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STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 448 minutes
Best friends and plastic surgeons Sean McNamara and Christian Troy have sex with and cut open half the female population of Los Angeles. It’s a soap opera, but with blood and mutilation, and less likable characters.
Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down!
Creator: Ryan Murphy
Starring: Julian McMahon, Dylan Walsh, John Hensley, Roma Maffia, Kelly Carlson, Joely Richardson
In the sixth and final season of the F/X television series, we discover if Christian and Sean’s relationship can stand the test of time. As all of the character arcs are wrapped up once and for all, will any of them find love and happiness? Along the way Matt becomes a mime burglar, Kimber makes dildos, AC Slater showcases his talent as a vagina whisperer, Liz continues to be the only voice of reason, Sean is boring as usual, and Rose McGowan barely does what Rose McGowan does.
This is your brain on bad acting.
Nip/Tuck has been in a steady decline since the end of the third season, which featured the suspenseful and delightfully insane Carver serial killer storyline. It seems Ryan Murphy and co. set the bar too high for themselves too early, and haven’t recovered since. This season finds McNamara/Troy in a dire financial situation as the economy takes its toll on the plastic surgery business. Christian struggles with his own personal financial strife, adding an unnecessary double dip to the plot. To help ease their money woes, they hire Dr. Mike (Mario Lopez) who shows his special talent for understanding vaginas. Sean continues his relationship with con-artist Teddy (Rose McGowan steps in, taking the place of the more talented Katee Sackhoff) Kimber tries to make her daughter Jenna into a tiny starlet while Matt continues his perpetual decline in morals and good taste. The big questions remain: Will Kimber and Christian settle down once and for all? Will Julia and Sean overcome their differences for their children (and will Julia stop pretending to be gay)? If it seems like there are too many questions to be answered and too much plot area to cover in one season, that’s because it is.
Give me the imaginary money and no one gets imaginary hurt.
Character arcs are tied up in a rushed manner in the final episodes, and major events often happen off-screen (weddings, break-ups) and are then explained dismissively in one sentence by other characters in an awkward fashion. The writers seem to care more about the petty, repetitive drama than they do about the major events fans of the show have been waiting for years to see. To them, it’s more about the long, excruciating arguments that lead up to the characters’ decisions. In most other cases, I would applaud the choice of the writers to focus more on their characters and less on the action, but the off-screen happenings are dismissed so poorly, and after six years, I think we deserve to see it all – up close and gruesome, just like the unflinching and boundary-pushing surgeries we’ve seen on the show time and time again. New sub-plots are introduced as quickly and sloppily as they are concluded. The final season is a blur of convoluted plots and bloated theatrics. It doesn’t feel like the writers cared about these characters anymore, so why should we?
Nip/Tuck’s central problem for many years has been its lack of consistency. If you are also a fan of or have seen Ryan Murphy’s latest endeavor, Glee, the inconsistency isn’t contained to McNamara/Troy. I personally enjoy Glee, but it is a show with a wobbly start. With Nip/Tuck, Murphy created a show filled with black humor, soapy drama, and a realistic-yet-glossy look at plastic surgery. At its height, Nip/Tuck was a must-see show, but in its final seasons it has lost any hint of integrity. The stories are still as absurd as ever, but the show is suffering from plot overload. It’s as if there’s no filter in the writer’s room. Instead of editing down the number of sub-plots, they find ways to wrap them up quickly to make room for more. The mantra “quality over quantity” means nothing to them. Some episodes are entertaining and recall earlier Nip/Tuck years, but I can’t say that I found an episode that worked in its entirety. Almost every episode has about twenty minutes or so of good storytelling, immediately followed by twenty minutes of bland, boring plot. It’s as if the characters are chugging along at a decent pace and suddenly become mired in quicksand.
AC Slater: Penis cast remover.
While it was nice to finally wrap up six years of Nip/Tuck and see character arcs completed while revisiting some old faces and meeting new ones (the return of Famke Janssen was appreciated, as well as guest appearances by Melanie Griffith and Melonie Diaz), this final season felt as empty and soulless as the Beverly Hills skanks sitting on the operating table of McNamara/Troy. The final moments in particular do no service to longtime fans. Matt got more screen time in those final farewell moments than Christian and Sean. Matt should have been killed off this season, at the very least. I’ve been begging for the death of his grating, whiny, moronic character for years, and yet he gets more screen time than most of his co-stars.
Bottom line: if you’re a longtime fan of the show and have been putting off watching the final season as I have but feel some sort of responsibility to finish something you started, go ahead and give it a go. It’s not awful, but it’s nowhere near as thrilling as the first few seasons.
Another disappointment. After six seasons, all we get is a twenty minute featurette on the psychology of plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons and psychiatrists discuss why people get plastic surgery over clips from the show. I could see this extra on earlier season sets, but not the sixth and final season. They should have included a look back with the cast, special commentary on the final episode, et al.
This isn’t just a clever metaphor. They’re finally learning about their childhood.