DVD Review: Fifth Installment of ‘Nip/Tuck’ an Imperfect Season, DVD

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CHICAGO – “Tell me what you don’t like about yourself.” Doctors, I don’t like what you’ve done to a once-fascinating show. Ryan Murphy and the team behind “Nip/Tuck” missed a great opportunity with the fifth season of their cult hit show, now on DVD, and continued their series’ soapy decline.

“Nip/Tuck,” starring Dylan Walsh, Julian McMahon, Joely Richardson, John Hensley, Roma Maffia, and Kelly Carlson, from creator Ryan Murphy, had gone way off the rails with a ridiculous fourth season that turned off most of the show’s fans, even if it did maintain some headline-grabbing basic cable attention.

Nip/Tuck: Season Five was released by Warner Brothers Home Video on December 30th, 2008.

The team behind “Nip/Tuck” had a chance to completely hit refresh as the two lead characters left behind the bikini-clad models of Miami for the narcissistic lunatics of the city of angels for season five.

The first episode of the season hinted at a show that had found its creative honesty and returned to the far superior first and second seasons. The fifth season premiere of “Nip/Tuck” is one of the best in the show’s history, as Drs. Sean McNamara and Christian Troy move to Los Angeles and work on an over-the-top medical drama while they deal with their own ridiculously inflated egos and deep flaws. Guest appearances by Bradley Cooper, Oliver Platt, and Lauren Hutton hinted at the fun that could come.

Make the characters relatable again and let the craziness of L.A. provide the over-the-top spark. It could have been a self-referential joy to watch Sean and Christian realize that they may have been big fish in the pond of Miami but that L.A. was too much even for them and there are hints of that through out the season, particularly in a great reality show pilot that the doctors attempt called “Plastic Fantastic”.

Nip/Tuck: Season Five was released by Warner Brothers Home Video on December 30th, 2008.

Instead, “Nip/Tuck” quickly became what it had been since it jumped the shark in season three - just ridiculous. By just episode four, less than a third through the season, Christian was a male pimp, Sean was infatuated with a sexy teenager, Matt was a meth addict, Julia was a lesbian, and Rosie O’Donnell was back as a guest star attacked by an eagle. Yes, an EAGLE.

It sounds like a ridiculous, soap opera that could provide kicks like a B-movie and the fifth season of “Nip/Tuck” only possibly works when viewed in that light. There are some “did you see that?” kicks from the fifth season of “Nip/Tuck”. The show works much better as a comedy after a few drinks.

But I miss the more well-balanced tone of the first and second seasons, when I could take these characters remotely seriously and every time Murphy and his team asked me to do so again in this season that was more over-the-top than ever, it just made realize that the show has become that much more ridiculous.

Maybe it’s because of the show’s theme that any physical imperfection can be reversible but I still hold out hope that there’s one more great season of “Nip/Tuck” in the pipeline before McNamara/Troy closes its doors forever. The fifth one wasn’t it.

As if they know that the fifth season of “Nip/Tuck” is just a holding pattern for the hit show, the season is going through one of those weird, two-part things like “The Sopranos” and “Entourage” recently did. “Season Five: Part Two” debuts on January 6th on FX Networks.

The 14-episodes, 627 minutes, of the first part of the fifth season of “Nip/Tuck” are presented in matted widescreen that makes for a rather lackluster video transfer. Doesn’t it seem ironic that a show about obsession with perfection isn’t yet released on Blu-Ray?

The audio, mixed in 5.1 channels, is neither positively nor negatively remarkable in any way. And special features? There are barely any. No commentaries to speak of. Just a featurette, deleted scenes, and a gag reel. McNamara/Troy may not be what they once were, but they have legions of fans who deserve better than this below-average season and DVD.

‘Nip/Tuck: Season Five, Part One’ is released by Warner Brothers Home Video and stars Dylan Walsh, Julian McMahon, Joely Richardson, John Hensley, Roma Maffia, and Kelly Carlson, from creator Ryan Murphy. It was released on December 30th, 2008.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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