July 07, 2009

Hi. My name is Amy, and I have a problem.

After reading this really interesting article chronicling the many inspirations behind Wes Anderson's talent, I realized that I too draw inspiration for my work from the arts. Of course, now would probably be a good time to tell you that my chosen craft happens to be dealing drugs. Or, what is commonly boringly referred to as "administering anesthesia". Tomato, to-mah-to.

But seriously, folks. As a practicing nurse with just over a month remaining before heading back to the classroom to learn the ropes of Nursing Anesthesia, I think it's safe to say that I like drugs. A lot. Now let me be perfectly clear: I do not use drugs*. (Thanks, D.A.R.E.!) But, my experience as a critical care nurse has given me a deity-like respect for the healing powers of appropriately prescribed medications. Most notably sedatives, but that's neither here nor there.

Unlike my straight-edge real life, however, I suffer from an unhealthy addiction to drug-related television shows. The following are my personal brand of... how do you say?... Cocaïna. Join me as I recount their unique chemical properties, followed by a heavy dose of peer pressure used to guilt you into watching them with me.

The Wire
This HBO drama aired for 5 glorious seasons, each one somehow better than the last. This show was so unbelievable that I vowed to name my future pet after my favorite character from The Wire. And I did. But that's not all... The dog I plan to adopt following graduate school will go by the moniker "Stringer Bell" and, if I have a daughter she will be named "Marlo". Because I agree with Heather in that the name "just kicks a lot of ass".

Oh, Mary-Louise Parker... you had me at Fried Green Tomatoes. This amazing show is just desert. Delicious Mexican-drug-lord-laden desert.

Breaking Bad

To say that I've turned half of my friends** and coworkers into certified couch potatoes as a direct result of this show would be a lie, as I'm pretty sure the list includes complete strangers too. Remember the days... back when right and wrong were distinct entities separated by an impermeable black line? Yeah, that was before Breaking Bad. Watch the first couple of episodes and, I can assure you, you'll never look at your high school chemistry teacher the same way again.

Nurse JackieWhile not my absolute favorite show, this dark comedy is certainly worth watching. I doubt I'll ever come across a completely accurate portrayal of the nursing profession during my lifetime, but this one comes pretty close as far as the job itself goes. Rather than pitting RNs as physicians' minions who perform uncomplicated tasks without any real understanding as to the motivation behind the treatments - a la every hospital-based television show ever produced - Jackie Peyton, played flawlessly by Edie Falco, shines as a well-respected patient advocate who manages newly-minted residents, instructs nursing students, and delivers compassion in a surprisingly realistic way. She also happens to struggle with infidelity and a raging prescription narcotics habit... Hollywood will be Hollywood, after all.

Arrested Development
Though not drug related, I'd be remiss to leave Arrested Development out the lineup. I'm not sure if I like the show because a) the writing is pure comedic genius b) Ron Howard's voice gives me a nice, warm, old-timey feeling inside, or c) it's billed as a "smart comedy" and thus liking it provides me with a sense of intellectual superiority. Whatever the case, this show is 3 seasons-worth of awesome.

Trust me, people. I'm a medical professional.

*Alcohol not included. I love me some ETOH!
**One such friend, Matt, made an interesting observation. He noted that after watching enough episodes of Breaking Bad, viewers are strangely inclined to conclude each sentence with the word "yo".

[Wes Anderson article ordered and enjoyed with one lump of sugar from Cup of Joe]
[All images via The Internet Movie Database]

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