The first season of "Nip/Tuck" was groundbreaking television in that it pushed cable content boundaries to the extreme and was unlike any show on the air. The second and third seasons, however, left something to be desired. The Famke Janssen storyline in season 2 was never-ending, and season 3's Carver arc angered fans and even actors like Julian McMahon. Much to my delight, season 4 turned out to be a welcome return to form.
Season 4 was a year of change. Sean and Christian sell the business, Sean and Julia are about to have a new child named Connor as their marriage begins to crumble, Christian considers marriage, an organ harvest operation threatens the characters, and Matt begins dating Kimber and converts to Scientology. And to think I'm just skimming the surface...
Aside from the drug out organ harvest storyline with Jacqueline Bisset, the season turned out strong mostly due to new character additions. Peter Dinklage as Marlowe the nanny was truly inspired casting. His relationship with Julia was heartfelt and emotional. It's a shame Dinklage gets stuck making trash like "Underdog" because he is one of the most talented actors in the biz today. If you don't believe me, see "Station Agent." Hopefully, he will return to "Nip/Tuck" in future episodes.
The exploration of Sean and Christian's friendship was another strong point. Instead of seeing Christian's usual womanizing, sleazy antics, his character has been given more depth. He begins to question his sexuality and even considers settling down with a wife and child. I was glad to see the writers take his character to a new level.
Season 4 contains the complete 15 episodes:
Faith Wolper, PhD
Conor McNamara, 2026
My personal favorites were:
"Dawn Budge"- Despite what you may think of Rosie O'Donnell personally, there's no reason to shrug off her acting ability. Rosie is flat out hilarious as Dawn the white trash lottery winner who has several surgeries done and even pays Christian for sex. She steals every scene she appears in this and the "Burt Landau" episode and is fully deserving of the rumored spin-off.
"Conor McNamara, 2026"- An episode set in the future in which we discover how each of the characters turn out may seem problematic. I myself was worried episodes would no longer have any surprises and would be predictable. Thankfully, my fears vanished as the episodes following this one were riddled with shocks. Back to the episode- the script is one of the smartest of the series. It was a great departure from the typical formula and it allowed us to see the characters in a new light, including the now grown up Connor.
"Galla Gallardo"- The season finale does not disappoint. The James and Escobar stories are resolved and the season ends with a promising show changing event that leads into season 5.
The anamorphic widescreen print looks a bit grainy and not as clear as it was on television. I'm sure the HD-DVD version looks vastly superior.
The English 5.1 audio track is solid all around. The music and dialogue are balanced well and one never overpowers the other.
Disk 1: Cutting room floor footage from episodes "Cindy Plumb" and "Blue Mondae." 2 scenes involve Matt lifting weights, the other involves Michele interrupting a breast implant surgery.
Disk 3: Cutting room floor footage from "Burt Landau" and "Conor McNamara." The scene from "Burt" involves a discussion between Michele and James about Liz needing a kidney. The 3 scenes from "Conor" are quick cuts of Julia and Mrs. Grubman and 2 convos with Julia and Marlow about Connor.
Disk 4 contains 2 cutting room floor scenes from "Conor McNamara, 2026." Scene 1- Julia talks to Christian about leaving Sean. Scene 2- Kimber and Matt are having problems in bed. This is actually a very important scene as it sums up their relationship issues quite well.
* A 2 minute gag reel featuring Julian McMahon.
* A revealing 9 minute "Cutting Edge" featurette about the medical surgeries in the show, the make-up and how the producers consult with experts in the medical field.
* A 13 minute guest star centric extra titled "Clever Casting." The producers and casting director talk about the wide variety of guest stars in season 4 including (but not limited to) Rosie O'Donnell, Brooke Shields, Peter Dinklage, Jacqueline Bisset, Alanis Morissette, and Catherine Deneuve.
* A 5 1/2 minute bonus called "Sizzle- The Sexuality of Nip/Tuck." Pretty self-explanatory.
* Option to use English, French, or Spanish subtitles.
"Nip/Tuck" season 4 is must see TV. With great guest stars, engaging story arcs, and plenty of surprises, there is no reason not to watch. Bring on season 5!
Film and television enthusiast Nick Lyons recently had his first book published titled "Attack of the Sci-Fi Trivia." It is available on Amazon.com.