Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"Tell me what you don't like about yourself": Previewing the "Nip/Tuck" series finale

Is there a show on TV more frustrating than FX's plastic surgery drama "Nip/Tuck"?
If there is, I'm not aware of it. This is a show that isn't merely content to go over the top. It bungee jumps from the top while giving you the finger, much like Alicia Silverstone in that Aerosmith video. This is a show that's given us incestuous mutilating rapists, a manipulative transsexual life coach, a robber who dressed as a mime and a death by build-a-bear machine.
And I'm just hitting the highlights.
The show airs its final episode 10 p.m. Wednesday and, like the previous episodes, the show's swan song is melodramatic, ridiculous and strangely touching.
In its final seasons, "Nip/Tuck" has -- as I've noted several times -- kind of gone off the rails, morphing into a parody of itself (did I mention the death by build-a-bear?). And yet, I remained loyal to it. Why? I'm not entirely sure.
Possibly it's due to the always convincing relationship between frenemy plastic surgeons Sean McNamara and Christian Troy (played by Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon). The push-pull of their volatile but loving relationship has always been an anchor keeping this crazy show just in the realm of believability. That's mainly due to the still-excellent work of Walsh and McMahon. After so many seasons together, the two actors have the kind of easy rapport that allows them to say volumes about their relationship with a look or sigh.
In the final episode, the dysfunctional duo face a cross roads in their personal and professional lives. I won't give too much away, except to say the resolution of their conflict is poignant and appropriate -- the perfect way to end this tempestuous series.
Of course, the show has its crazy moments, many of them involving Matt McNamara (John Hensley) and the aforementioned life coach Ava (Famke Janssen). There's also a storyline focusing on an elderly Japanese porn star.
But that's all par for the course. The final "Nip/Tuck" will likely satisfy fans -- even those like me with a love-hate relationship with the series.
The final episode of "Nip/Tuck" airs at 10 Wednesday on FX.

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