is a vague continuation on Jackie's life and the characters deemed close to her. That is Eddie; the affair she is having, her friend Kevin who knows a lot about her, the self-absorbed Dr. Cooper who has potential for greatness but never improves, her clueless husband, her friend Dr. Eleanor O'Hara and her family.
The content of important story continuation is minimal. The episodes that follow do not continue from the previous endnote. They start on a new note with a new case in the hospital, with only the life of Jackie's character being the continuing factor. This makes it a mono act show because the continuing sets revolve around her love life, family and friends. It does not expand much. for example, when Eddie gives Jackie an anniversary present in the seventh episode of season one, and she rejects it, then tells Kevin that she has a boyfriend, a good story was building but in the next episode, it is not continued.
In each new episode, there is introduction of new material. This comes out in the hospital set as Jackie and the doctors have a new case to work on every day. However, most of these cases are disposed off at the end of the episode. It is unusual that there are no recurrent cases, they get cuter or die and end of story. There is an exemption to Jackie's drama as every time she cheats on her husband more drama and emotion builds up the plot.
Some events happen in some episodes that create a continuity chance in other episodes. For example, when Jackie takes off her ring when she gets to hospital so people do not know she is married. This builds suspense in the other episodes of season one as the lie builds up. The stress that Jackie's daughter is undergoing portrays Jackie as a good person when she extends care to her as opposed to all the negative vibe around her. In the second season episode 11 "What the Day Brings", Jackie goes to a vacation upstate and misplaces her drugs (What the Day Brings, 2010). This brings her to a meltdown that affects the unfolding of events unfolding in the following episodes.
The show can open as many plots at once as they want. Most of the plots are the hospital, restaurants and Jackie's home. This is because most of them revolve around contrast of the life of Jackie, her work in the hospital and her family life. A follow up on eddies life can be a plot, so can Dr. Eleanor's home. The children's school and their peers can also be a good plot.
The show features a mixture of open and closed narratives. The cases of the patients in the hospital set end as soon as the episode they are on takes the last slate. At the same time, there is a continued case of Jackie as she tries to balance between her work, being a mother, fighting with her drug problem and an affair.