The press release for this set finishes up with two sentences: “And Liz says ‘I do’ to the last person you’d imagine. Time to stretch your imagination, fans.” When even the marketing department can no longer take a show seriously, it must be “Nip/Tuck.” As a fan since day one, I’m past resenting the show for failing to be as good as it once was, and have moved on to embracing “Nip/Tuck” for the freakshow it’s become. How freaky you ask? Well, in one episode, when Dr. Troy (Julian McMahon) refuses to give a woman an unnecessary mastectomy, she performs the surgery on herself – in the lobby of McNamara/Troy – with an electric carving knife.
Never a show to be too far behind the times, another installment features a pair of lovers who’ve taken their vampiric bloodlust a bit too far. You’ve seen these folks at goth clubs, I’m sure, but have secretly hoped it was all an act. “Nip/Tuck” is here to show you that the freakshow never ends, and that people do indeed partake in mutual bloodsucking. Surely the most outrageous display of hedonistic debasement comes in the form of the guy who likes to fuck furniture. If I hadn’t been laughing so hard, I might have turned away. What’s most noteworthy about this block of episodes, is that there isn’t a villain in the traditional “Nip/Tuck” sense – no Carver, or Escobar – although Eden (AnnaLynne McCord) does show up a couple times to fan a few flames.
In other news, Kimber (Kelly Carlson) wants to inject collagen into her baby daughter’s lips so she can get a head start on a successful modeling career. Sean (Dylan Walsh) is babied by a girl when he pretends to be an invalid. Later on in the half season, he dates Dr. Teddy Rowe (Katee Sackhoff), and they experiment with hallucinogens in the desert when they aren’t having sex in strange houses. Julia (Joely Richardson) heads back to New York after a tragedy, and Matt (John Hensley) does a huge favor for a McNamara/Troy intern (Adhir Kalyan), after the boy is asked to perform his father’s penis lengthening surgery. In another episode, a patient asks that his member be decreased, as he can’t stop fellating himself; Bradley Cooper’s Aidan returns for this installment, pitching Sean a movie based on his life. And in the biggest news of all, Christian dates Liz (Roma Maffia) in a storyline that by no means should work, and yet miraculously does.
You’ll hate the final moments of the season, and accuse the show of selling out, but hey, haven’t we been making this accusation for several years now? “Nip/Tuck” hasn’t sold out as much as it’s bought into its own trashy hype. It’s ambling toward the finish line of 100 episodes for syndication purposes, and the writers are having a field day unleashing an enormous amount of tasteless depravity along the way. It’s become very much of a drug in that respect. When it’s good, it’s really, really good; when it’s bad, it’s still there for the doing, and I, for one, choose to continue jabbing the needle deep into my arm.