Nip/Tuck-The Complete First Season (2003)

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Released 20-Oct-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Deleted Scenes
Featurette-Giving Drama A Face Lift
Featurette-Realistic Expectations: The Practice Of Plastic Surgery
Featurette-Are They Real Or Fake?: The Miraculous Make-Up Effects
Music Video-A Perfect Lie (Theme Song)
Outtakes-Severed Parts
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 609:05 (Case: 608)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (5)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Jamie Babbit
Scott Brazil
Elodie Keene
Nelson McCormick

Warner Home Video
Starring Dylan Walsh
Julian McMahon
John Hensley
Valerie Cruz
Joely Richardson
Case Brackley-Trans-Lipped
RPI $74.95 Music James S. Levine
Kathleen York

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

ďTell me what you donít like about yourself.Ē

††† Nudity, surgery, drama, infidelity, sex crazed babes, oversexed guys, drug lords and ethically corrupt surgeons Ė really, you just canít go past Nip/Tuck.

††† The premise of Ryan Murphyís quirky yet compelling show is a South Florida plastic surgery practice run by two surgeons Ė there is the hard working dependable married family man, Dr. Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh), and then there is the single, good looking, flashy dresser Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon). Both have problems. For Sean, itís his family troubles, his distant relationship with his wife Julia (Joely Richardson), his difficulty relating to his son Matt (John Hensley), and his passive-aggressive nature which forces him to pent up all his frustrations, only letting them out when they will cause the most damage. For Christian, itís his ruthless womanising, the overwhelming emptiness in his life, and the fact that he undeniably covets his best friendís wife with whom he shares a past.

††† Split across 13 episodes and 5 discs, the first season breaks down as follows:

Disc 1

1. Pilot (64:01)

††† Meet Sean and Christian Ė plastic surgeons extraordinaire, and both trapped in their own person mid-life crisis. When Christian accepts a $300,000 pay out from a Colombian drug lord to alter his face, and sleeps with a model to get her business, Sean decides to break loose, and Christian realises that in order to survive he must rely on his best friend.

2. Mandi/Randi (46:12)

††† Identical twins, tired of being treated alike, decide they want plastic surgery so that they can have individual identities and be treated differently. At the same time, Christian struggles with erectile dysfunction after having his p**** shot full of Botox, and Sean hires psychologist Grace Santiago after she rejects his advances.

3. Nanette Babcock (46:33)

††† A manic depressive patient is refused treatment by Dr. Santiago, and Christian is forced to wine and dine an older patient after Sean accidentally leaves a medical instrument in her stomach after surgery.

Disc 2

4. Sofia Lopez (44:48)

††† A potential contract with a porn film producer and a transgender patient named Sofia seeking sexual reorientation surgery all lead Sean to wonder whether he is a prude, particularly by comparison to his flamboyant partner.

5. Kurt Dempsey (44:47)

††† A white man seeks surgery to look more Asian so that his fiancťís mother will accept him, Christian takes a look at his own sexual addiction, and Sean discovers that his wife Julia is pregnant.

6. Megan OíHara (45:35)

††† A woman who has lost her breasts to cancer brings out Seanís bedside manner, which in turn causes Christian to return to his old womanising habits with a former patient.

Disc 3

7. Cliff Mantegna (44:47)

††† Looking to spice up his relationship with Kimber, Christian auditions for an exclusive swingers club, only to discover he knows a few of the other patrons, and Julia discovers Matt having sex with two girls.

8. Cara Fitzgerald (45:17)

††† When Matt accidentally hits a girl, he gets his father involved to try and help as a way of making amends. And Christian discovers that some work he did to hide a birth defect has horrible consequences, which in turn stir up dark memories from his past.

9. Sofia Lopez Part II (44:41)

††† Itís time for Sofia to get the chop, but an encounter creates a sexual identity crisis. And Christian makes a deal with sleazy plastic surgeon Dr. Bobolit to get Kimber off his hands.

