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Like Sands Through the Half-Hourglass

Like Sands Through the Half-Hourglass

Nurse Jackie and Temporal Disruption

(p.245) 17 Like Sands Through the Half-Hourglass
Time in Television Narrative
Janani Subramanian
University Press of Mississippi

Showtime has emerged as a serious contender in the premium television league. While HBO built its reputation around narrative complexity, Showtime has incorporated the female-centric, single-camera, half-hour “dramedy” genre into its quality brand identity. Using Nurse Jackie, this chapter argues that the segmentation of these thirty-minute shows presents a reformulation of television time in a quality television context. The combination of situation comedy and melodrama in this thirty-minute timeframe also turns conventional rituals of heterosexual coupling and domesticity on their head, creating a space in the television landscape for female characters’ renegotiation of the traditional work/home binary.

Keywords:   television shows, television programs, dramedy, Showtime, time, gender

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