Nip/Tuck is Sexy/Sharp

Nov 052003
Authors: Gabriel Dance

I am Nip/Tuck’s target audience.

I like a little bit of violence. Check.

I like the good character development of a wide variety of

personalities. Check.

I like watching beautiful people on television. Check.

I like shows where at least one of the characters is morally

reprehensible in all the best ways. Check.

With “Nip/Tuck” the FX cable network has created an original

drama series that has given a much-needed facelift to primetime

programming. Programming which has recently seemed to be in a

reality-inspired downward spiral. Set in sexy, star-struck South

Beach Miami the series dissects the lives of two middle-aged

plastic surgeons, Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) and Dr. Sean

McNamara (Dylan Walsh).

McNamara is a father of two, struggling in his relationship with

his wife and coming to terms with nearing middle age.

Troy is not a good person. He takes lines off a girl’s derriere.

He then agrees to give that girl to an acquaintance in return for a

Lamborghini. He is cool defined.

The show is cutting edge. It has the sharp feel of a dangerous

original series much like “The Sopranos.” Plot lines vary wildly

and have great perspective, showing us different aspects in the

multi-dimensional personalities played perfectly by McMahon and


When Troy realizes that he has helped a priest remove physical

evidence that would prove the priest molested young boys he takes a

scalpel to the priest’s thigh. He attends a Sex Addicts Anonymous

meeting and sleeps with his sponsor that night. He has the coolest

cars, the look women want and the money they crave. He also has no


McNamara on the other hand, is troubled. He has a gorgeous wife

who is beginning to realize she might have given up her goals in

order to be a housewife. He has a son who is the perp involved in a

hit-and-run accident. He has a drug kingpin pushing him to treat

women who have had drugs put into their breast implants and making

him harvest kidneys. He had an affair with a woman who he

originally performed a double mastectomy on and who later committed

suicide with his help. His life is pretty sucky.

What makes “Nip/Tuck” really stand out compared to other

primetime programming is the “grip it and rip it” attitude that

oozes from the show as readily as the blood from one of the

doctors’ many breast augmentation patients. Yeah, the surgery

scenes can be a little gory and sure, they’ve been panned by real

plastic surgeons as inaccurate, but they add a gut check. And I

have no idea how likely it is for women to be carrying drugs in

their DD breast implants, but it sounds exciting. I also find it

morally reprehensible for a woman to be traded for an exotic

foreign sports car. But they make it look so cool.

People who find sex, drugs or perfect bodies unappealing will

dislike “Nip/Tuck.” People with no interest in convoluted plot

lines involving debauchery and hedonism will find themselves

unfulfilled after an episode. Your grandmother would hate this


I, however, am Nip/Tuck’s target audience.




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