‘Nip/Tuck’ A Cut Above

Nip/TuckHaving survived the serial killer and mutilator known as The Carver last season, the surgeons of the FX drama “Nip/Tuck” begin their fourth season (tomorrow at 10 p.m.) trying to pick up their scalpels and their lives.
The latter, it turns out, are a lot trickier than the former.
While at work, plastic surgeons Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) and Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) celebrate their 5,000th medical procedure. But their private lives are not as steady.
Sean wants to reunite with his estranged wife Julia (Joely Richardson), who’s pregnant with his child. Christian, at first, wants to celebrate life and reassert his power and sexuality with a series of meaningless – but energetic – encounters.
How energetic? For starters, he lands a mommy-daughter team of temptresses – then doesn’t quite stick the landing.
“Get out,” he tells them. “This is too screwed up, even for me.”
So Christian, in the tradition of such stoic macho men as Tony Soprano, seeks help from a psychiatrist – played by Brooke Shields, one of the guest stars who juice things up in the season’s first three episodes.
Others include Larry Hagman, as a wealthy elder patient seeking larger testicular implants; Kathleen Turner, playing a husky-voiced phone-sex operator seeking vocal-cord work to raise her tone, and Richard Chamberlain, as a gay sugar daddy financing vanity face work for his younger partner.
Also in the first three shows are Peter Dinklage, Jacqueline Bisset, Mario Lopez, Sanaa Lathan and Bree Walker, all having maximum impact with their screen time. Even Lopez.
When series creator Ryan Murphy and colleagues get around to the secondary regular characters, such as Sean and Julia’s grown son, Matt (John Hensley), and Christian’s ex-lover and Carver torture victim Kimber (Kelly Carlson), their story lines, this season, are delectably surprising.
The best twists, across the board, are when the characters examine themselves, delving more than skin deep. Some turn to religion, and the religion to which they turn is a brilliantly bold stroke. Others are forced to confront their obsession with physical perfection. Still others question not only their sexual orientation, but the true feelings for those around them.
Even more so than last season, we see an awful lot of Christian’s bare backside. But the best scenes are when we see him naked emotionally, whether with his psychiatrist or with best friend Sean.
This year, that’s the core of “Nip/Tuck,” and it starts the season dynamically.
from The New York Daily News

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