Dramedy Monday – Nurse Jackie & United States of Tara, April 4

Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara aren’t officially comedies in our view, but because they’re not hour-longs the Emmys toss them into the comedy category. With that in mind, we have added them to the new Monday edition of Dramedy Quickies.

Nurse Jackie
For me there seems to be something flat about Nurse Jackie so far this season. In the past, it was riveting to watch Jackie juggle the demands of her work life, her family life, and her drug life. Now, that challenge is either too easy or just stale, maybe a combination of the two. Instead of focusing on Jackie, I find myself reaching out to the secondary characters for entertainment, but even they are waning. While I completely understand the cold-shoulder that O’Hara is giving Jackie, I miss her sly remarks that were part and parcel of her friendship with Jacks. It’s not only Jackie that’s worse off when this friendship isn’t working; it’s the audience too. Two more things: I loved the idolization of Michelle Obama by Akalitus and I am really over Coop trying to be everyone’s friend.

United States of Tara
One thing that really fascinates me about United States of Tara is its rhythm and pace. The show in many ways perfectly mirrors the tempo of modern-day suburban life. (An aside – I used to live in Overland Park, KS where the show is based.) There are constant starts and stops. Events in life are not always laced with dramatic vigor, nor are they repeatedly trapped in lethargy. Diablo Cody seems to get this when she writes Tara. After a pretty intense season finale last year, life has returned to cruise control for the Gregson. At first I was thrown off by this change of pace, but then I realized that if Tara was always about the drama and the alters, it wouldn’t be honest. That said, the alters are definitely getting their fair share of time out and about. Interesting enough, my belief that the alters are counterproductive to Tara’s well-being was challenged recently. I had always been a supporter of Tara working towards expelling the alters from her psyche, but now I’m not so sure. Also, I am interested to see how Tara’s relationship with Professor Harris will progress. I think the premise that Tara gets no sympathy from her psychology professor is brilliant and will prove to be a great platform for growth.

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