Thursday, March 04, 2010

Nip/Tuck: And in the end?

"Nip/Tuck" is one of those shows that was never really for me, and it became increasingly not-for-me as it went along. It's perennial need to top itself turned me off quickly, and makes me fear that Ryan Murphy's "Glee" (which, admittedly, I don't love, either) could go on a similar course if he's not careful.

That said, this was a long-running drama that was very popular (by basic cable standards) for quite a while, so for those of you who stuck it out to the bitter end, I'm curious what you thought of the finale. (And I'm curious whether it matched up to that flash-forward episode they did a few years ago with Christian and Sean as old men.)

For those who watched, what did you think?


Anonymous said...

They explained away that flash forward episode as having been a dream. And let's face it, it would have to be since Matt was a successful doctor in it. I don't think I have ever loathed a tv character more.

As for the finale, it was a big letdown. I'm glad they didn't try to top themselves (which as you said, lead to the show's downfall) but the finale was completely boring and totally unmemorable.

Anonymous said...

How about Julian McMahon as Rockford? Sorry, I am just still stunned that anyone hired Dermot Mulroney for anything.

cgeye said...

About the flash-forward: Nope. Which is why I've been leery of the Abrams-based flash-forwards and alternate timelines -- it's sloppy storytelling, because showrunners can't control casts and events enough to shape their narrative toward that future. Matt's character, especially, has been trashed -- is a felon going to get a license as a plastic surgeon? Hell, no.

The finale wasn't as bad as all the crap accumulated during the last seasons -- repetition, destruction of characters so they stay in place. If they'd dealt with their core family -- Wilbur, Matt, Jenna, Annie, Conor -- they would have had some powerful stories about their distorted values affected them, but no, it's time for prison rape and serial killers again. N/P jumped the shark with the Carver, and it had ample chances to get back on track. The crime of not letting Christian go deeper into revulsion, or salvation, should not be forgotten. He was almost tragic, but then they go to the soft porn, without exploring exactly what changes with the more boredom he encounters, during it. They made autoerotic asphyxiation boring. How bad is that?

But Sean's arc was horrifying, because his character always tried to change, and Christian turned all Snidely Whiplash, to keep him by his side. Sean left Christian before (the Miami-LA move), only to have Christian leach on to him again. So, Christian, now, deciding to be merciful? Really? Just because he drove the love of his life to suicide because he knew he couldn't fake loving her? And even more recovery room deaths, in between? I miss Mrs. Grubman -- she was human, even when the leads weren't.

It was a narrative bored with itself, and I'm sorry but FX are fools if they think they'll make bank on a syndication sale -- they'd have to cut episodes in half to have them air on basic cable outside late night.

They just wasted so much, to the point of damaging their stars' future careers. It was like STARGATE SG-1, but with breasts. In the end, it was a pig and will not be missed.

Unknown said...

The only thing I liked was that Matt and Ava finally did ride off into the sunset together. I only watched the last 2 seasons because I felt like I had to finish the series. I'm glad I have something else to do now that it's over.

Ted Kerwin said...

My wife watched the whole series, I bailed after season 2, as I walked through the room with it on the son was speaking Spanish and they noted he was learning because of his future wife. I told my wife the whole family spoke Spanish in Miami but Sean and they used that fact to show how he was not in touch with his family, and then I stopped talking about the show.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, it should have had something outrageous last night just for old times sakes, but no. It went out with more of a whimper than any show I can remember.

I've not really liked it since they moved to LA, but kept watching. I cut House, 24 and DH out of my TV watching this year. This will be gone too. Lost is gone by the end of May (although I enjoy that). I can go outside again!! ;-)

Hyde said...

How about Julian McMahon as Rockford? Sorry, I am just still stunned that anyone hired Dermot Mulroney for anything.

Would he be willing to finally take the trouble to learn an American accent? McMahon's Yank accent was never very good, and by the last season it sounded like he stopped trying completely.

I thought Nip/Tuck was a good guilty plasure for most of its run, kind of the way True Blood is for me now. Even in the first L.A. season, which many fans saw as the beginning of the end, you had Bradley Cooper's awesome comic performance, Annalynne McCord as a surprisingly effective villain, and the outright lunacy of Sharon Gless.

But I had no idea what they were up to this season. Everything got so deadly serious all of a sudden. I'm amazed no one died at the end, since it sure seemed they were leading up to that.

I have noticed that even some fans of Glee have worried that the show is burning through way too much plot in its first season, and given how rococo Nip/Tuck got after a while, one has to admit that's a major concern.

david said...

I too was surprised they didn't do something memorable for the finale. Maybe have the Carver come back and kill everyone. I really think Christian should have died. In fact, he should have died from the cancer way back when. But whatever. I can't really complain because I haven't truly cared about this show for years.

Craig Ranapia said...

The basic problem with 'Nip/Tuck' (and 'Glee' and 'Popular') is that Ryan Murphy has severe creative ADHD. I love shows that mash-up tones and genres into weird but engaging hybrids, but that requires a hell of a lot of very smart storytelling if you're going to make it work.

Murphy just randomly throws everything and the kitchen sink at the wall and hopes something sticks. But the grinding tonal shifts and random plot contrivances and character shifts in Nip/Tuck just got boring.

Anonymous said...

When Paula Marshall showed up as an actress who couldn't stop crapping herself I removed the season pass and have never watched another single episode. I have never seen a TV show work as hard as Nip/Tuck to make its characters so totally and completely repulsive. Maybe that will be Nip/Tuck's legacy.

Matt S. said...

i thought it was a pretty good finale actually. Sean left to finally do something positive with his life and Christian...well Christian finally let him. Its funny in that to me it kinda felt more like a season finale than a series finale--but you know that works just as well---apart from having one of them die (which I did not wanna see) i think this was as good an ending as we could've gotten for the 2 guys. A Parting of the ways (after so many seasons of threatening to leave one another) but not acrimoniously---meaning that you know the 2 guys will still be friends with one another---after how deeply embedded they were in each others lives it only makes sense--and its nice to see that they ended the series without either one of them hating the other as had been hinted strongly this season--and all series long in a way too.

As for syndication purposes---I'd expect this show to sell to the Soap opera channel (soapnet?) it would prob do all right there in an overnight slot. (or maybe deep in late night)

Also i thought as a series--the performances of the 2 men were rock solid---even when the writing was a bit rocky--i never not believed the emotions the 2 actors were selling as their characters. I don't know what the future will hold for Julian McMhan but i'd like to think Dylan Walsh could become an even more respected character actor.

lastly--i'm not sure why i stuck with it for its whole run---there were times especially since the whole carver fiasco when i would see it was coming back and i'd think oy this thing is still going? and yet every time i'd tune it in--i'd get sucked right back in to the story and i think despite the ridiculousness and outlandishness of the stories--i think that may be what kept pulling me back---the stories were well told, the acting was again solid, and i think the best you can really say about the show in general was that a lot of times watching it i felt the show often overcame its flamboyent impulses to deliver a pretty darn watchable show season after season again in spite of (or maybe because of) its very willingness to go way over the top.

Anonymous said...

Been watching Nip/Tuck since the beginning. My wife and I really liked the show. It was crazy, but fun. By the 2nd or 3rd season none of the characters really had any moral center anymore, but it was still fun to watch. By last season, it had gotten out of hand. We felt like they were just trying to be as outrageous as possible to the point where we ceased being surprised and just laughed at how absurd it was. They brought it back down a notch for this final season.

The series finale was excellent. That's how you end a series. Every main character got resolution. The episode had a feeling of relief for all the characters as they finally realized what they needed to do going forward. The finale was very tame and focused simply on wrapping things up. Not exciting, but very satisfying.

The whole series was over the top. They didn't need to go over thetop in the finale IMO.

Alex said...

Back in the day I was a HUGE Nip/Tuck fan. It and Rescue Me alternated between my two favorite shows on television, and each episode was appointment television. I can remember running into acquaintances in school who I knew watched the show and spending twenty minutes at a time discussing the latest plot twist.

The biggest knock on the show was always its soft core porn, over the top plot devices. However, what the casual observer missed in all the complaints of explicit sex scenes and gory surgeries was the unique and complex character study that was being taken place. The two leads and, to a lesser extent, their immediate supporting casts were truly interesting characters with complex and often conflicting narratives, all being linked together by leading deeply flawed lives in a deeply superficial world. That is what I loved most about the show.

That type of storytelling peaked in season two. Any fan of the show will tell you that. Despite that, season three was a hell of a ride in the moment, and has much more DVD re-watchability than I would have thought immediately after the fact. I ended my commitment to the show after season four. I actually ended up watching most of season five eventually, and, while the first half was decent and involved a lot of experimentation despite a lower quality of writing, the second half of that season resulted in characters that had become what the show had subtly parodied in its earlier season. The soul of the show had vanished, and it was apparent in both the writing and the acting.

As a result, I choose to view the fourth season as the shows final season. When taken in that context, it is a much more satisfying season. It also provides a much more satisfying and almost poetic end to the series (despite the much hated but now slightly prophetic sing-along) than this final episode did. This finale felt like an episode desperate to undo the wrongs of the last few seasons, tie up any loose ends, and pat itself on the back a bit all while trying so hard to recapture the gravity the series has lacked ever since murphey relinquished most of the creative aspect of the show. It came off as equally self-serving and false while trying to give the few fans that stuck around the kind of pay off they assumed they were looking for.

My advice to all current and former nip/tuck fans, watch the season four finale and just pretend the last two seasons never happened.

Mapeel said...

I came to the series very late, just this last season. I read recaps about the others to know what was going on.

I agree with Matt S that it was a good finale. When you've gone to the extreme, and there's no where else to go, then a more grounded resolution is inspired. And, as Matt S. said, with much of the season's Christian/Sean plotlines revolving around them hating each other, perhaps for good--which would not be unbelievable--having Christian let Sean go, for real, was very moving.

And Art Garfunkel. So seventies, perfectly placed for their ages.

Anonymous said...

I lost interest in Nip/Tuck for the same reasons as everyone else: It jumped too many sharks and got cartoonish. I hated Matt as a character, he was just plain creepy icky. In fact many characters were too irritating to be fun. The sex got boring, a real sin.
This season had its moments, but I hated that a strong female character would've killed herself over Christian. And as a finale, the episode felt like all the air had gone out of it; it felt limp, like whoever is in charge just said f... it, I'm done.
It was merciful to finally close the door on the shenanigans.

Anonymous said...

I found this last season completely blah and boring! The ending could have been more thought out. Seems everyone just threw down the bag and said forget it. In other words, seems someone did not put their best into what could have been something to remember. I was a big fan tho, and I am still a little sad it is all over. I have to find another night soap now. lol.

Anonymous said...

The finale was amazingly sad and well made. Just you got whole the feeling if you watch the episodes one after the other so you can get really close with the characters. If you watch one episode today and the other the next month you will call the finale stupid,boring,lame whatever.
But you will be wrong

I never got bored any of the seasons.It was getting more interesting season after season.. I bought the DVDs of all seasong and I inform you how I'm gonna watch the whole serie again and again and again

Best TV show EVER.