Get prepped for your appointment at Troy-McNamara as the second and superior Nip/Tuck comes to town.
There are more shocking exposés and stranger-than-fiction revelations than a surgically-enhanced Jerry Springer Show in season two of Nip/Tuck, debuting in Dubai this week, as Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) and Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) get back to the operating theatre for an ultimately superior serving of the stylishly cutting edge series. Say so long to your social life: Thursday nights are now worth staying in for.
Controversial doesn’t begin to describe this follow-up appointment at Miami’s hottest cosmetic surgery centre Troy-McNamara – as Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy has been sledgehammer subtle in his plotting. Wife swapping, a serial rapist dubbed ‘the carver’, class As and incest make for murkier and more mind-blowing viewing. And while the ironically dark humour is still spread thickly throughout the larger-than-life, censor-troubling show, the glib frivolity of season one has been sliced open exposing an altogether more serious tone.
As the not-so-good doctors turn 40, the pair are in for a rough ride to say the least. The love-to-hate hero Christian is back on true testosterone-driven form. Now a father to not one, but two children, he dabbles in DNA to prove their paternity, dates a porn star, sinks to new depths of immorality and comes face-to-face with his untimely demise. Meanwhile the usually sappy and over analytical Sean sees his family fall apart at the seams, as he separates from his wife Julia (Joely Richardson) and loses his infuriatingly annoying son Matt (John Hensley) to the man-eating ‘Life Coach’ Ava Moore (Famke Janssen) – who is twice his age and has an unhealthy penchant for teenage boys. The latex-thin façade of perfection has been well and truly snapped.
The narcissistic, body-conscious clients continue to line up for the comparatively mundane nose jobs, breast enlargements, and liposuction, although when Christian and Sean ask ‘tell me what you don’t like about yourself?’ the string of bizarre replies springboard us past the surgical proceedings we’ve come to know and stomach. While fans may find it hard to believe that the first season could be outdone in terms of sheer blood-soaked gore, the operating theatre is again the setting for some gut-wrenchingly realistic surgery sequences, which will have you peeking out through your fingers or running to the bathroom.
Delving deeper into the psychology of the central characters, uncovers some unexpected skeletons in their closets, and viewers will get to know the characters far more intimately. The director meddles with magical realism, dream sequences and drug-induced visions, and there are times during this second season when you will either be left scratching your heads in bewilderment or praising the show’s exuberant creativity. Or both. The boundaries between fake and fact are as blurred as the Barbie dolls that are churned out of the factory of plastic dreams. Nevertheless some episodes are more touching than titillating: separating the adult conjoined twins is one story that will bring a tear to the eye – even of the most hardened Nip/Tuck fans.
Guest appearances by Alec Baldwin, Vanessa Redgrave (Joely Richardson’s mother no less), and Deadwood’s Sarah Paulson complement the already outstanding performances by the cast, all crammed into the course of the latest 16 episodes. This is pure and unadulterated habitual viewing that will certainly make you think twice before ‘getting a bit of work done’. Michelle Byrne.
Nip/Tuck season two starts Thursday November 18 at 00:00 on America Plus.