TITLE: NURSE JACKIE - SEASON FIVE (BLU-RAY) (DVD)
Release Date: February 18, 2014 (Lionsgate)
Color / 2013
MSRP: $39.98 (DVD); $39.97 (Blu-ray)
Packaging: Two Disc Blu-ray Eco Box
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 10
Running Time: 280 minutes
Running Time of Features: approx. 57 min.
Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HD Audio
Subtitles and Captioning: English, English SDH, and Spanish Subtitles
Special Features: Commentaries; "A Sober Jackie" featurette; "New to the Floor" featurette; Gag Reel; Deleted Scenes
Nurse Jackie returns for yet another season on DVD and Blu-ray. The series, which stars Edie Falco as the title character Jackie Peyton, follows Jackie thorough her home life and life at work at All Saints Hospital, both of which seem to come with a lot of problems for Jackie to deal with. For the first few seasons, Jackie dealt with these problems thanks to pills that she often stole from her own hospital. By the end of the third season and beginning of the fourth season, things began to spiral out of control to the point where she decided to leave her husband for having an affair (because he had an affair, not because of her own affairs) and because of her drug use, she ended up in "Disneyland" (rehab). But in the midst of it all, Jackie finally made it onto a path of living a drug free life and was able to finally be open and honest with the world around here, and everything could only get better... or could it? That's what viewers find out in the fifth season of Nurse Jackie, for which we are reviewing the Blu-ray release.
In the season premiere, "Happy F***ing Birthday" (actual title censored), Jackie gets to meet some new additions to the physician staff at the hospital. Kevin wants full custody of the children in "Luck of the Draw." In "Smile," the latest patient in the emergency room is... Jackie. A Jane Doe has gone missing in the hospital in "Lost Girls." In "Good Thing," Jackie prepares for her first date, post-divorce. Jackie and Grace both have to recover from the previous night in "Walk of Shame." In "Teachable Moments," concern continues to grow about Akalitus and her memory problems. Jackie's latest date night is interrupted by her ex-husband in "Forget It." In "Heart," a member of the Peyton family is caught with drugs... but it isn't Jackie for a change. The season ends with "Soul," where Jackie is ready for her one year anniversary of being sober. But is she really ready?
The episodes appear to be unedited, with runtimes as follows:
1. "Happy F***ing Birthday" (28:15)
2. "Luck of the Draw" (27:30)
3. "Smile" (26:30)
4. "Lost Girls" (26:49)
5. "Good Thing" (26:12)
6. "Walk of Shame" (27:59)
7. "Teachable Moments" (28:22)
8. "Forget It" (28:23)
9. "Heart" (28:02)
10. "Soul" (29:13)
The artwork for all of these Showtime series released by Lionsgate is always predictable: if you find a photo being floated around just before the season premiere of a series, most likely that will be the DVD/Blu-ray artwork. That is the case here, with Jackie wearing a sash that says "Miss Behaving" and holding a bottle of pills. On the back, there is a brief description of some of the changes that occur in the season, along with a few episode snapshots. You'll find the two discs inside (for the Blu-ray release), each of which have the series logo and pills to denote the disc number. There are a few advertising inserts, but don't toss those... among them, you'll find an episode guide for the season, including episode descriptions. One complaint that I have about the packaging, though, is that Lionsgate decided to use one of those annoying Eco Box cases with the recycling logo cutout. I can't begin to mention all the times that I've damaged artwork on these cases just by touching them.
Menu Design and Navigation:
On the Blu-ray Disc release, the main menu has a photo of Jackie (the same Miss Behaving photo seen on the cover art). In the background, a few video clips play, along with some transitional music from the series. Main menu options include Play All, Episodes, Special Features, and Set Up. Set Up allows you to turn on subtitles, available in English, English SDH, and Spanish. All of the menus are pop up menus, which means that you can access all of the menus while you are watching an episode on the set. Additionally, you can access each episode from either disc, and you'll be prompted to insert the other disc if the episode you wish to view is on the other disc. Chapters are placed throughout each episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
There is nothing to really report here... this is a Blu-ray release of a very recent series, and as one would expect, there isn't much to report here. Everything really looks just as good as it looked when it aired on Showtime, and of course, it is a true high-definition release. The only minor complaint that I have is regarding the audio. The set uses an English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, but doesn't have options for lower level audio, which is very useful if you have a setup that isn't the latest and greatest. It isn't a huge deal, though. The set also includes English subtitles, English SDH subtitles, and Spanish subtitles.
There are a few commentaries to be found on the set, although there aren't a whole lot of participants in them. They are as follows:
"Lost Girls" - Clyde Phillips and Tom Straw
"Walk of Shame" - Edie Falco, Richie Jackson, Liz Flahive
"Heart" - Edie Falco, Richie Jackson, Liz Flahive
"Soul" - "Clyde Phillips and Tom Strawn
Disc 1 contains more basic special features, such as deleted scenes (12:08) and a gag reel (2:44). These are pretty self-explanatory, and are fun to watch. In particular, the gag reel shows us a side of the characters that we don't get to see often. While the series is a comedy (to an extent), there is rarely, if ever, an acknowledgement that anything funny has occurred. The gag reel changes those dynamics slightly.
Disc 2 contains two interview featurettes. "A Sober Jackie" (29:13) is really a look at the entire season, but mostly focusing on one of the big changes that we see this season, namely the fact that Jackie isn't really popping pills at all this season. Meanwhile, "New to the Floor" (12:41) is a featurette that talks about some of the new faces that we see in this season, particularly the two new doctors that were introduced in the season premiere.
Once again, Lionsgate has presented fans with another great release of this series, which I find to be one of the best series that premium cable has to offer. There isn't much to add here that hasn't been stated in previous reviews. As always, I try to avoid spoiling exactly what happens in the season for those who will be watching it for the first time, but it is fair to say that everything ends as expected... for better or for worse. In some sense, I was hoping against the season having a predictable ending, but without a predictable ending, the writers probably would have hit some dead ends in the next season. Fans are going to want to own this seres, preferably on DVD, but if you aren't a fan, try to catch it on some of the streaming services first to see how you like it... it is easy to get "hooked."
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 03/14/14
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