Monday, March 22, 2010

Showgirls Jackie and Tara

Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara are BACK tonight for both of their second seasons on Showtime (starting at 10pm, with the shows airing back to back).

I loved both series' first seasons and I've seen the first half of both shows' second seasons and without giving away any spoilers, I can say that both continue nicely deeper into the lives of Jackie and Tara.

I've heard a lot of complaints about Nurse Jackie's first season and while Gloria Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith) was sometimes a little cartoonish, and everything just seemed to work out a little too well for Jackie, the 2nd season roughs up what was too smooth (by adding Sam (Arjun Gupta), that nurse who called out Jackie as a fellow drug addict, full time) and smoothing out the series' kinks. The only negative here is the disappearance of Homo Momo (Haaz Sleiman) with little more than a throwaway line, but this gives Thor (Stephen Wallem) more gay camera time, and leaves Eve Best's Dr. Eleanor O'Hara as Jackie's sole best friend confident, and the second season really milks Eve Best and Edie Falco's subtle acting skills to great use.

The entire cast is terrific and with Eddie (Paul Schulze) finding out about Jackie's real home life, it gives Schulze a lot more to play with and he's splendid this season (though I do miss his interactions with Jackie and Coop in the hospital). This also amps up the dramatic scenes for Kevin (Dominic Fumosa), Jackie's husband as he starts growing a spine and demanding more attention from Jackie.

Meanwhile, Merritt Weaver and Peter Facinelli continue to impress and delight as Nurse Zoe and Dr. Fitch Cooper and I love where they start taking Coops character.

And while Season 2 starts off regularly, jumping away from last seasons cliffhanger, everything starts culminating together and by episode 7, everything and everyone in the cast are in perfect balance and I can't wait to see what's next.

We jump ahead a few months on United States of Tara as well but this time because Tara's alters haven't returned for a few months and life seems normal.

There's no more hot Christian boy for Marshall (Keir Gilchrist) to be confused over, but instead gets invited to the gayble (that's gay table for you) at school, while Kate (Brie Larson) has graduated high school early and found a new mentor (in a strange artist played by Oscar nominee Viola Davis).

Tara's sister Charmaine is engaged to a brand new man, but don't worry, Neil (Patton Oswalt) will be back!

But of course there's Tara, and while Toni Collette continues her Golden Globe winning/Emmyworthy performance, life goes back to normal for Tara... at first. Soon the alters will return, and guest star Joey Lauren Adams (above with Collette) gets roped into Tara's alters' messes.

The second season seems to ground itself even more with Tara's regular family life (in fact we barely see two of the alters) which ups the seriousness of Tara's life, especially with her loving husband (John Corbett making me hate Aiden just a little less). While there seems to be an even slower solemn flow to the new season, it all seems to be getting more in depth with the family which makes me more curious about their future.

Can't wait to see the ends up the second season for both shows, but for the rest of you all, you definitely need to catch the start of Season 2 to see all the terrificness!

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com


Keira Andrews said...

Absolutely loved S1 of Tara and the first two eps of S2 were great. Can't wait to see more!

Jackie is on my list to catch up on this summer.

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