USA Today's Robert Bianco gave "Nurse Jackie" a wild rave, claiming that the series about a pill-addicted nurse has "certified Edie Falco's rank as a star of the first magnitude, through a performance that is beautifully spare and completely free of all visible signs of vanity."
Zap2It says that "United States of Tara" – about a woman (Toni Collette) with multiple personalites'' -- "seems as though the series is ready to hit its stride."
Variety has some quibbles: "Both shows feature compelling female leads in showcase roles, but in each case the complementary ensemble isn't quite so compelling. Calling them 'comedies,' moreover, is really a misnomer, since they function more like half-hour dramas, with an occasional laugh thrown in."
But classifying both shows as comedies is shrewd Emmy positioning that's paid off. Toni Collette won best comedy actress at last year's Emmys plus the Golden Globes, but lost to Tina Fey ("30 Rock") at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. (Fey won the Emmy for comedy actress in 2008.) Falco was nominated at the recent Globes and SAG contest too, but not the last Emmys. "Nurse Jackie" wasn't yet eligible. That means that Falco will have two seasons of "Nurse Jackie" to consider when she decides which sample episode to submit to Emmy judges.
Watch the episodes on line: "Nurse Jackie" and "United States of Tara." Previews below.
UNITED STATES OF TARA
Photos: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences