nip/tuck: The Sixth and Final Season

nip/tuck: The Sixth and Final Season
After season five went to great lengths to explore every bizarre scenario possible, with couch sex and Jennifer Coolidge hip-hop videos standing out, the biggest surprise about season six is just how much it contemplates and reflects. With everything coming to an end, many of the 19 episodes in this five-disc box set examine the relationship between playboy Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) and holier-than-thou Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh). Because the series is about the quest for perfection on the outside to mask the turmoil and damage within, every flaw ― from self-involvement to drug dependency to borderline sociopathic behaviour ― is exposed, dragged through the dirt and left staring these men in the face. It's an interesting way to wrap up a series about two plastic surgeons living the high life through "fixing" others. Instead of constantly asking everyone that walks into their office, "tell me what you don't like about yourself," they pose the question to themselves. This isn't to say that there isn't the usual nip/tuck insanity throughout this season, with the first episode featuring a vaginal reconstruction infomercial, wherein a testimonial has Nurse Linda (Linda Klein) exclaiming, "I felt ashamed when my partner told me that my vagina reminded him of a roast beef sandwich," and Dr. Troy getting assaulted by Jenny Juggs' pumpkin-sized global endowments. But it's more about everyone confronting their past, such as Liz Cruz (Roma Maffia) dealing with the aftermath of her divorce and Matt (John Hensley) struggling to live up to the expectations of his two dads. Resultantly, it's often depressing, as the practice suffers economic woes and characters repeat cycles of destructive behaviour despite knowing the inevitable outcome. These are damaged people full of self-loathing clinging to each other for some sense of belonging. Also of note is the return of many past storylines to contextualize the present. Vanessa Redgrave pops up to try and steal Sean and Julia's (Joely Richardson) kids, as does Famke Janssen, with an agenda of her own. It's all still a trashy soap opera, but at least it's a relatively thoughtful and self-aware trashy soap opera that has the good sense to cast Rose McGowan as a black widow. The box set includes only a brief featurette that shows interviews with actual plastic surgeons talking about their work. It's about as exciting as it sounds. (Warner)