Disc 4

10. Adelle Coffin (45:18)

††† With the re-qualification tests underway, Christian goes to the morgue to practice on an unclaimed DOA, while Seanís guilty conscience causes him to begin seeing the severed head of his test corpse making accusations about him and Megan.

11. Montana/Sassy/Justice (44:52)

††† A straight forward surgery becomes very complicated when the patient starts manifesting multiple personalities. And Christian gets a nasty shock resulting from his ruthless womanising.

12. Antonia Ramos (44:40)

††† A Colombian woman with grotesquely large breasts turns out to be carrying liquid heroin in her implants Ė property of Colombian drug lord Escobar Gallardo.

Disc 5

13. Escobar Gallardo (47:34)

††† When smuggling heroin turns to organ harvesting, Sean works up the courage to find a way out. And Christian finds his humanity.

††† What can I say?

††† Nip/Tuck is impressively trashy, and yet a fabulous show. Donít get me wrong, I donít mean bad trashy Ė this isnít the cheap hormonal muckraking of an Aaron Spelling production. There is classiness and depth here between the nudity and the ... well, nudity. Unlike most dramas that have no themes and instead rely on the intrigue of who is sleeping with who this week, Nip/Tuck is ultimately a very dark series that is all about self hatred. A disturbing concept to form the basis for a TV series, I will admit, but it works so well. As Sean says, in one of his more open moments: ďDonít worry about these scars... Youíre just wearing on the outside what the rest of us wear on the inside.Ē And so, like a face lift, the series peels the external layers of its characters back until we uncover all of those scars and expose the humanity at the core of these people.

††† The production values on Nip/Tuck are also excellent. The make up effects are stunningly realistic, and really confronting Ė making you wonder why anybody would do that voluntarily to their body. The location is also great, as South Florida allows for stark minimalist new vogue scenes shot with bright colours contrasting the dark shadowy underworld of the characters' emotions. The acting is for the most part exceptionally good acting, with a string of outstanding extras that give the show an ensemble feel, despite the fact that this will always be about the surgeons. The scripting is very tight, culminating in some truly blistering scenes that make this show stand head and shoulders above most of the other crap on TV. Few TV shows have kept me glued to the screen all night long, but this one succeeded admirably.

††† However, what I like most about Nip/Tuck is its poor taste and decidedly quirky sense of humour. A show about externalising self-hatred does not sound like the ideal situation for a comedy, but there is undoubtedly an element of humour here Ė a sardonic and even satirical wit that gels well with the dark thematic undertones, and had me laughing out loud many a time. So, if, like me, you have a sense of humour encapsulating the slightly perverted and the downright twisted, I suggest you check this out. Itís not quite as good as The Sopranos, but its characters are all multi-faceted, making for a highly compelling, highly addictive, and ultimately very emotional show that succeeds in its myriad shades of grey where most dramas utterly fail on their simple black and white canvasses. A few nips and a couple of tucks, and this show will be up there with the classics of television drama.

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Transfer Quality


††† This series was originally shot in 1.78:1, although it was broadcast on free-to-air in Australia in something approaching 1.66:1 with thin black lines at the top and bottom of the picture. When transferred to DVD however, we have the proper aspect ratio back, 16x9 enhanced, which makes an amazing difference to the show.

††† Colour and shadow play a very important part in this series in setting the tone for the drama. For example, Christian is fond of very bright coloured shirts, which sit in contrast to his bold dark suits, whereas Sean is fonder of the simpler black and white colourings that give him a more reserved (perhaps even repressed) family-man look. Thankfully, the colours are handled exceptionally well, with deep saturation

††† Shadow is not quite as good, with some overall graininess here in lower lit scenes. Some of this I think has to do with the film stock used. The graininess is never excessive, but is noticeable if you have a TV big enough. In respect of the graininess and shadow detail, the transfer is about on par with Season 2 of The Sopranos. This graininess sometimes exhibits a very mild colour bleed where intense red shirts/blouses meet the milder skin tones of tanned flesh.

