Beauty, the saying goes, is only skin deep. The beauty of Nip/Tuck is that it goes deeper, laying bear the complexities and fragile natures often found in patients seeking cosmetic surgery. Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon portray hotshot Miami South Beach plastic surgeons who are themselves in full-blown midlife crises as they confront career, family and romance problems. The series' cutting-edge stories range from funny to suspenseful to uncommonly powerful. The surgeries are graphically bold. The sexuality is rampant. Presented here in 13 first-season episodes on 5 discs and featuring compelling extras, the highly praised Nip/Tuck is a prescription for entertainment unlike anything you've ever seen.
The turbulent lives of two handsome and high-priced Miami plastic surgeons may be one of the more unusual premises for a television series, but the FX Channel's Nip/Tuck
combines sudsy sex and biting wit with the emotional quandaries involved in body modification in a way that makes for an engrossing--and occasionally gross--hourlong drama. The show benefits greatly from its two leads--Dylan Walsh as the troubled "good" surgeon and Julian McMahon as his predatory (but equally troubled) "bad" partner--as well as Joely Richardson as Walsh's wife and Roma Maffia as the surgeons' nurse. If Nip/Tuck
does have a stumbling point, it's in its occasionally glib dialogue (series creator Ryan Murphy was a writer for the verbally flashy high school series Popular
), which can clash with an episode's more dramatic and poignant moments. The show also doesn't shy away from showing the more gruesome aspects of plastic surgery, but viewers can often see more stomach-churning images on the top-rated CSI
. But the strength of the performances and the originality of the premise make these rough spots manageable for viewers looking for an interesting spin on the usual "doctor show." The five-DVD set offers an extended version of the pilot and all 12 episodes of the first season as well as a trio of documentaries (one on the show itself, another on its special effects, and a third, "Realistic Expectations," on real-life plastic surgeons). A gag reel (amusingly titled "Severed Parts"), a selection of deleted scenes for most episodes, and a music video for the title theme ("A Perfect Lie" by the Engine Room) round out the box. --Paul Gaita