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Critic’s corner: What’s on TV this Thursday

David M. Russell/SHOWTIME

Nurse Jackie 10:15 p.m., Showtime

Yes, Jackie is using again as season 5 begins. She’s playing the game, going to AA meetings and getting a sponsor. But she’s popping and snorting as much as ever. There’s something about living a secret life to the hilt that strikes a deep chord in her. Perhaps her sponsor will catch on to Jackie’s deception and self-deception. She’s a feisty Southern woman named Antoinette and she’s played with lots of cynical humor by Julie White (above right, with Edie Falco), who was the lawyer stuck in the anger phase of grief for her partner on Matthew Perry’s “Go On.” White is a welcome addition, one who may help “Nurse Jackie” avoid the late-life repetitions and formula that doom most comedies that last longer than four or so seasons.

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Parks and Recreation 8:30 p.m., NBC

Speaking of comedies in danger of outliving their creative life . . . This show, now in season 6, is still good. It manages to be sentimental and sweet without being gross — no easy task. But we learned last week that Leslie (Amy Poehler, right, with Adam Scott) is pregnant, and pregnancy/baby story lines are often toxic on sitcoms. I’m hoping the show, which has already been renewed for next season, won’t succumb.

My Strange Addiction 10:30 p.m., DFH

Chewing urine-soaked diapers is the new “stop being polite.”

Vikings 10 p.m., History

He’ll rip your lungs out, Jim.

Portlandia 10 p.m., IFC

Mock ’n’ droll.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.
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