Monday, June 15, 2009

Ball-Breakin' Nurses -- Falco & Pinkett Smith -- Takin' on Primetime

Two medical shows. Two distinctly different leading ladies playin' ball-breakin' nurses. Takin' on primetime. Move over McDreamy docs. These two would kick your overly-coiffed behinds.

On Showtime, Edie Falco from The Sopranos dissolves into her character on Nurse Jackie (Mondays), as Jackie Peyton, a morally flexible nurse addicted to Percocet who's cheating on her husband, the father of her two adorable little girls. Believe me, you won't think about Carmela after the first scene.

On TNT's drama Hawthorne (premieres Tuesday) Jada Pinkett Smith stars as Christina Hawthorne, a tough nurse in mourning, grieving the loss of her husband a year ago, and coping with her angry teenaged daughter who blames her for her father's death. Plus she's got an openly hostile mother-in-law who serves on the hospital's board (Joanna Cassidy) AND works alongside Dr. Tom Wakefield (Michael Vartan of Alias), the chief of surgery and Christina's late husband's oncologist.

I compare and contrast Falco and Pinkett Smith's shows in my Pop Culture column this week, and explain exactly how Falco's character is nothing at all like the Vicodin-addicted doc, Gregory House. With both new programs, I conclude, ". . . [Y]ou've got the makings for two smart, brave role models, the anti-Meredith Greys. No whining or indecisiveness allowed."

Image credit: TNT.

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