Oh crappy television, how I’ve missed thee! After a long summer struggling to recap quality, well-written, strongly acted shows, Entourage and Rescue Me, I’m all but saved by the return of Nip/Tuck. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of this show – but like so many fans, I believe, I feel that there is a line drawn in the sand: Pre-Carver Nip/Tuck and Post-Carver Nip/Tuck. Seasons 1 & 2, while not short on over-the-top antics, brought the drama, the satire and the shock value, making the show true guilt pleasure, light on the guilty. And then came the Carver. The Carver was a serial rapist who gave his victims a permanent knife-carved smile to remember him by, who ended up being the one character eveyone guessed it was: New Doctor in Town, the penis-less wonder, Quentin Costa. During season 3, this show went from buzz-worthy to buzz-kill so fast that it would’ve made Cousin Oliver, Milo Rambaldi and Betty Applewhite’s heads spin. Season 3 was such a mess in fact, that before I joined the ‘gasm, I swore that I wouldn’t even give the show a chance this season. It’s like trying to get back into a relationship that was really great after your girlfriend has cheated on you. You’re making out, all is forgiven, rounding second, heading for third and BAM, you see a vision of the guy she screwed behind your back. Or in this case, The Carver. Some memories, like incest prone Quentin or Matt getting peed on, are just too hard to forget. However, in this post-TVgasm chapter of Umnata’s life, and through the urging of many in the forums, I’ve decided to stick with Nip/Tuck for the season, and either regale it for its creative comeback or shred it for continuing it’s insipid, mind numbing lameness. So far it’s looking 75/25 in favor of Team Lame. Find out why, after the jump.Season 4 kicks off with his & hers face lifts to celebrate some old couples anniversary. It’s sweet in a demented sort of way. Christian somewhat echoes my thought that if this is the state of relationships, then he’ll stay single. Sean, on the other hand, thinks its sweet, because Sean is a total ass. By, the way, I guess this is as good a time as any, to mention that I hate almost every character on this show, and not in a good way, like I hate Tommy Gavin on Rescue Me or Ari Gold on Entourage. So why am I watching and more importantly, recapping this show? Because much like a car wreck or Tom Cruise’s career, it’s so horrible I just can’t look away. Christian is done with his surgery – I always assumed he was a two-pump chump – so Sean calls him over to help him with his half. Rumor has it that there are going to be many gay undertones to this season, which makes sense of the Gay Bar Soundtrack that plays through most of the episode. Sean hands Christian a gold scalpel: Surprise 5,000th surgery present! Is that the appropriate gift for a thousandth surgery? I thought 2,500th tit job was the gold scalpel anniversary. I think when I write my 5,000th recap, B-Side & J-Unit send me loose leaf binder, which is pretty sweet.
Sean and Christian go out celebrating with a manly glass of champagne. Sean suggests they take this party back to his place… for family dinner. Christian says that the only thing he wants for dinner is a piece of hair pie, which is the wrong euphemism, since I’m going to assume that the chicks Christian beds are as smooth as a baby seal. Then again, baby seal pie, just doesn’t sound all that enticing. Neither does hair pie now that I think about it. The only hair pie Sean wants to a la mode is Julia’s however. Regardless, of what hair pie is getting crusted, Sean mentions to Christian that they need to spend some alone time soon to discuss their ten year plan. That’s what Julia and he did when they got back together – so now that he’s tested it on his fake wife, Sean wants to try it with his real honey, Christian. Sean and Julia are tighter than they’ve ever been, but since she’s pregnant that tightness should be gone after she gives birth. Oh, wrong… wait… they were speaking metaphorically. I guess all that hair pie talk went to my head. Sean recognizes that Christian is having trouble getting close to someone again since Kimber and he broke up last season. You see Kimber, Christian’s crazy ex-fiancée, was kidnapped by the Carver last season and terrorized for weeks, as the Carver undid every surgery that Kimber had don’t to her to make her such a hot piece of ass. This led to the shattering of Christian’s icy heart, since she could no longer bear to be with him. Depsite her crazyness, Kimber is probably my favorite character on the show, and not only because she’s so hot that I’m worried she’ll singe me if I don’t apply lotion every time she’s on screen (OKAY, FINE. That’s not the only reason I’m putting lotion on…), but she’s also just kind of sweet.
Luckily for Christian, two lovely ladies head over to them at the bar that he plans on getting VERY close with. Christian mistakes them for sisters, and uses the ultimate panty annihilator: “We’re doctors.” Christian is quickly corrected, however – they’re not sisters, at all they are a mother-daughter combo. Upon closer examination you can tell the mother half of the combo, has spent quite a bit of time at one of McNamara/Troy’s rival surgeons, because she seems to have an entire body and face made of plastic and botchulism. Sean rejects their offer of fun, to go home and have sex with his pregnant ex-wife, leaving the Christian and Joyce & Sherry McBride to their own devices.
