TV shows have traditionally been more invested in plot than character development. In recent years increased competition for viewers has led to more quality product. This month Showtime’s Nurse Jackie begins its seventh and final season of the most accurate portrayal of addiction seen on screen.
The title character is a skilled and compassionate emergency room nurse who struggles to keep the dark side of her addiction to painkillers under wraps. Season 6 left off with Jackie being arrested when police responding to an accident report found her with a carful of pills.
Even as Jackie tumbles ever closer to the bottom, she reflexively continues lying to her family and friends. When her ex-husband asks about her sudden absence she claims to have been in rehab, not realizing that he has been notified about the accident as the legal owner of the car. Later in the episode she expresses amazement that her loved ones treat her “like I’m a junkie.”
Co-creator Liz Brixius explains that they wanted to avoid the stereotypical portrayal of an addict as someone on the fringes of society, slurring her words and unsteady on her feet. Jackie Peyton shares the charismatic and charming personality of many real-life addicts while being incredibly effective at her job.
Much of the show’s realism is owing to the fact that Brixius, co-creator Linda Wallem and star Edie Falco have all fought their own personal battles with alcohol addiction. Brixius points to the idea that with addiction, “there’s always an undertow pulling you in a different direction.”
Is it getting more difficult to disguise your own struggle with drugs or alcohol? Our caring and knowledgeable team of specialists will work with you to create your personal path toward recovery. Visit our website to learn more about the resources and programs available at our Miami-based rehab center.