"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Monday, December 10, 2007

Nip/Tuck: Carly Summers

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 me. I think they have got a good season in store.

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.
  • 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. 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 I 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.

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 I've seen before. It will be interesting to see if he continues his relationship with Carly and US Weekly.

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

  • I wonder if I'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 for an episode or two.
  • Best lines in the episode? "I feel like I'm trying to sell semen at a whore house." - Christian. 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 they will take advantage of them all.

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