THERE ARE A few shows that raise the ire of the Parents Television Council like “Nip/Tuck.”
Much like teen-sex-cesspools “Dawson’s Creek,” “The O.C.” and “Gossip Girl,” “Nip/Tuck” has drawn the council’s condemnation for all kinds of kinky acts — including “incestuous necrophilia” — tons of drug use and lots of miscellaneous violence (and that’s not counting the intensely depicted surgery scenes).
And, of course, that’s why viewers love it.
FX’s show about plastic surgeons/best friends/worst enemies Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) and Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) has had a seemingly never-ending list of questionable plotlines (see: rape, incest, murder, orgies, adultery, pedophilia, basically anything that could make Ned Flanders uncomfortable) and with part one of season five coming out on DVD Dec. 30 and the second part premiering on Jan. 6, there’s a lot to remember and even more to expect.
But given all the girls the doctors sleep with, all the malpractice suits that just may be warranted and all the times Sean and Christian bounce Julia (Joely Richardson) between them, it’s hard to follow all the indecency. Want to get caught up? Here is Express‘ list of “Nip/Tuck’s” five most inappropriate moments — you might need a counseling session afterward.
» WHO’S YOUR NANNY?
Sean and Christian both have a knack for striking up relationships with women who wind up becoming obsessed with them (surprising, considering how misogynistic they usually both are), and in season four, Monica Wilder (Jennifer Hall) pretty much takes the cake. A prospective nanny for Sean’s newborn son, Conor, Monica doesn’t get the hint when Sean doesn’t hire her, nor after the two sleep together and he wants nothing more to do with her.
First, she tries to blackmail Sean. Then she asks him to check out her nipple for an infection, as she repeatedly attempts to breastfeed Conor (the scene is kind of like a weird mix of that one in “Fight Club” where Marla asks Edward Norton to check her breast for a lump and the one in “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle” where Rebecca De Mornay starts breastfeeding the kid that isn’t hers). And then she threatens to go to the police with a story about how Sean raped her … until she gets hit by a bus. It’s all very “Mean Girls” meets the “Lost” episode “Not in Portland,” as well as completely satisfying and utterly unnecessary.
But, hey, killing characters in unlikely ways is the easiest method of getting rid of them (just look at how Gina [Jessalyn Gilsig] gets killed off in season five: thrust off the ledge of a roof while having sex with Christian).
» A NEW PARTNERSHIP?
Christian has had sex with pretty much any woman who comes his way, from barely legal teenagers to plastic surgery patients to porn stars. But after being raped by the Carver in season three, Christian starts dreaming about having sex with Sean, furthering the idea that the two can’t live without one another.
It’s an awkward sequence to watch, and though the dream explanation makes sense (it’s not nearly as bad as “Dallas”), we can’t help but wonder: What would a relationship between Christian and Sean be like? And would they keep sharing Julia?
» D.I.Y. SURGERY
Matt McNamara (John Hensley) has always had a bit of an identity crisis: While growing up, Matt thought he was Sean’s son with Julia, only to learn that Christian is actually his biological father. Fast-forward to season three, and Matt has shaved his head, is dating a neo-Nazi girl named Ariel Alderman and beats up on pre-op transsexuals in his spare time.
But Matt somehow befriends Cherry Peck, whom he previously attacked, and asks Sean to operate on her; too bad Ariel’s dad sees the two together, kidnaps them and forces Matt to cut off Cherry’s penis first. It’s brutal, outlandish and completely cringe-inducing, and it only gets better when Matt and Cherry strike back against Mr. Alderman by shooting him in the back and burying him alive. Violence may not necessarily be the best answer, but it seems to work pretty well on “Nip/Tuck.”
» DEPANTSING THE CARVER
For seasons two and three, The Carver terrorized Miami, not only raping his victims but slashing each side of their mouths in a Joker-like fashion. Claiming that “beauty is a curse on the world,” The Carver attacked Sean, raped Christian and kidnapped his fiancee, Kimber, on their wedding day, making it look like Kimber left Christian on the altar so he wouldn’t suspect her true fate. After undoing all of the former porn star’s plastic surgeries without any anesthesia, The Carver continued terrorizing the city.
But the mask-wearing creeper’s identity had to be revealed eventually, and it was vaguely anticlimactic when The Carver turned out to be fellow plastic surgeon Quentin Costa (Bruno Campos), who already seemed like a douche (specifically, he was dating Julia to spite Sean while also sleeping with a variety of coeds and dudes on the side). More surprising than what was under his mask, though, was what under his pants: Nothing. In the big reveal scene, Quentin is bizarrely like a Ken doll down there, causing viewers everywhere to scratch their heads in confusion and try to figure out exactly how he was having so much sex if he wasn’t actually, well, having it.
» MOMMY DEAREST
If there’s a character on “Nip/Tuck” with a more complicated back story than Ava Moore (Famke Janssen), we haven’t seen them yet. Once a gay man who worked as an escort to older women, Ava — then called Avery — was in love with Dr. Barrett Moore (the always enjoyable Alec Baldwin, in yet another weird-but-great role), and convinced Barrett to perform sex reassignment surgery on him so that the two could be together as man and wife. After Avery became Ava, the relationship between herself and Barrett fell apart and she fled with their son, Adrian (who was biologically related to Barrett but not to her).
Ava then modeled herself as a life coach; though she was hired by Sean to treat Julia, she soon seduced Matt. The two began a relationship, and Adrian, who is similar in age to Matt, became envious — which isn’t surprising in and of itself, right? Any child whose parent starts dating someone comparable to their own age must feel strange. Except for where Adrian is also sleeping with Ava, in a nauseatingly incestuous twist that develops into rabid jealousy on Adrian’s part, an ultimatum from him to Ava and his suicide in front of her.
The whole interchange, and Ava’s abandonment of Adrian’s body on the floor of her apartment as she leaves to board a plane to Paris, is pretty shocking, especially because the Ava-Matt-Adrian saga took place in the second season of “Nip/Tuck,” back when the show’s plotlines weren’t as twisted as they are now. Maybe this subplot was the turning point; if so, we wouldn’t be surprised.
Written by Express contributor Roxana Hadadi