'Nurse Jackie' to end with season 7, but maybe it should've ended earlier
"Nurse Jackie" is beginning production on its seventh season this week, and Showtime announced today that this will also be the hospital dramedy's last.
The cast (including Edie Falco and Merritt Wever, who have both won Emmys for their work on the show) posed for a photo with cards reading "The Final Season" at today's first table read of the season, so Jackie's adventures will conclude sometime in 2015.
Like many successful Showtime series, "Nurse Jackie" has run longer than its premise could sustain itself (at least under the various people who have run the show over the years). The first season, dealing with Jackie's painkiller addiction, affairs and other lies and self-destructive behaviors, was very strong. The next two felt like they were going out of their way to avoid any long-term ramifications for Jackie's behavior that might force the show to upend its status quo, and they suffered for that aversion to change. The show's best year was probably its fourth, where Jackie was forced to go to rehab and deal with the consequences of her actions, but even that got walked back a fair amount in season 5 & 6.
The show continued to have its moments — Coop leading a singalong of "The Candy Man" at the memorial service for the hospital's longtime news vendor was a delight this past season — and the performances remained excellent. But Jackie's self-destructive roller coaster behavior, while true in spirit to the experience of many addicts, became stale years ago.
It was arguably time for "Nurse Jackie" to end a few seasons ago, but at least the show never sunk to the levels of some of Showtime's other past-their-peak hits. Then again, there's still time to make Fienberg's "LumberJackie" joke into a reality...
What does everybody else think? Anyone here still watching "Jackie" at this point? Anyone who gave up thinking of returning just to see how it ends?