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Arts and Entertainment

TV Junkie: 'Nurse Jackie' Season Premiere Tonight; 'Shameless' Redux

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Showtime's "Nurse Jackie" will have the premiere of its third season tonight at 10pm. We're a big fan of this half-hour show which, while it has its funny moments, is not a comedy. Upon receiving her Emmy last year, Edie Falco stated, "I'm not a comedic actress.... [I don't think] we're doing a comedy," and she's right. The story of a nurse living dangerously (extramarital affairs, prescription drug addiction) while making life-or-death decisions in the emergency room has never been told so intimately. There are funny moments because there are funny moments in life. Executive producer Liz Brixius gave us some hints of what to expect in our interview with her (above) at the Writers Guild Awards. We'll be watching tonight.
We're big fans of Marc Maron's WTF podcast but we were shocked that Maron had yet to sit down with comic Bobby Slayton whom we interviewed here for you about 4 years ago. Slayton, "The Pit Bull of Comedy," talked with Maron about comedy, of course, but also some of the machinations of late night TV, as well as his work on the made-for-TV movie, "The Rat Pack." Definitely worth a listen and Slayton is definitely worth seeing if you ever have the chance. He's playing Hooter's Casino in Las Vegas through April 2.
We've been seeing some polarizing reviews of Showtime's "Shameless" but we're committed fans. Every character in that show has had a story this first season, including and especially, all the kids. Compare this to HBO's "Big Love," which we also like, but where the younger kids were nothing more than props throughout the series' life despite all the emphasis on 'family' as a theme of the show. I just remember a large group of vaguely blonde kids that would occasionally assemble to sing or have a cookout in various episodes of "Big Love." For having such a huge group of kids, the Henricksen's somehow had a lot of time to fuck around, something that nagged at us each season.

Compare that to "Shameless" where we have a lot of details on the various entertaining/sordid/problematic facets of each of the Gallaghers. Last night's season finale seemed to bring some things to a close, and yes, some of these resolutions were extreme which some reviewers have faulted the show for - but to us, the Gallaghers are being true to themselves. We're looking forward to the next season in.... 2012?!! Say it isn't so. In the meantime, we hope Showtime releases a couple soundtrack CDs because, knock the show however much you want, there isn't a better selection of tracks assembled for any other TV show.
The TV Junkie Must-Watch Plan: "Presidential Address," "Attack of the Show!," "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations"(The Ozarks), "Nurse Jackie," "United States of Tara," "Chelsea Lately" (Mireya Mayor guests, Josh Wolf on the roundtable), "Late Show With David Letterman" (Animal expert Jack Hanna; actor Danny McBride), "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (David Schwimmer; MMA fighter Brock Lesnar; animal handler Jeff Musial; Vanilla Fudge performs)

4:30pm Presidential Address PBS - Live coverage of President Obama addressing the nation

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7:00pm Attack of the Show! G4 - Sneakerheads; epic failure; iPhone games.

9:00pm Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Travel - Ozarks Squirrel potpie; raccoon; venison.

10:00pm Nurse Jackie Showtime - Season Premiere. Jackie's relationships are strained; Akalitus announces that area hospitals have closed; Zoey confesses about her affair.

10:00pm Castle ABC - A juror suddenly dies during a high-profile trial involving a murdered socialite.

10:00pm Being Human Syfy - Rebecca walks out on Aidan; Josh has romantic troubles; Marcus is worried that Bishop suspects he is a traitor.

10:00pm Stargate Universe Syfy - The crew takes shifts connected to the stones to wait for a link; Tamara diagnoses Volker with end-stage renal disease.

10:15pm James May's Road Trip BBC America - Oz wants James to learn how wine is made in Languedoc-Roussillon.

10:30pm United States of Tara Showtime - Season Premiere. Tara wants to earn her college degree; Kate tries to plan the next phase of her life; Charmaine avoids committing to Neil; Marshall and Lionel purchase a video camera together.

11:00pm Conan TBS - Actor Jake Gyllenhaal; TV personality Randy Jackson; Little Big Town performs.

11:00pm Chelsea Lately E! - Mireya Mayor guests, Josh Wolf will be on the roundtable.

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11:30pm The Colbert Report Comedy Central - Michael Moore guests

11:35pm Late Show With David Letterman CBS - Animal expert Jack Hanna; actor Danny McBride.

11:35pm The Tonight Show With Jay Leno NBC - Comic Russell Brand; actress Lorraine Nicholson; Los Lonely Boys performs.

12:00am Lopez Tonight TBS - Chef Bethenny Frankel; actor D.L. Hughley; Seether performs.

12:05am Jimmy Kimmel Live ABC - TV personality Sharon Osbourne; choreographer Bruno Tonioli; The Sounds perform.

12:35am The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson CBS - Musician Bob Geldof; Far East Movement performs.

12:35am Late Night With Jimmy Fallon NBC - Actor David Schwimmer; MMA fighter Brock Lesnar; animal handler Jeff Musial; Vanilla Fudge performs.