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September 2, 2015

Nip/Tuck: Carly Summers (season premiere)

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Oct 30th 2007 11:01PM

Julian McMahon and Dylan Walsh(S05E01) "I feel like I'm trying to sell semen at a whore house." - Christian

Life just ain't easy for Sean McNamara and Christian Troy. They moved out to LA thinking it would bring them a fresh start. Sean had just put a messy divorce with Julia to bed. Christian had backed out of his engagement to Michelle. They needed a new beginning. After pouring all their money into a new state-of-the-art Rodeo Drive operation and recovery facility, what do they have to show for it? Nothing. Saying that you "almost" did some work on Joan Rivers isn't exactly a great resume when no one has heard of you.

The set-up was to be expected. Of course it wasn't going to be easy. Everyone is a plastic surgeon in Hollywood. But it's been two months since they switched coasts and the money is running thin. That's where this season of Nip/Tuck draws its plot from and watching Sean and Christian crack the secrets of their new celebrity infested locale is plenty of fun for us viewers. I think we've got a good season in store.

As I mentioned in my "Early Look" post, it's established very early on that we're no longer in Miami. Everyone has had work done and everyone already has a favorite surgeon. No room for someone new. However, with the help of publicist Fiona McNeil (Lauren Hutton), the guys land a creative adviser/producer position on a new drama series called Hearts and Scalpels. The show within a show set-up and self-reflexive tone is hilarious because of the way it pokes fun at some of the stories Nip/Tuck has employed in the past. It'll be fun to see how it develops under Sean's tutelage.

Now I mentioned Hutton, but she isn't the only guest star:

  • Tia Carrere plays Mistress Dark Pain, a dominatrix who seems to enjoy her job a little too much.
  • Bradley Cooper plays Aiden Stone, the cocky star of Hearts and Scalpels. He and Sean have developed this odd bond. Sean seems very overwhelmed by the instant celebrity factor he's achieved. He got recognized in front of Pink's Hot Dogs and had stars in his eyes from there on out.
  • Paula Marshall plays Kate Tinsley, the co-star on Hearts and Scalpels. I don't think I'm really spoiling anything but she'll become a love interest for Sean.
  • Oliver Platt plays TV producer Freddy Prune. It's his best role since Huff. He's flamboyant and hilarious.
  • Craig Bierko plays Bob Easton, a studio exec who likes getting bit all over his chest by the aforementioned Mistress Dark Pain.
  • Jennifer Coolidge plays actress Candy Richards. One word: lips.

Daphne Zuniga plays actress Carly Summers, the episode's focus. She becomes Christian's first sexual conquest (that we know about) in LA. In a very cool throwback to his first night with Kimber in the pilot episode, he convinces Carly to get plastic surgery by drawing all over an old pinup of her with, you guessed it, red lipstick. Regarding the guest stars in general -- that was just one episode. This season has a full 22 installments. That gives us plenty of episodes for more notable names (and old favorites) to stop by.

The best part of the premiere was how it changed Sean and Christian. For four seasons, Christian has been the dominant character, garnering all the attention and female adoration. With the success of Sean's cameo on Hearts and Scalpels, the tables have been turned as Sean now supports working on the show and Christian has lost interest. It brings out the spiteful side of Christian that we've seen before. It will be interesting to see if he continues his relationship with Carly and US Weekly.

Actually (now that I'm thinking about tabloids), if FX really wanted to get creative, they could do a cross-over with an episode of Dirt now that this show takes place in LA too. That could actually be really cool if done right. I think Dirt comes back in January or February and Nip/Tuck will still be airing then.

OK, back to this episode. Other stuff on my mind...

  • I wonder if we'll see Gina come back and try to get Wilber. Again.
  • I assume that Fiona will, at some point, find out that Christian leaked Carly's surgery to US Weekly. Will she still represent him? It'd be interesting to see if she dropped him and kept Sean. Christian fending for himself would be a good arc for an episode or two.
  • Other than the quote I started off the post with, best line in the episode? Bob Easton: "This place is deader than my Nana."
  • I loved when Sean spoke up and didn't take any crap from Aiden. This is what I'm talking about though. He's becoming more assertive and it's great to watch Christian fumble and fail at the same time.
  • I chocked on my spit from laughing so hard when Candy made those "gurgling" noises. Gold.

Overall, a very solid start to the season. Embracing everything that being in Hollywood/LA has to offer is going to be key when distinguishing this season from the previous four. There's a lot of stories available to use now that they're in a new city. I'm confident that Ryan Murphy and Co. will take advantage of them all.

Which new character was your favorite?
Fiona McNeil15 (5.6%)
Mistress Dark Pain65 (24.4%)
Aiden Stone53 (19.9%)
Kate Tinsley12 (4.5%)
Bob Easton10 (3.8%)
Carly Summers26 (9.8%)
Freddy Prune51 (19.2%)
Candy Richards34 (12.8%)

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when s and c get ready to go to the bar:

'Lean Like A Cholo' – Down (aka Kilo)

November 05 2007 at 8:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@14: It's funny that you say that about Julian's accent! I noticed it so much throughout the show, that it really became distracting! The more I thought about it, the more I noticed it. I remember always being impressed with his American accent in the past. Wonder what happened in this episode? Has he just gotten lazy with it?

November 01 2007 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Fun and fresh new episode. Don't much care for the dominatrix storyline, however. Surprised to see how the self-mockery didn't cause an implosion, as most shows-within-a-show do; it worked, because it ran all over the entire gamut of medical dramas without the wink-wink, nudge-nudge. Needless to say, looking forward to the rest of the season. Who knows what to expect?

And on a side note...Did anyone else hear Julian McMahon keep slipping on his American accent? The Australian dialect, for some reason, kept getting the better of the actor nearly every time he had to raise his voice (i.e., when riding around on the lot, with Oliver Platt, he said one line without any regard to keeping his character's accent in play.) I hadn't really noticed it in seasons past, but for some reason, this episode had a handful of moments that caught me off-guard. It should make for a fun game in the episodes to come.

November 01 2007 at 2:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am also trying to find out the name of the song that was playing when Sean and Christian were dressing for the nightclub. Kimber, if you find out, please let me know and I will do the same.

I was also disappointed with the first episode. After the agony of waiting for it, it wasn't so great. The whole Hearts N Scapels was a little much.

November 01 2007 at 2:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I couldn't agree more with Gina. Why did I watch that? After being a huge fan for the past several seasons, I eagerly counted the minutes for the show to begin. I even recruited two friends to join in my enthusiasm, promising the show wouldn't disappoint. Well, it did. I think that was the worst episode I had ever seen. I hope they can salvage the rest of the season.

October 31 2007 at 10:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

great start!!! the heart and scalpels show was sooo funny!!! (hope the keep bradly cooper for a long time!!), they make fun of every doc show out there including themself. I like the light atmosphere, after season4 they need a break (so do we!!), but i'm sure that soon enough the will come with a crazy story like always that will make us drop our jaws

October 31 2007 at 8:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

great start!!! the heart and scalpels show was soooo funny (i hope bradly cooper has a long term job in these show), they make fun of all the doc shows out there (including them self). I enjoy the light atmosphere, some times the dark part of the show was too much, but i'm sure that they will shock us very soon with a crazy story like always!!! (the dirt/NT crossover would be great!!)

October 31 2007 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does anyone know the name of the song that played when C & S were dressing to go out to the bar?

October 31 2007 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does anyone know the name of the song that played when C & S were dressing to go out to the bar?

October 31 2007 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

P.S. We'll have to keep a running count of how many times someone says "this town." That got annoying really fast.

October 31 2007 at 8:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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