The Americans have pulled another TV rabbit out of the hat. This time originally commissioned by “Showtime”.
Edie Falco (in her first major appearance since Carmela Soprano) lights the screen up with fire in this tremendous series, directed so far (perhaps always) by another of my favourites, Steve Buscemi.
If you’ve missed the first five episodes catch up on the iplayer or on SKY Anytime where the series to date has taken residence for the next week or so.
It is utterly electrifying.
It’s a comedy drama set in an NYC General Hospital where the consultants/Doctors are overpaid demigods (or so they reckon) and the nurses are there to do all the work.
Falco is addicted to pain relieving drugs (which she is illegally supplied by her lover, the hospital pharmacist who she services every day at noon).
Meanwhile she lives a secret home life with her bar-tending hubby and two daughters, one who draws skies with no sun – she is ridiculously paranoid for a 9 year old.
It’s all, of course, in the writing (you said it again. Ed) as I’ve said before. But it’s true and this is written sublimely giving Falco free reign to deliver one-liners, moments of pathos, passion, hysteria and sheer vilness. Surely there cannot have been a better written female TV part since, erm, Carmela Soprano.
But Falco makes this a masterclass as she holds the screen. She must be in at least 95% of the action with her outstanding ensemble cast behind her to act as willing stooges. My favourite is Zoey Barkow, Nurse Jackie’s poor put upon (but actually secretly loved) intern.
It is quite simply, the best and I’m intrigued to see how it develops. Series two has already been commissioned. Doh. So it’s here for a bit yet.
Enjoy. I’m off to watch Glee!