Showtime has become a go-to premium-cable destination because of damaged characters--so much so, that HBO even tried its hand (quite successfully) last year with Hung. Still, a dude burdened with a titanic pecker is no match for the women of Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara, both returning for their second seasons tonight. ---
Nurse Jackie, starring former Sopranos wife Edie Falco as an NYC RN who swipes painkillers, cheats on her husband and seemingly cares for her patients' welfare more than her own, is as funny and gritty as any great hospital drama you can name from yesteryear (yesteryear, because there are no more great hospital dramas--don't give me any of that Grey's Anatomy shit). Falco's a bit of a showboat here, but so what? It's about time Carmela chewed some scenery.
United States of Tara lightens up considerably in Season 2, dialing back the frequency in which Tara's (Toni Collette) multiple personalities appear and punching up the humor within the Gregson family--for being a clan that's had to deal with so much drama from Tara's split selves over the years, they're a damned funny bunch. "We're not the most fucked up family on the block," Tara observes after the next-door neighbor commits suicide; "We are now," daughter Kate corrects.
Previews for the new seasons of Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara: