DVD Review: ‘Nip/Tuck: The Complete Series’ Captures Once-Promising Show
CHICAGO – Having started writing about television and DVD right around the time that “Nip/Tuck” premiered on FX and always having lovely contacts at both the network and Warner Brothers, who released the DVDs for the series, I have possibly written about the adventures of Drs. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) and Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) more than any other program. And so I greet the “Complete Series” box set, recently released on DVD, with a tinge of sadness as I say goodbye to a program with definite highlights that somehow never quite lived up to its potential.
DVD Rating: 3.0/5.0
The first two seasons of “Nip/Tuck” (it ran for six seasons and produced exactly 100 episodes) were downright fantastic. Creator Ryan Murphy (who completely creatively discarded this show in the last few years, probably to focus on “Glee” and “Eat Pray Love”) tapped into a great concept by presenting people obsessed with image but unable to address the serious psychological and emotional issues underneath. Actors Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon were perfectly cast and Joely Richardson did nomination-worthy work. This is back when “Nip/Tuck” was a drama. Sure, it had some extreme moments, but the elements of the program that worked were grounded in relatable human emotions.
In the third season, the show built a soapy reputation and significant buzz with the saga of the Carver, a maniac who was killing people in the world of McNamara/Troy. The whodunit approach to the season earned the program a bit of water cooler buzz as people tried to discern the identity of the masked man. When it ended with a disappointing reveal, “Nip/Tuck” was never the same.
Nip/Tuck: The Complete Series was released on DVD on November 2nd, 2010
Photo credit: Warner Bros.
The final three seasons of “Nip/Tuck” reeked of desperation: A desire to shock the audience enough to provoke the same kind of buzz the program earned in its first three seasons. All sense of normalcy was thrown out the window as plots became more and more ridiculous. The final three seasons still had moments in which the potential of the show would shine through but then the balance would sway to the insane once again. It’s not like the first half of “Nip/Tuck” wasn’t crazy — it was — but it was always balanced by the humanity of characters like Liz (Roma Maffia) and Julia (Richardson). When the show picked up roots for Los Angeles, it got even nuttier and we all knew the end was near.
Now fans can own the entire series in one nicely-packaged box set, just in time for that TV fan in your family who Santa thinks has been nice enough to get them an expensive DVD set. However, you should know that if that TV fan has any of the seasons in their standalone versions then you might want to do some math. The sad news is that “Nip/Tuck: The Complete Series” is purely a repackaging. In fact, it’s literally just a home for the seven individual season sets (season five was split into two releases) with nothing extra — not even new internal packaging or menus.
So, is it worth it? The individual seasons are going for around $50 brand new and the complete series runs around $170. That’s almost $200 less than if you had to buy all seven seasons individually or “buy 3, get 4 free.” So, clearly, if you’ve been interested in the show before but not wanted to spend that much on all seven DVD releases, this is the way to go.
“Hotshot plastic surgeons Dr. Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) and Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) experience full-blown midlife crises as they confront career, family and romance problems over six seasons of this groundbreaking series. Set first in South Miami Beach and later moving to L.A., these cutting-edge stories range from funny to suspenseful to uncommonly powerful. Surgeries are graphically bold. Sexuality is rampant. Guest stars who go under the knife include Rosie O’Donnell, Joan Rivers, Kathleen Turner and Larry Hagman, among others. From Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy, Nip/Tuck is a prescription for entertainment unlike anything you’ve ever seen.”