STUDIO: Warner Bros.
MSRP: $59.98
RUNNING TIME: 773 Minutes
Never-before-seen featurette: "Recurring Pain: Three Women and Their Man"
• Cutting Room Floor: Over 40 minutes of deleted scenes

The first
season of Nip/Tuck took me by
surprise. It was something unlike any show I’d seen, one which balanced out its
high concept with great dramatic work and some pretty aggressive subject
matter. Sure, it was a soap opera for adults and it often pushed its buttons a
little too hard, but it was a nice counteragent to the bulk of the playing

There was
no sneak attack aspect to the second season. Despite the addition of my beloved
Famke Janssen, was it another case of facelift brilliance or did it sag like a
pair of poorly apportioned fake breasts?

"Nice birthmark!" ….."You asshole, that’s a tattoo of my asshole I had put above my asshole."

The Show

themes of season two of Nip/Tuck are
as subtle as a Hummer to the forehead. Aging and dealing with life decisions
comprise the backbone of the season as each
character deals with aging in their own unique way and at the same time
watching the train of their lives careen lusciously off the rails. Everyone is
having some sort of crisis, whether it’s centered on parenting or some legal
concern or the all-too-common sexual agendas running rampant. Everyone is knee
deep in shit.

When we
last left Julian McMahan’s sexy womanizing plastic surgeon Christian Troy, he
was dealing with the surprising birth of the son he thought was his but emerged
a few shades too dark to qualify. Additionally, his barely concealed love for
his best friend and partner in business’s wife led to no shortage of angst and
blue balls, something made much more dangerous when it was discovered that he
was the biological father of the teenage son he was trying to build in his own
womanizing image. Add trysts galore and a few shots of Botox to the junk and
you have a man in need.

"Thu gush theen Jethee Cuthter or Thulip around?"

In the
sophomore season, Troy
is softening around the edges. For what may be the first time, he falls head
over heels in love though it’s not for a woman. It’s for the baby he feels
entitled to but who is pulled from his grasp when the boy’s real father shows
up and clouds the mix. It forces him into even more conflict with the kid’s
sexaholic mother [played by Jessalyn Gilsig, who rides the word “asshole” way
too much in this show]. Troy
was the demonic and brilliance Yang component of the show’s first season, but
here he is more of a likable and almost heroic figure at times. Julian McMahan,
the breakout star of the show, does an equally good job through he’s saddled
with a little too much of the “been there, done that” vibe thanks to the
episodic soap opera aspects of Nip/Tuck.
Still, when it all boils down, Christian Troy is the electric heart of the

Harry Hardswallop, most limber transexual in town.

McMahan’s reptilian sexiness is Dylan Walsh’s stabilizing Sean McNamara. A
family man on the boring side, Sean got to spread his wings a little in the
first season by having an extramarital affair as well as dip his toes into some
illegal waters when his firm got involved with some shady business. This season
sees Sean ridding himself of the pushover label by defying his wife, taking
chances, and sleeping with a couple of attractive sorts. Walsh was most
certainly the straight man last time, but here he actually delivers the most
shaded and consistent performance in the season. He steps from the shadows to
earn that equal billing and though his decisions aren’t always the decisions of
a hero, his Yin is certainly a lot closer to leading man territory than Troy.

"That’s an odd place for a DVD player. Wait is that Richar.." "Yep. I love Orca."

these men are a woman and a young man, the family of Dr. McNamara. There’s an
entitlement triangle that comprises the bulk of the larger tonal aspects of the
show, with the tug-of-war between friends and partners and lovers and enemies
always filling the margins despite each episode’s “A” plot. With the capable Joely
Richardson essaying the role of Mrs. McNamara and the elfin but solid John Hensley
as his son, the proceedings don’t come off as hokey. Surprisingly, though… the
magic of the show’s dramatic core didn’t have the same zip for me this time
around. The soap opera overshadowed the sly and scathing show I fell in love

a show with excessive gore [done in exquisite and grotesque splendor during the
show’s signature plastic surgery scenes], incest, loads of sex, RealDoll
thrusting, conjoined twins, crash test dummies, and people who urinate into
soap dispensers would have me totally in its wiles but it all just came across
as too much. Nip/Tuck is an intelligent show, sometimes sneakily so. To see it
linger on the material it chooses to saddens me a bit. In the span of sixteen
episodes we are dealt enough twists and outrageous scenarios to send M. Night
Shyamalan back to film school. It’s just too much to have transgender stuff, a
serial rapist, former flames being shared, and all the excess drama coursing
through the DRAMA.

