Nip/Tuck-The Complete Second Season (2003)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
|Year Of Production||2003|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (5)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||
Michael M. Robin
Warner Home Video
James S. Levine
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Smoking||Yes, you name it, they take it.|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Every now and then a TV show comes along that challenges conventional norms and completely undermines conceptions about small screen storytelling. The popularity of Nip/Tuck comes from the fact that it does these very things, and therefore its success was a complete shock to the studio, used to marketing bland stories to mainstream audiences. The true test was seeing, however, whether Nip/Tuck could keep it up for another season. In this reviewer’s humble opinion, not only does it rival its origins, it surpasses them.
For those of you who know nothing about this show, it follows the interactions of two plastic surgeons, Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) and Christian Troy (Julian McMahon), and Sean’s dysfunctional family, in particular his neurotic wife Julia (Joely Richardson) and troublesome son Matt (John Hensley). Their connection is more than professional, but sometimes such closeness is not necessarily a good thing – sometimes it can even be combustive.
The following is a breakdown of how these episodes are distributed across the 5 discs of Season 2. For those of you who need a complete episode summary, you can get one at TV.com.
1. Erica Noughton (53:27) 2. Christian Troy (44:38) 3. Manya Mabika (45:08)
4. Mrs Grubman (44:26) 5. Joel Gideon (44:37) 6. Bobbi Broderick (44:48)
7. Naomi Gaines (44:38) 8. Agatha Ripp (45:46) 9. Rose and Raven Rosenberg (45:04)
10. Kimber Henry (44:32) 11. Natasha Charles (45:03) 12. Julia McNamara (45:03)
13. Oona Wentworth (44:34) 14. Trudy Nye (44:59) 15. Sean McNamara (45:32) 16. Joan Rivers (53:55)
Nothing upon nothing is sacred in this show, and for that reason it outstrips its competitors, willing to go where other shows not only fear to tread but would get ripped from the air if they ever did. Its characters are variably sex addicts, repressed emotional cripples, narcissists, liars, cheats, bullies, hypocrites, victims, and drug addicts.
And yet, even more disturbingly, their lives are far too easy to relate to in this modern world. The nuclear family is a farce and a sham in this show. Love comes in many forms, more often than not twisted. Characters are tormented by their need and desire to fit into a social fabric that, as each of them slowly discovers, is as much of a lie as the conception of a nuclear family. And when it comes to the point that the only control anyone has is over their appearance, self-mutilation becomes the key to healing psychological wounds.
Season 2 also sees the introduction of the superb Famke Janssen as a life coach, Ava, who likes to make other peoples' lives her business, literally and figuratively. Definitely a wolf in sheep’s clothing, her character is cool, cold, calculating and ever so delicious.
Delving far more into the darker side of humanity, this second season makes the first season look like a pale joke in comparison. Dark, brooding, and horrendously violent in a psychological way that makes the physical violence there is seem childish by comparison, this is amazingly hot must-see TV.
Shot and broadcast in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, High Definition, this transfer still leaves a bit to be desired.
While quite clear, there is an abundance of graininess, particularly in the background. This can get quite distracting when people move from the foreground to the background. And it also means that shadow detail gets a bit murky, even with 5000:1 contrast technology trying to compensate.
Where this transfer is a delight is in its colour saturation. This makes even some of the brightest movie transfers of late look pale by comparison, literally glowing off the screen. Extremely impressive.
The transfer also excels in terms of MPEG artefacts (none) and film to video transfer artefacts (limited to some very, very minor aliasing).
Dirt is virtually 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 tops of these discs claim that they are all dual layer discs, but I didn’t spot any dual layer pauses. Chances are, the dual layer falls in between the episodes, unlike The Sopranos where the dual layer pause comes in the middle of the second episode on each disc. I would have gladly traded a dual layer pause for a higher bit-rate transfer, however, but then, I’m a purist.
Audio, too, is far from reference, limited to an English 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo soundtrack.
While the fidelity on this track is pretty good, more indicative of a non-compressed Linear PCM track, no sound is kicked to the rears, and I only get subwoofer use because I have my crossover set down low and the two front left and right speakers cross-wired with the sub-woofer for extra punch. When I unwire all of this stuff, subwoofer use is non-existent, and sound is completely generated by the front right and left speakers.
Certainly, dialogue is nicely balanced when you sit in the middle of the two speakers, and I had no difficulty understanding what was being said.
There are some good left-right directional cues, but nothing from the rears.
There is no subwoofer output when everything is wired up normally, but the bass from the front left and right is enough to rattle my light fittings.
|Surround Channel Use|
The main menus are presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. They show several of the more brutal cuts from the series, a few graphic surgeries, but nothing that really gives anything away. The main menus have a 2.0 Dolby Stereo audio track, but it’s much thinner than that mastered for the episodes. The other menus are static and silent.
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 vastly superior to the R4 release, as it includes:
I’ve also read some very good things about the R1 video transfer. All in all, I think we got shafted. Go with the R1 version.
Nip/Tuck: The Complete Second Season is full on. If the first season was too hard for you, don’t come near the second because it is truly blistering. One of the best shows to come to TV in the last decade.
Video is good, although still too grainy for a show with a readily available HD source to make a transfer from.
The sound is a respectable stereo mix, but this show is definitely worthy of a 5.1 Dolby Digital remix.
The complete lack of extras is perplexing, but, again, if they were omitted to get a superbit video image on the disc I wouldn’t have minded so much. Sadly...
|DVD||Momitsu V880N Deluxe, using DVI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-HS50 LCD Cineza Projector with HP 80" Widescreen (16:9) HDTV Mobile Projector Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Digital Accoustics Emerald 703G - Centre, Front Left & Right, Rear Left & Right Satellites, Subwoofer|