Day 118: Nip/Tuck, season 1 (2003)


Some days writing these reviews isn’t easy for me. Sure, I can (and do) attribute this to writer’s block a certain percentage of the time, but that’s not always the case. You see, it’s the “average” shows that are the most difficult to write about. I can’t rave about them, yet they aren’t awful enough to be “good-bad.” It’s in this gray area that Nip/Tuck, season 1, falls.


Nip/Tuck follows the personal and professional lives of two plastic surgeons who run a successful practice in Miami. Dr. Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) is a family man who likes to play by the rules (at least at the start of the season). Together with his playboy business partner, Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) they surgically enhance their clients and pad their pocketbooks. However, when Dr. Troy agrees to operate on a shady patient, the duo find themselves under the thumb of a local drug lord (who isn’t seeing the doctors because they offer a great deal on Botox). Oh the drama!


Now, I have heard rave reviews about Nip/Tuck. Heck, it’s even won a Golden Globe and an Emmy (although this win was for makeup…). Naturally, I wasted no time adding it to my queue…I just took my own sweet time before I watched it. After watching the first season, I have to admit: I really don’t know if I liked it or not.


The premise of the show is  interesting. I like that it’s about plastic surgery, the patients who seek the treatment, and those in the medical field who create [exterior] “perfection.” I’m probably a fan of the medical drama, being that I’ve watched just about every episode of House and am working my way through the Dr. Who series, so the topic of the show intrigued me. The variety of cases presented (like in House), range the gamut from the to-be-expected boob job to forcibly assisting a drug smuggling ring (also a boob job).


The way the doctors assess their patients not only brings to light their desire for perfection (often telling someone that a feature is a millimeter off or some such minute detail) but also the idea of “beauty.” While some of the patients have medical reasons for seeking plastic surgery, most are trying to attain some [unreachable?] level of beauty; coming in for multiple operations or requesting alterations on parts of their body that I did not think were problem areas (it should be noted here that I don’t really have the skill set to judge beauty “standards” as I don’t work for a fashion magazine nor am I an influential person in the media…Trust me, I’ve been trying to bring back the Kiss “kitty” face paint for a while now, with no success). Anyway, I think Nip/Tuck makes the audience question the notion of beauty and the lengths some go to achieve it.


Nip/Tuck was created by the same person who created Glee and I can see some similarities between the shows. Most notably, both series have storylines that seem to come and go at a whim. In Nip/Tuck, there is a story arc with a pregnant woman who is not showing in one episode, yet in the subsequent one, she delivers the baby. Often, I feel that the show makes giant leaps and I am left wondering, “what the heck?” Seemingly important characters are no-shows for several episodes and then show up randomly. Case in point, McNamara’s teenage son is in every episode, but his daughter only randomly makes an appearance. Even scenes where logically she would be a part of (a family dinner, for example), it’s a crap shoot as to whether or not she is written into the scene. Yeah, I know its a trivial detail, but it is a bit odd.


Also, the characters are really flawed, almost to the point of not liking any of them. I think we are supposed to like McNamara’s son, but that kid is a bit annoying. He is wise beyond his years—you know the type: where the kid says all the insightful things in the show. This in itself is irritating, but add in the fact that the supposed “wisest” character in the show tried to perform an at-home self-circumcision, and it is really hard to take him seriously.


I guess I am on the fence with Nip/Tuck. I mean, I watched the entirety of season 1 over the span of a week, so there is something there I like (probably the over-the-top melodrama…). However, I found myself yelling at the TV—often:”where is the daughter?” I’ve been debating whether or not I should continue with the series. Thankfully it didn’t end with a cliffhanger, thus compelling me to watch the remaining seasons; but I am kind of interested to see where it goes. I’ve heard they score some awesome guest stars and that alone may be enough to warrant watching at least season 2…..


Thanks for reading and have a spectacular day!


Score: C

Netflix Watch Instantly Queue: 246

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