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Nip/Tuck is an American television drama series created by Ryan Murphy and broadcast on FX Networks. The show is set at the McNamara/Troy plastic surgery practice, and follows the professional and personal lives of its owners, Dr. Sean McNamara and Dr. Christian Troy (played by Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon respectively).

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    3 Reviews
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      21.02.2010 11:58
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      Not recommended

      Nip/Tuck has run for 7 series, recently ceasing production in the States after 100 episodes - being shown from 2003 to 2010. It has been shown on a variety of channels but now resides on digital channel FX which shows new series and repeats of older ones.

      The series follows the trials and tribulations of two highly respected and wealthy plastic surgeons - Christian Troy and Sean McNamara who run a practice in the glossy whitewashed settings of Miami. Sean is seemingly happily married with two children to Julia whereas Christian is almost endlessly promiscuous and is not afraid to inform his casual bed partners of how he could improve their looks. As a business their key slogan is to ask prospective clients - "What don't you like about yourself".

      The series follows the two protagonists endlessly complicated love lives, but derives most of its attention due to its clients and the ever more mentally unstable and extreme the operations that they ask for are. Over the series it has featured subject matter including but not exclusive to the following - serial killers, obesity, transgender issues, paternity, organised crime, drugs, disfigurement Scientology, incest, cannibalism, cancer, sex addiction, psychosis, reality TV, disability...the list goes on.

      This is a show that goes for the shock factor, in fact I would go so far as to say that it is perhaps the most shocking and extreme mainstream produced TV programme around. A fact only highlighted by the sheer glossiness of the programme. The fact that it does not get more attention must be due to the fact that it has been relegated to a digital channel. Put it this way, the negative attention that True Blood got because of its extreme nature from certain sectors of the press would pale in comparison to how this programme is perceived if it was widely watched.

      It is not just that the sex, violence, gore and other profanity is extreme, it is also the way it is handled which is where my issues with my programme lie. I used to be quite a fan of the series, it's flashy but it was enjoyable in that it was quite well acted and half of the appeal was in watching it lurch from one ridiculous situation to another. That said, I spent a lot of the time looking away from the screen, particularly during the frequent and realistic surgery scenes. There was always a really good element of black comedy, particularly in the use of inappropriate music during the aforementioned surgeries.

      However, over the last couple of series I had begun to suspect a certain degree of misogyny in the show which had started to make me feel very uncomfortable, particularly when it came to the sexual politics and consequences for the women being far more dire than for the male protagonists despite some pretty despicable behaviour. This was confirmed to me in a recent storyline featuring both male and female breast cancer which was unsympathetic and ultimately wholly insensitive and completely sick and salacious in tone and content. It was this point that I finished watching the show and decided never to watch it again.

      I am glad that this series is ending as I feel that it has no merit as a piece of entertainment or as a thinly veiled attack on the superficiality of the plastic surgery and beauty industry. I added this programme as a suggestion and now wish that I had not as I do not wish to promote it in any way than to point out its heinous flaws.

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        11.01.2010 23:15
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        will be giving it another watch this week - just in case

        Since this TV series hit the screen, I was hooked, and have loved all the past series and story lines - up until now that is.

        For me, both the doctors are a little bit of eye candy, who seem to get better as they age, but what has happend with the new series that hit sky last week?

        I hit the sky plus button with anticipation, and couldnt wait to curl up in front of the fire and settle down to watch with a hot cuppa.
        OMG, I wish i didnt bother, as what I found was just a load of crap!

        This new series I found there was no story line what so ever which was extremely disapointing.
        The caracters personality have changed for the worse, and it all seems to be about more money and more sex, followed by more money issues and a bit more sex - wheres the twist to keep you wanting more?
        im my opinion it was lost bewteen the bed sheets somewhere with nothing else memorable about the new series so far

        i will be watching the next episode, just in case it gets better and a story line appears out of the blue, and if not, it will be bye bye Dr Troy

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          27.12.2009 11:42
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          A thoroughly enjoyable series that continues to push the boundaries and make for compulsive viewing.

