First Dexter, now Nurse Jackie.
Showtime is in danger of becoming a network that clings to its onetime hits for several seasons longer than it should.
Not only is Nurse Jackie back for a sixth season that takes the story of drug addict ER nurse Jackie Peyton (Edie Falco) back to where she started in Season One shes popping pills like theyre M&Ms again but Showtime already renewed the series for a seventh season.
Too bad. Running a show into the ground only hurts its legacy. Look no further than Dexter, which ran too long and got saddled with a terribly dull, unsatisfying ending, for proof.
As Season Six begins (9 p.m. Sundays), Jackie is still with her cop boyfriend, Frank (Adam Ferrara), but unbeknownst to him, shes back on drugs even while attending AA meetings.
Jackie is also estranged from her daughters in ways that dont mesh with the character as established in earlier seasons. Even when Jackie was on drugs previously, she always stayed on top of what was happening with her kids; it stretches credulity that shes surprised to learn her oldest daughter is in an AP biology class.
Another head-scratcher: Jackie scams her way into getting an OxyContin prescription but doesnt seem to know that in New York theres a 24-hour waiting period before she can pick it up.
Isnt that the sort of thing any experienced drug addict, especially one who is a nurse, would know?
At one time, it was possible to enjoy Nurse Jackie even for viewers who were over Jackies drama because the supporting cast was so much fun. But theres something less entertaining about them these days, too. Their plots sometimes feel like a stretch, as if the writers are grasping for stories for them.
The cats out of the bag about Zoey (Merritt Wever) dating Prentiss (Morris Chestnut). And Dr. Roman (Betty Gilpin) is back and once again teasing Coop (Peter Facinelli), who dreads turning 40.
In the new seasons first two episodes, the shows writers introduce a new friend for Jackie, an understandable development after the departure of Dr. OHara (Eve Best) last season.
Like OHara, this new friend, Antoinette (Julie White), is outspoken with a self-proclaimed big personality. But the writers try to change up the dynamics of the friendship by making Antoinette part of Jackies AA group, allowing Jackie to be more honest with this new character than she can be with her work colleagues. She comes clean quicker to Antoinette than she did to OHara. Its a welcome effort to try a twist on what worked in the past, but at this point in the shows life theres not much that hasnt been done.
As if we need further proof that Those Who Kill wont be back for a second season, the shows star, actress Chloe Sevigny, signed on to a new pilot, Amazon.coms The Cosmopolitans from director Whit Stillman (Metropolitan).
The Cosmopolitans stars Sevigny as a part of a group of American expatriates living in Paris. Adam Brody (The O.C.) also stars in the series that begins production this month in Paris.
Technically, Sevigny is still committed to Those Who Kill, which has not been officially canceled. Actors on series that seem marginal to continue will often land jobs in new pilots, where they are considered in second position, meaning if the first, likely-to-be-canceled series is somehow renewed, they will have to fulfill that commitment and producers of the new series will have to recast and re-film scenes.
Amazon is gambling that Those Who Kill will not continue beyond its first season, now airing at 10 p.m. Sunday on LMN, which seems like a pretty safe bet.