STUDIO: Warner Bros.
MSRP: $39.98
RUNNING TIME: 343 Minutes

  • Nip/Tuck: The Science of Beauty featurette
  • Shiny box

The Pitch

Two plastic surgeons have a lot of sex, fix a lot of tissue, and have massive soap operas unfold around them.

The Humans

Directors: Brad Falchuk, Richard Levine, Lyn Greene, John Scott, Dirk Wallace Craft, Hank Chilton, Sean Jablonski
Ryan Murphy
Dylan Walsh. Julian McMahon. John Hensley. Roma Maffia. Kelly Carlson. Joely Richardson.
Katee Sackhoff.
Guest Stars:
Sharon Gless. Jennifer Coolidge. Dina Meyer. Portia de Rossi. Bradley Cooper. Morgan Fairchild. Richard Burgi. John Schneider.

I can’t figure why Paul Sorvino got so much flak for his work in Wes Borland: The Movie.

The Nutshell

More of the same. Does that work for you?

The Lowdown

I am a fan of Nip/Tuck even though it is a show that is as on autopilot as a show can be. Having exhausted a slew of outrageous and admittedly fun subplots involving transgender love, serial killing, addiction, and other assorted taboo and benign issues, the show is entering its final season and this second half of season five seems to be about cooling off. Honestly, it’s a good choice. Either Nip/Tuck needs to get a little more about storytelling and character or totally give in to the loony bin stuff. The show has definitely gone past the watercooler portion of its life. The ratings were their lowest ever for the show with this chunk and had the sixth season not been planned as the last, it probably would have been regardless.

Either the doctors needed to become sentient rocket robots that deal out plastic justice from deep space or the show needed to calm down a little bit and become less senselessly sensational.
Although I’d kill for the former, the latter allowed me to enjoy this meager little chunk of mindless entertainment a lot more than I thought I would.

It’s a surprise that Food Loop wasn’t accepted into the West Coast Coast Avengers.

Gone is the horrible nuclear family subplot for Dr. McNamara (Dylan Walsh). As good an actress as Joely Richardson is, and a damn good one she is, her character had long gotten abused and overused. Whether it be the volleyballing back and forth between the two men in her life, the silly dramas involving her children, her sperm-based medical products, or her new lesbian adventures the supporting wife character can only handle so much drama before just seeming like a cardboard cutout being maneuvered around the series at the whim of the creators. It’s different with the doctors, characters that get even more drama. They’re the main characters and able to handle more things dangled on them like baubles. It’s still silly, but where Richardson was once an integral part of the dynamic now she’s extraneous and the decision to move her and her daughter to the periphery is a good one.

Surprisingly, my least favorite character finally isn’t treated like a carnival sideshow for a change. John Hensley’s Matt, normally dished the silliest subplots, actually does a little growing up here [though I’ve seen two episodes of next season and he enrolls in Mime School, which may be sillier than when he got addicted to crank with Kelly Carlson’s Kimber character]. It’s good to have Matt serving as a more mature part of the story, because I’d have charlesed* the discs out the window had I been forced to ensure another “Matt’s batshit” subplot.

I have to admit that I’m ashamed to have missed the opening
weekend of the Broadway smash-up Patch Adams-Otik.

As is the norm, this eight episode segment features surgeries culled from real life, but the larger subplots involve Dr. Troy (Julian McMahon) finding out he has terminal cancer and thusly forging an unlikely relationship with their lesbian anesthesiologist (Roma Maffia). Surprisingly it’s pretty effective in both giving Maffia a chance to step from the shadows a little and in allowing the reptilian and self-centered Troy a little bit of emotional growth. And McNamara gets addicted to being a cripple!

Additionally, in preparing for changes at the office there are a few characters introduced that color the margins of the show nicely. Battlestar Galactica alum Katee Sackoff joins the show as an
anesthesiologist who tries to push the boundaries of McNamara’s sexual potential. Hostel 2 vet Richard Burgi has a very odd and funny episode as a plastic surgeon who may serve as Troy’s replacement. Adhir Kalyan delivers a really good performance as a med student who interns with the doctors, a dude with some daddy issues.

As expected, many of the other subplots continue as planned, the least interesting being the continued inclusion of Kimber. This time, she goes above and beyond in trying to make her daughter beautiful enough to be a model.

The bottom line is that this show is surprisingly engaging despite the multitudes of flaws it has. Walsh and McMahon are very good at what they do and the show has just enough sizzle and fun moments to justify the last episodes of its life. I’m glad they pulled back the silly for a while, resulting in a show that is still sillier than most shows out there but prepared for the home stretch with a little left to say. The lower ratings indicate that restraint isn’t rewarded so season six should probably end up with some nutty shit but having come this far along with the show, it’s earned the right to kill a few more hours of my time.

It ain’t great but somehow it still manages to grab me.

It’s the perfect show to watch while you’re doing a bunch of shit that uses your brain. You certainly won’t need it for the show.

The Package

The Milton Bradley demo tests for Teeth: The Home Game went as expected.

The box art for this show is always really snappy and elegant, but sadly there’s very little else to get excited about. The included featurette (a female feature, if you didn’t know) basically features a variety of facial surgeons and experts determining what constitutes beauty. There’s actually a system in place with numbers and whatnot associated to regions of the face that helps determine this. It’s intriguing, but they forget to include the X-Factor.

Do they know obscure characters from Norse Mythology?

Because that’s what really determines how hot a chick is.

Anyhow, while I’m sure the folks involved in the show have run out of things to say I’m always more interested in DVDs that feature deconstruction by the cats and crew. Especially something like Nip/Tuck, which is a really superficial show on the outside but one given really strong production value and with a cast at the top of their game and dialed in as an ensemble.

So, do not buy this for the special feature.

7.0 out of 10

It’s phenomenal how much two little blue slippers can ruin a perfectly fine naked image.

* Chucked, SERIOUSLY.