While purists and budget-conscious consumers alike may grit their teeth a bit over the fact that Warner Home Video spliced the Fifth Season of FX’s notorious drama, Nip/Tuck, I consider it a blessing. I don’t know if my poor mind could have sat through an entire season in one go without being driven mad. For the uninitiated, Nip/Tuck is a series about two longtime pals (Dylan Walsh as Dr. Sean McNamara and Julian “Doctor Doom” McMahon as Dr. Christian Troy) who run a successful plastic surgery business. Originally set in Miami, Nip/Tuck relocated to the Los Angeles for the beginning of Season Five, where there is so much self-admiration and superficiality that the surgery of McNamara/Troy is guaranteed to stay in business forever.
Well, maybe not forever. Especially with all of the nutjobs and creeps that patronize McNamara/Troy, some of which are downright deadly. If that’s not enough however, the doctors’ daily wanton routine of surgery, sadism and sex might do the trick instead. In Part One of Season Five, we were introduced to Colleen Rose (played to the hilt by former Cagney & Lacey and Queer As Folk star Sharon Gless), an obsessive fan-cum-agent of Sean’s, who left him gasping for his last breath with a knife in his back.
Season Five, Part Two picks up where we left off (duh), revealing Sean’s incredible bounce back to full health (it’s a soap opera, kids — face it) and paving the way to a new host of characters, including a wild anesthesiologist (Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackoff) whom Sean falls madly in love with. Of course, in the world of plastic surgery, nothing is good for your health — especially love — as Dr. Troy discovers when he asks his lesbian assistant (Roma Maffia) to marry him? Why? Well, let’s just say it’s one of his better decisions and leave it at that.
Nip/Tuck: Season Five, Part Two presents all 8 episodes from the series’ 2009 airings (the other 14 eps are on Part One, naturally) in an aesthetically pleasing 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen ratio. The overall color/contrast balance is good, but not along the lines of perfect, as I noticed a bit of grain here and there. One of the show’s better elements is its “just what the doctor ordered” soundtrack, taking some of the best hits from the past as well as some modern tunes to boot. Thankfully, said soundtrack comes through just fine via a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround mix, along with all of the “Soap Opera v2.0” dialogue. English SDH subtitles are included.
Special features for Nip/Tuck: Season Five, Part Two are limited to nothing more than a featurette on beauty. The bonus item interviews many prominent plastic surgeons and “beauty experts” (?) as well, and footage from Nip/Tuck and many classic Warner films are edited in throughout.
If one had to sum up Nip/Tuck, it could be done thusly: “Surgery, drama, sex. Repeat.” Really, that’s all it is. A lot of the show’s fans have already grown weary of its routine formula, and have made the claim that Season Five officially jumped the shark. Nevertheless, diehard followers will want to add this one to their collection for the sake of collecting alone. From a newbie perspective, Season Five, Part Two is just as good of a place to start as any: it won’t take them long to settle in and make an appointment with McNamara/Troy for future consults.