Glad you asked!
Tom R is here to answer it for you in a recap of "Nip/Tuck" for us all!
[Submitted by Tom R.]
“Tell me what you don’t like about yourself.”
Since 2003, the plastic surgery practice of McNamara/Troy has been asking that question of each of its Miami clientele. The irony within that question runs throughout the “deeply superficial” series that boasts one of the most loyal writing staffs on television. There is always something brewing under the surface, and the writers are patient enough to wait a few weeks to let things stir until the right moment hits.
At the center of the story are doctors Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) and Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh). Sean is doing his best to be a good family man, even though Christian is the biological father of his son, Matt (John Hensley). Sean is married to Julia (Joely Richardson), although the marriage has endured several separations.
Christian is a confirmed bachelor with a legendary libido, although things may be starting to change. He almost made it to the altar with his porn star fiancée Kimber Henry (Kelly Carlson) before she was kidnapped; and in the last episodes of season four, he received custody of a young son. (Not his…long story…)
Of all the shows rated TV-MA, Nip/Tuck is by far the most deserving, and it uses that rating well. Its sexual frankness is most likely a major reason for its success. The sex scenes can border on soft-core at times, but their actions always reflect their characters, as in the debut episode, where Christian’s bedroom antics were contrasted with Sean’s subdued, married, boring event. The discussions held about sexuality are just as raw and honest. Matt solicits advice about a threesome proposed by his high school girlfriend. Kimber is an adult performer who is completely unapologetic about how she makes her living. Julia is befriended by a transsexual who had work done by her husband. Very rarely does anything seem gratuitous. Excuse the pun, but things fit perfectly.
By contrast, each episode (all named after a key patient) features the surgery itself. The montages are a brilliant marriage of music and imagery, with the songs serving as a counterpoint to the patient’s history.
The writing can be flawed at times (A recent “glimpse into the future” proved that only Sci-Fi shows can do this effortlesly), but even in the misfires, there is always something interesting to watch. Conversations overlap and are intercut so that one person seems to be answering a question from another scene; characters from prior seasons make infrequent appearances; certain bits of information or conversational snippets from the past come back to haunt people.
It’s an easy shot, but I guess you could compare it to sex: Even when it’s disappointing, it’s still way better than not experiencing it at all.
Nip/Tuck airs Tuesday nights at 10 PM on the F/X Network. Season Five is set to begin in October.