Joey didn’t get the correct definition on how to Woo a woman.

is so heightened and we become so weathered to the over-the-top shenanigans of
the show that the big reveals aren’t so big after all. The arrival of Famke
Janssen and Seth Gabel as sultry life coach Ava Moore and her troubled son
Adrian takes an already nutty season and catapults it through the days of our
lives and into another world. A cynical
veteran of movies will most certainly have their suspension of disbelief challenged
by this show. It’s outrageous and interconnected in ways that’d make George
Lucas jealous. Lives overlap and fluids are exchanged with reckless abandon and
somehow, against all logic, it works.

"You again?"……. "I need an Indian medicine man removal kit, STAT!"

Although there
are undercurrents about changing oneself in both the physical and emotional
levels, what makes Nip/Tuck Nip/Tick
is a really diverse and talented crew of people making the show much more than
gag inducing surgery sequences, frank sexual discussion, and other assorted
shock value elements. McMahan and Walsh are amazing in their roles, and while
Joely Richardson gets a lot of the nominations I think the two male leads do
the heavy lifting. Additionally, people I normally don’t enjoy like Roma Maffia
all deliver very stout supporting work and there’s usually three or four really
meaty guest appearances per season that keep the viewer on their toes.

season there’s an appearance in the last episode that is pretty much a lock to
get love from me, but above and beyond that it’s fun to see old schoolers like
Jill Clayburgh and Vanessa Redgrave get in the mix or to see great character
actors like J.K. Simmons in the Miami
glare of Ryan Murphy’s show.

It’s not
as fun as season one and there’s no emotional powerhouse like season one’s
Julie Warner send-off episode, but Nip/Tuck is good filthy fun and it’s almost

7.7 out of 10

"This ought to keep Tobias satiated for a while."

The Look

"I wish Nicky and Tara would friggin’ get here already."

There’s nothing to complain about in the visual delivery of season two. It’s widescreen, it’s gorgeous, and there’s nary a hitch to be found. This is an artfully shot show and to see it given the royal treatment on DVD is both expected and a pleasant surprise. Nothing to complain about here.

9.5 out of 10

The Noise

The first publicity still from Straight Ass for the Gayheart.

For a 2.0 track, this is a nice product. There’s a good bit of atmospheric music on hand as well as the show’s signature opening song (one of few I don’t fast forward through). It’s up there with the best of what television has to offer and certainly not something that’d shame your high end equipment.

8.5 out of 10

"The Congo line forms at the stall, Angelface!"

The Goodies

There’s not a commentary to be found. Just like the first set. I was upset about that fact the last time but I have grown a bit weary of TV commentary tracks unless the involved participants are the creative folks and they actually have something to say of interest. Of course, it does help to make up for that lack of commentary with something substantial, but alas…

There’s a robust collection of deleted scenes, but for the most part they do little to sway a collection, and in television where you’re working from a pretty stringent timeframe, why are there deleted scenes at all? Now, if they intentionally did R-rated stuff for the DVD I’d be a proud bitch, but these are small things that add a little shading and little else.

There’s also a featurette but it isn’t meaty enough to warrant an extra disc in the collection.

It would be unfair to not mention that they do allow viewers to watch all of the episodes on a disc without having to back to the menu, something that has become more and more of a pain in the ass on other sets.

4.0 out of 10

The Artwork

.What a stunning and incredible bit of cover art.

The James Bond comparisons aside, this is a classy way to go and after the first DVD release featured zero images of the attractive and buzzworthy cast, it seemed the right time to show them off.

I’m not a fan of box sets that open like a book and just have a series of plastic flaps with discs in them because the interior artwork of these packages tends to be some of the most attractive.

Sadly, they cut costs and the interior leaves a little to be desired, though it is nice to have a booklet actually worth looking through enclosed in a DVD for a change.

All told, pretty damn solid.

8.5 out of 10

Overall: 7.8 out of 10