27 August 2004 | Dr-RJP
If you wanted "Father Knows Best," this is not it!!!
I have little patience for people who get bent out of shape about TV shows like "Nip/Tuck" that push the envelope when they are warned, up front, that the show contains material not suitable for the average viewer.
There is a lot of mindless, self-serving crap on Network TV today with all the reality garbage that only appeal to the lowest common denominator. Thankfully, "Nip/Tuck" is not one of them. What makes "Nip/Tuck" different is not that it seems like a cross between "ER" and "Jerry Springer," -- which it is -- but that it keeps the viewer engaged by being both off-the-wall and unpredictable.
Yes, all the characters on the show are dysfunctional (with the possible exception of Liz), but they are far more realistic than all the characters on "Father Knows Best" where everyone only had a good side.
On "Nip/Tuck," both the good sides and the dark sides of each character are brought to the fore. Irony has a field day on this show as those who you deemed to be stupid and insensitive turn out to be just the opposite when situations change.
The main problem with this series lies in where you, the viewer, make your entrance. You will be at a great loss to figure out what is going on now if you have not followed the show from its inception. Every successive show builds upon the events of all the previous ones, straight back to the pilot episode. For example, the turmoil in Sean and Julia's marriage was there from Day One as was the competitiveness between Sean and his womanizing partner, Christian Troy.
At the core of it all is Sean's ongoing identity crisis in which he has gone from a prudish wimp to a man at war with himself and everyone around him.
Although the tagline of the show is when Drs McNemara and Troy ask patients what they do not like about themselves, the underlying theme is about all the things that these two perplexed plastic surgeons hate about their lives. In trying to make others "feel better about themselves," they confront their own inadequacies, and invariably direct their hatred of themselves towards others.
Psychobabble aside, the show is damn funny, too!