Based on billboards and previews, I had assumed it would be instant, undying affection. After all, it stars Edie Falco, a ball-busting nurse with pockets lined in dirty secrets.
I watched the first three shows in quick succession (eager to get hooked), and I was soundly disappointed. The heavily-chiseled characters outweighed the skimpy 23-minute episodes, which back-floated over adultery, drugs, family dysfunction, negligent homicide and boozy-broad-bonding without diving deep enough to stay wet. I could practically hear the writers pecking furiously at their high concepts to cut through the noise of real housewives of poughkeepsie (or whatever city is next on the list of women-we-love-to-hate).
Then, without warning, the occasional recreational use became a regular habit. The snapshot plot lines somehow seemed more compelling. I was not only able, but willing, to connect the dots.
Of course, it was ultimately Edie Falco's ability to create a complex woman so laden with insidious contradiction that kicked me from habit into the realm of addiction.
The characters are, admittedly, larger than life, to the point that they're nearly too campy to elicit genuine compassion, even when it's warranted. Nonetheless, pit against Big Brother and its idiot brethren, I am definitely suspending judgment long enough to stay tuned for another juicy season.