Showtime's two critically-acclaimed dramadies, "Nurse Jackie" and "United States of Tara," will premiere their third seasons on Monday, March 28 at 10 p.m. I watch both series regularly (and recommend each), but have been very frustrated at times because both shows can become mired in too much inconsistency.
"Nurse Jackie" really wasn't very good in it's first season, even if you think Edie Falco is excellent. I think she's good, but a little overrated. Anyway, "Jackie's" first season felt like a typical medical drama procedural with some extramarital affairs and pill-popping thrown in to maintain premium cable's "edginess."
But, the second season of the series took some big steps forward with the overall narrative and specifically Jackie's (Falco) character. That said, the smartest improvement was to give more for the excellent supporting cast to work with.
Merritt Weaver's Zoey--an inexperienced nurse who looks to Jackie as a mentor--is utterly hilarious and capable of showing some touching emotional moments. The show would be best served making her more central in the upcoming season. Dr. Cooper (Peter Facinnelli) is another side-splitting character who, despite having very little depth, is always fun on screen. Finally, Jackie's partner in crime, Dr. O'Hara (Eve Best) also had an expanded role that was quite enjoyable. Hopefully, these characters continue to be a large part of "Nurse Jackie" in season 3.
"United States of Tara" is a show I feel less confident about going forward. It's first season was absolutely captivating and one of the best on TV, but season 2 kind of went off the rails while killing a huge chunk of story.
Moving ahead with the, "How Tara's multiple personalities came about" plot had to be done for the series to move forward, but it felt rushed and slightly incoherent. Although, the supporting characters again all had really great seasons (except for Brie Larson's Kate). Larson is talented and will shine given better writing. Hopefully, the writing and pacing issues will be worked out in the new season. We'll see.