          Nip/Tuck is the disturbingly perfect drama series, following the professional lives of two Miami plastic surgeons along with their oh-so turbulent personal lives. The show is not for the faint-hearted. Every episode is soaked in gratuitous sex, violence and surgical operations. However, if you have the stomach for it, you will quickly find that this series is perhaps the most addictive and most well-crafted on television, and is not a shameless excuse to flaunt bare flash and show operations.

          The show centres mainly around three characters - devoted father Sean (Dylan Walsh), his womanizing surgery partner (Christian) and Sean's wife, Julia (Joely Richardson). Other characters include Sean and Julia's tearaway teen son, Matt, who throughout the series will rack up the achievements of doing a hit and run, falling in with neo-nazis, becoming a drug addict and going to prison. He's an almost tragic figure that as a viewer, you both loathe and sympathise with. Pornstar Kimber Henry, Christian's on-off girlfriend is also another tragic figure - she loves Christian, although she knows he will never be faithful.

          I suppose the overall message of the series is that beauty is only skin-deep. There is the wonderful contrast between the wealth, beauty and success of the main characters, and how deeply unhappy each and every single one of them are. Each of the main characters seem to have a conflict, and none of them ever seem to find any sense of stability in their lives. While they try to be good people, they always end up doing morally dubious acts and hurting those they love. The acting is really intense, particularly between the main three characters. In their complex love triangle, you can really feel the passion, hatred and the devotion between the three. I think as with all the best television series, the characters have to be likeable enough for you to watch them week-after-week but flawed enough to be realistic and believable. The writers of Nip/Tuck certainly manage it here.

          What is done so skilfully is that each episode typically begins in the doctors' office, with Sean and Christian posing the question to their patient: "Tell me what you don't like about yourself." As you can imagine, the surgical candidates are seldom your typical breast implants or nose job seekers. They range from the fairly understandable (twins wanting different faces so they can be appreciated as separate entities) to the ludicrous (a woman determined to look like a cat). However, strangely enough, as the patient's storyline intertwines with the Doctors', usually by the end of the episode, you feel like the characters have learnt something and that the patients have acted as a mirror in some ways to them. It's such a rare thing for television writers to be able to well, and I really think they accomplish it here without ever being clichéd.

          The show is deliciously dark, and that's what I love about it. Other drama series seem terrified of going "too far" and scaring off audiences, whereas Nip/Tuck is utterly fearless in its script writing. I must say, that one of the all-time best storylines on television is on Nip/Tuck. A serial rapist and mutilator, known as "the Carver", plagues the city and before attacking his victims, he utters the words "beauty is a curse upon the world." Wearing a white mardi-gras mask, there is a genuine murder-mystery plot line in the second and third series, as Sean and Christian must come up against this masked-villian in order to repair his victim's faces. He is genuinely a terrifying figure, and the suspense and tension is thick in the air as you watch when it becomes clear that one of the main characters is "the Carver" - but who?

          Series 1 and 2 are definitely the show in its prime. I suppose, as with most drama series, there becomes a time when they "jump-the-shark", in that they become a caricature of their former selves. I would say this arguably became true after series 3, when the writers tried more and more shock tactics, and had less emotional or moral storylines. Currently in it's 6th and final season, however, thankfully the writers have decided to up-their game and the show is almost at the quality it was in the first two series.

          The show is gritty but like all good things, is incredibly more-ish. You simply can't get enough of this programme and I can guarantee, 40 minutes watching an episode will fly by. I believe that it is currently showing on FX on satellite/cable channels, but luckily, you can buy the DVD boxsets from Amazon.co.uk from as little as £10 per series. I would thoroughly recommend this programme to anyone except obviously children, who this is most definitely not appropriate for. It's got the addictiveness and fantastic plotlines of Desperate Housewives, but amped up 10 times, and far more dirtier.

          Yes, it may be filthy. But I love it.

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