Plot: What’s it about?
If you’re one of the lucky folks to have discovered “Nip/Tuck” on the FX network then good for you. The network, somewhat rogue in their programming, has taken several chances with their gritty schedule and it’s paid off. Alongside “Nip/Tuck” are several well-made shows like “The Shield” and “Rescue Me”; though I do have to admit that “Nip/Tuck” is among my favorite on television. For the uninitiated, the show follows the lives of two Miami-based plastic surgeons: Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) and Sean McNamara. Christian is the wilder of the two, he frequents night clubs and sleeps with any woman who’s willing (and considering his looks and profession, he never has a problem finding anyone who’s willing). Sean is the more reserved of the two with a wife and two kids, though as evidenced in the second season – his marriage is on the rocks and his wife has moved out while starting her own business. The show has a strong supporting cast of players as well including Sean’s son, Matt (John Hensley), frequent girlfriend of both Christian and Sean Kimber (Kelly Carlson) and the anesthesiologist Liz (Roma Maffia). Each character has their certain quirks and it’s what makes the show unique and highly addictive.
The third season was somewhat of a departure for the series as it ventured into some unknown territory. I still maintain the first two seasons will be hard to top, but with this most recent season; things slowed down a bit. First of all, the outlandish plot of the “Carver” was the main focus here. The “Carver” first made his/her appearance known in the second season when models started turning up with their faces slashed. Christian and Sean did some pro-bono work to help repair the models’ faces while at the same time sending a message to the “Carver”. The cliffhanger for the second season ended with Christian being attacked by the “Carver” and the third season deals with the ramifications of it. There are some great episodes in the third season, just not as many as in the prior two. Word has it that writer/series creator Ryan Murphy has said that the fourth season won’t have as outrageous plots and will bring the focus back to the characters. There’s some rough language in the show and it’s not for the feign of heart. They routinely show the operations and the sheer graphic nature of them would probably call for an “R” rating. That, coupled with the language does make this show for adults only. “Nip/Tuck” shows that a solid cast with great writing actually does something…it entertains. And for those wondering, I won’t give away who the “Carver” is.
Video: How does it look?
All of the episodes are presented in their original 1.78:1 aspect ratio and they’ve been anamorphically enhanced. I suppose it differs as to where you’re located or what cable company you use, but I get FX in an analog, letterboxed image that doesn’t look that great. How wonderful it is to see these in an anamorphic widescreen image that looks fantastic. The episodes vary in how they’re presented. The glory of Miami can be among the most beautiful (take “C.S.I. Miami” for example) out there, though the offices of McNamara/Troy can be fairly dark indeed. Flesh tones seem to be right on target and I didn’t notice anything too out of the ordinary. I saw a few specs of grain here and there, but nothing that detracts from the picture. “Nip/Tuck” looks great, no question about it.
Audio: How does it sound?
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack showcases some of the great songs that they play during the operating scenes. There’s a CD on Amazon.com that has some of the songs played during the season, but I found someone who had meticulously compiled every song from the first two seasons and it now occupies my iPod. What that means is that the soundtrack is packed with great songs ranging from the 50’s to the present and it’s so refreshing to hear these in full 5.1 sound. Dialogue is very clear and free of distortion (something which I can’t say holds true when I watch it on TV) and though surround effects aren’t too prevalent, they do surface from time to time.
Supplements: What are the extras?
As far as supplements go, there’s not a whole lot this time around but they’re interesting nonetheless. We start out with “Severed Parts” which is a fancy term for deleted scenes. They don’t add a whole lot to the shows, but when some television shows show “uncut” versions on DVD it might have been a nice touch to add them in here. A featurette entitled “Chasing the Carver” is just that, it showcases the main theme of the season and gives us all we need/want to know about one of the most infamous villains on television today. Lastly a featurette on set design entitled “The Perfect Look” gives us a tour of the set (surprise, surprise) and shows us some of the key things used to give the offices of McNamara/Troy that special look and feel. While the third season pales in comparison to the first two, it’s by no means bad. Fans will pick this up in a heart beat.