TITLE: NURSE JACKIE - SEASON THREE (BLU-RAY) (DVD)
Release Date: February 21, 2012 (Lionsgate)
Color / 2011
Packaging: Blu-ray Double-Disc Case
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 12
Running Time: 334 minutes
Running Time of Features: approx. 35 min.
Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
Subtitles and Captioning: English and Spanish Subtitles
Special Features: Commentaries; "Inside Akalitus" Featurette; "Jackie's Guys" Featurette; Gag Reel
America's pill-popping nurse is back again with even more great white lies in Nurse Jackie - Season Three. The third season of the Showtime series starring Edie Falco features all twelve episodes of the 2011 season, which picks up from Jackie finally having to face some of her demons that have been hidden over all of the years. In the third season, Jackie comes clean and tries to get her life straightened out to "normal" (which is something she isn't used to), but she'll certainly face challenges along the way. The third season is available on both DVD and Blu-ray Disc; we received a copy of the Blu-ray Disc release for this review.
The season begins with "Game On," where Jackie is forced to rebuild after her intervention. In "Enough Rope," Eddie is ready to tell Kevin the truth (unless Jackie can stop him); meanwhile, Akalitus is doing whatever it takes to get Michelle Obama to visit All Saints. Kevin's younger sister Tunie comes (and stays) after a breakup in "Play Me." In "Mitten," Jackie finds a whole new hiding place for her pills. Jackie panics when her stolen pill supply (look back to season two) runs low in "Rat Falls." Her unraveling continues in "When the Saints Go."
In "Orchids & Salami," Kevin comes across one of Jackie's secret stashes in a dental floss dispenser. Jackie accuses Kelly of being inappropriate with some high school girls in "The Astonishing." In "Have You Met Miss Jones?," Jackie is confronted regarding missing drugs from oncology. Jackie is placed on probation for those stolen drugs in "F*** the Lemurs" (note: the actual title is more explicit). O'Hara agrees to help Jackie dose down in "Batting Practice." The season ends with "... Deaf Blind Tumor Pee-Test...," where Jackie is asked to give a urine sample, so how will she be able to pass?
The episodes on the set are unedited, with runtimes as follows:
1. "Game On" (29:11)
2. "Enough Rope" (27:50)
3. "Play Me" (27:57)
4. "Mitten" (26:16)
5. "Rat Falls" (26:10)
6. "When the Saints Go" (28:51)
7. "Orchids & Salami" (27:55)
8. "The Astonishing" (29:38)
9. "Have You Met Miss Jones?" (26:20)
10. "F*** the Lemurs" (28:35)
11. "Batting Practice" (28:18)
12. "... Deaf Blind Tumor Pee-Test..." (27:45)
The Blu-ray Disc set comes packaged in a standard Blu-ray Disc case, just like the previous seasons. The cover has a photo of Jackie with the tagline "High and Mighty," along with a city skyline made up of pill bottles and syringes. On the back, there is a photo of the entire cast, along with a listing of special features and a description of the season. Inside the case, we have the two discs, each of which contains six episodes. The disc artwork simply has the series logo, along with one pill bottle to indicate Disc 1 and two pill bottles to indicate Disc 2. There is an episode insert inside the case as well, which fans will be pleased to know contains descriptions of every episode on the set as well this time.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menus on the set are similar to the previous releases, with the same artwork as shown on the cover while the theme song plays... and a barrage of pills continually falls on screen. The main menu gives options of Play All Episodes, Episode Selection, Set Up, and Special Features. On the Blu-ray Disc release, Episode Selection brings in a pop-up menu that allows you to scroll through all of the episodes of the season (not just the ones on the disc that is inserted). If you choose an episode on the other disc, you'll be prompted to switch discs. Of course, this feature will not be found on the DVD version. Set Up allows you to turn on English or Spanish subtitles if you desire them, along with a Sound Check that you can use to make sure that your audio system is up to optimal performance. The Special Features option is similar to the Episode Selection option, except that it only gives you the special features on the disc that is in the player. Chapters are placed throughout all of the episodes.
Video and Audio Quality:
For this review, we received the Blu-ray Disc release, so we can only really comment on that. But everything in the set is in beautiful and glorious high-definition. There aren't any flaws to report at all, really, especially on the video. The audio, presented in 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is spectacular as well, though it would have been nice to have had an optional Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. English and Spanish subtitles are both available on the set.
As for the DVD release of this season, presumably it is of excellent quality as well, although it likely isn't as great as this release.
The set includes audio commentaries on select episodes as follows:
"Game On" - Edie Falco, Richie Jackson, Linda Wallem, Liz Brixius
"Enough Rope" - Anna Deavere Smith and Paul Schulze
"When the Saints Go" - Edie Falco, Richie Jackson, Linda Wallem, and Liz Brixius
"Batting Practice" - Anna Deavere Smith and Paul Schulze
"... Deaf Blind Tumor Pee-Test..." - Edie Falco, Richie Jackson, Linda Wallem, and Liz Brixius
Most of the commentaries were fairly interesting to listen to. It is nice that Edie Falco is included in the commentaries, as other Lionsgate series (I'm looking straight at you, Weeds) tend to lack the starring actress in their commentaries.
On Disc 1, we have "Inside Akalitus" (14:27), where Anna Deavere Smith talks about her life and how she came into acting, as well as her portrayal of the character on the series. It is a short, but nice and insightful interview.
On Disc 2, we have "Jackie's Guys" (12:15), which is similar to the "Inside Akalitus" featurette, only this one is about Paul Schulze and Dominic Fumosa. They talk a bit more about their roles on the series than Smith did in "Inside Akalitus."
Finally, there is a "Gag Reel" (7:44), which is just a series of outtakes from the season. I always enjoy seeing these on DVD/Blu-ray releases.
I kind of liked this season and feel that it was a bit funnier and a little more light-hearted than the previous seasons. Honestly, I think Jackie being "caught" was a good thing for the series, particularly since she is now battling a fight of convincing everybody around her that those days are "behind her," yet she is still continually going back to old habits. Still, I'm not sure where the series can go from here. Will she be going back and forth between being a drug addict and not being one? In any event, I like how the series is starting to open up more diverse plot lines in this season, many of which are very light-hearted, while also keeping some of the drama going. Fans of the series will definitely want to own this season (preferably on Blu-ray, but the DVD is great too, I'm sure), and fans of medical comedy-dramas over the years may find that they enjoy the series as well.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 02/19/12
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