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Kara’s 2011 TV Goodness All-Stars: Nurse Jackie’s Merritt Wever 

Photo Credit: Showtime

Merritt Wever‘s performance alone makes me enjoy every episode of Nurse Jackie. Although I love Edie Falco, even she has said she’s not funny. And while a certain situation or facial expression of Jackie’s occasionally brings the house down, I rely upon the spectacular supporting cast to bring the laughs. Merritt Wever can do that without even uttering a word. Exhibit A: the photo above. I love her wacky, loyal, goofball of a nurse Zoey Barkow.

I think the number one reason I love Zoey is because she’s so different than any other character on the show. Jackie is a liar, Zoey is guileless. Coop is vain, Zoey’s scrubs prove she doesn’t care how she looks. O’Hara is refined and besties with Jackie, Zoey is working class and wants to be part of the girls club. Akalitus is the ultimate administrator and bureaucrat, Zoey just wants to do a good job and doesn’t care who gets credit. And while everyone else on Nurse Jackie is jaded, Zoey remains above it all, even when she has to put someone (like Coop) in their place. She’s kind of like a child in so many ways (remember when a patient said Zoey was only good for giving eyedrops to cats after she got a look at those scrubs?), but she can step up and be a serious adult when necessary. And I love her relationship with Lenny.

Now, I can’t remember all the funniest bits of Nurse Jackie since it was on, but here are a few that spring to mind:

  • Zoey helping Jackie steal gloves from every department in the hospital. Sight gags galore
  • Zoey taking an extra large helping of donuts – was it three? – after Akalitus just made a speech about childhood obesity
  • Zoey using Lenny’s heart monitor as a lie detector as she questions him

I just love Merritt Wever’s intrepretation of this character and I can’t wait to see how she continues to grow and evolve.

Season 4 of Nurse Jackie premieres in 2012 on Showtime.

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