Edie Falco is putting her scrubs back on in the Nurse Jackie sequel series (Why the revival is a bad idea)

Prime Video is bringing back Nurse Jackie, but is it really a good idea to revive the Edie Falco black comedy?
Courtesy: Showtime
Courtesy: Showtime /

It looks like Nurse Jackie is making a comeback but is it really a good idea to revive the Showtime Edie Falco series? Most associate Edie Falco with her Emmy-winning turn as Carmela on The Sopranos. However, the actress scored another big success with Nurse Jackie. Debuting on Showtime in 2009, Falco played Jackie Peyton, an emergency nurse at the fictional All Saints Hospital in New York City. 

Tough on the job, Jackie was also a complete mess, addicted to several drugs, cheating on her husband, and not above stabbing her own friends in the back to keep her job. The show had plotlines of her going to rehab, yet it never seemed to change her. The series was a success, running seven seasons and earned Emmy awards for Falco and co-star Merrit Wever. 

The show concluded with the final scene of Jackie overdosing on some heroin, although it was left up in the air if she'd died or not. It looks like she's survived, as Variety reports that Prime Video (yup, not Paramount+) is working on a sequel series starring Falco. Thus, Nurse Jackie is joining the TV sequel train, but is this really a good idea?

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Courtesy: Showtime /

Why reviving Nurse Jackie is a bad idea

Per the official logline, "10 years after we left Jackie Peyton (Falco) clinging to life in the series finale, we find her back on her feet in spite of having lost her nursing license. The continuation of her story will find her facing new dilemmas in trying to be good in a world where being bad is often not only easier, but a lot more fun."

Liz Flahive and Abe Sylvia serve as writers and executive producers on the sequel series, with both having worked as producers and writers on the original series. There's no word yet on if any of the original cast will join Falco or not. 

Even by the standards of the early 2010s TV landscape, Jackie Peyton was a very unlikeable character. Falco did her best to produce some sympathy for her, but Jackie's constant self-destructive lifestyle and lying to everyone in her life grew tiresome after several seasons. That's not to mention she was a classic case of someone who was a complete mess yet still felt like she could judge those around her. 

Also, like too many shows similar to it, Nurse Jackie seemed to try to paint the character in an almost heroic light rather than show the true pain of being an addict. For every time Jackie felt karma, she also got away with stuff that should have gotten her fired and/or imprisoned with the very people she screwed over welcoming her back as a friend. The logline's indication that "it's more fun" being this way today doesn't show that's going to change. 

The show could be seen as living past its expiration date as the fourth season, with Jackie forced to face her addictions, was a creative high point that couldn't be topped. Instead, like too many Showtime series', the drama dragged along for a few more seasons with trite plotlines and Jackie back to her old habits. The show already explored enough ground, it's hard to imagine the sequel saying anything new. 

Episode 409
Courtesy: Showtime /

The idea of picking up with Jackie in a different world of medicine (especially after the pandemic) does have some potential. Yet if this is going to be Jackie once again back with her addictions, lying to family and friends, and still looking down on others, it's going to get old pretty fast. 

A good comparison is the recent Dexter sequel series which did little to mitigate its poor finale and while it closed out the main character, it still felt unnecessary. This does too as the original Nurse Jackie ended on a decent note, leaving it ambiguous if Jackie lived or died and so fans could imagine her fate. Giving a definite answer to continue her antics seems a poor move and could undermine what good the original show had.

Indeed, that's a key problem with so many of these sequel shows, as few of them really justify bringing back these characters. For Jackie, as anti-hero as you could get, it seems even more unneeded as we didn't have to see her in today's world. It just seems it might have been better to let this show die out than try some revival that could just do more damage to an already damaged character.

Nurse Jackie seasons 1-7 are available to purchase or rent on YouTube, Prime Video, and more.

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