††† There are no MPEG artefacts, but there was some noticeable aliasing on hard lines in the background, and on the chrome grille plating on the front of Seanís SUV. The graininess sometimes results in low-level noise, usually in low light where there is a monotone background. One scene where aliasing and the low-level noise is quite apparent is in the circular panning shot at the end of Escobar Gallardo Ė not pretty, which is a shame given the dramatic poignancy of the moment.

††† Dirt is pretty much non-existent.

††† Subtitles are available in English, English for the Hearing Impaired and Dutch. They are white with a black border, clear and easy to read, and follow the dialogue fairly closely.

††† The first and last discs are dual layer discs I think, with the dual layer falling in between the pilot and the next episode on the first disc, and in between the special features on the last disc. All other discs are single layered, so there are no visible dual layer pauses. Nice work Warner Home Video.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


††† Audio is available in 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo only, but itís a cracker.

††† Dialogue is amazingly well reproduced with no visible audio sync issues. The dramatic tone of the voices is well captured and the clarity of this track really brings home the emotional drama of the series.

††† The range is also quite stunning, with the bass deep enough to rattle the glasses in my kitchen cabinet.

††† There are a lot of left-right directional cues, but of course nothing from the rears or the subwoofer.

††† The music for this show is great, with the theme song A Perfect Lie given a great mix, as well as a lot of other classic tracks Ė particularly during the surgical scenes. Very nicely done.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



††† The main menus are presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. They show several of the trashier cuts from the series, a few graphic surgeries, but nothing that really gives anything away. The menus have a 2.0 Dolby Stereo audio track, but itís much thinner than that mastered for the episodes. The other menus are static and silent.

Discs 1 Ė 5

Cutting Room Floor: Deleted Scenes

††† Presented in 1.85:1, letterboxed, non-16x9 enhanced, with unfinished 2.0 Stereo audio, the following episodes have accompanying deleted scenes which can be accessed by choosing the scalpel under the episode:

††† Most of these scenes are pretty good and add something to the story. I can only assume they were cut out primarily for time reasons. It would have been nice, though, for those scenes to be added back in

Disc 5

††† Unless otherwise specified, all the Special Features on Disc 5 are presented in 1.85:1, letterboxed, non-16x9 enhanced, with a 2.0 Dolby Stereo soundtrack.

Documentary: Giving Drama A Face Lift (23:23)

††† A season overview looking at the show, with interviews from all the principal cast and crew.

Featurette: Realistic Expectations - The Practice Of Plastic Surgery (7:38)

††† A series of interviews with real plastic surgeons on the practice of this type of surgery in the United States.

Featurette: Are They Real Or Are They Fake? - The Miraculous Make-Up Effects of Nip/Tuck (6:19)

††† This is a look at the making of the make-up effects of the show. While fascinating, I found this ruined some of the magic of those scenes Ė but maybe Iím just one of those kids who doesnít like to know how the magic trick works.

Music Video: A Perfect Lie (2:00)

††† Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with 2.0 Dolby Stereo Ė an interesting music video for the track by Engine Room, remixed by Gabriel & Dresden for the series. Suits the show very well.

Gag Reel: Severed Parts (4:39)

††† The usual gag reel kind of stuff Ė fairly funny, but not hilarious.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

††† The R1 release looks to be substantially identical to the R4 release, however it does include:

††† Unless you have particular language requirements, I suggest buying whichever is cheapest as the 2.0 Dolby Surround track will not make an overwhelming difference.


††† Nip/Tuck is intense, dark, funny and addictive. It is also one of the better things showing on TV, although deservedly relegated to a late night timeslot where the censors donít have to be so hard on it. Take the time to check this out.

††† Video is quite good, although a touch grainy for some reason.

††† The sound is a very good 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo mix, but a 5.1 Dolby Digital remix would have been nice.

††† The extras are excellent and plentiful.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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