As Now! That’s What I Call Disco! Spins “Love Is In The Air”, Sean is grooming and pumping himself up (no, not literally) in the bathroom mirror. Seriously, has a television show ever been anchored by a worse actor than Dylan Walsh? He’s just so flat and unappealing, with only two palpable emotions: Righteous indignation and sorrow. Please leave suggestions for worst television show leads in the comments. Meanwhile, Christian is at his place raiding his treasure chest of condoms. He grabs a huge stack and throws them on the bed where the McBrides are laying. YAY! It’s raining, safe, promiscuous, incest! It’s also nice to set the tone of the season so early in the season. Already a mother-daughter bang and a shot of Christian’s ass. Great.
As we flip flop between Christian going down on the daughter and Sean on Julia’s pregnant belly, the advantage immediately goes to Christian, who is having a much better time with the Joyce & Sherry than, Sean is with Julia. It’s actually nice to see Julia and Sean in a funny light, as they are trying all different positions – apparently Sean’s manhood can’t find a place to rest with Julia bulging belly in the way. After giving doggy style a whirl, the two of them gratefully stop trying, because Julia’s getting gassy. Wait, that’s not a turn on? Christian finishes atop the mother, Joyce, and watching them come is like watching the winners in a best “O” face competition.
But even though Christian just fulfilled a fantasy that seas of ink has been wasted throughout Penthouse forum’s history and Sean is in a loving, meaningful relationship, they are still oh, so sad. I half expect each of them to head to their respective windows, stare out into the night sky and start singing “Somewhere Out There”.
The next day at McNamara/Troy, we hear the first “Tell us what you don’t like about yourself” of the season. On the receiving end is Larry Hagman – that’s JR Ewing to the five of you who are over the age of 40 – who wants a new set of balls. Hagman is playing a guy named Landau, an older man with a hot young wife, played by the delightful Sanaa Lathan, who is a talented actress, but to me will always be the lead of Alien vs. Predator, which is so unfortunate. Landau is recovering from Prostate cancer, the treatment for which eradicated his balls, thus leaving him with mini-sized transplants he wants replaced with big honking ones. “My balls are no longer proportionate to my wang,” he says in the best reasoning for a surgery in this show’s history. You see, poor Landau, equates his manhood with the size of his balls, according to him he used to “eat pet stores and shit out circuses.” I don’t know what that means, but I don’t think I’d argue with a man who said it. Sanaa is sweet enough not to care about the size of his balls – she just doesn’t want him to go through another surgery. Christian obviously wants to bang Sanaa, so he starts asking questions about her sex life with her husband.
Julia, who has recovered from Sean’s attempts to stab her and her unborn child with his penis, is at an ultrasound where something. Is. Wrong. With. The. Baby. NO WAY!?!?! I thought things would be smooth sailing for these two. Boy oh boy, does this show like to throw curveballs at you. Even more annoying, is that the doctor speaks to Julia about it only the most abstract terms, like, “You knew THIS was a possibility” and “You should talk to people who have lived with THIS.” Pretty much everything in the book, except: “I’m sorry, our worst fears have come true!” Bottom line, something’s wrong with Julia & Sean’s baby and they aren’t telling us just yet. Snore.
At Christian’s den of metrosexuality, his fake tan, waxed eyebrows and shaved chest are in full glory for the mother-daughter duo. I think we should lock Christian, Ryan Seacrest and Jesse Metcalf in a room together with only one tube of spray on tan and gel, just to see who makes it out alive. The mother even tells Christian that his apartment doesn’t look very Metro; it looks like it has been completely Queer Eyed. At this point I start suggesting a drinking game for the season. I tried this last year with Gaydrew on Desperate Housewives, but I think it’ll work even better here: Every time three is an allusion to homosexual undertones on this show, let’s take a drink. Whatever you’d like, a shot, a swig of beer, a sip of wine or a 7&7 with 8 Maraschino cherries, sugar on the rim blended if you can. That’s for you Office fans out there!
The daughter, Sherry, comes up for air, after Christian complains about her use of teeth. Don’t worry Mommy will take it from here. She’s been sucking cock since just before the Crucifixion, so she knows what she’s doing down there. The young lass tries to give Christian a kiss on the mouth, but Christian shies away. No biggie – who likes to taste their own twig & berries, anyway? Sherry then goes on to realize that Christian wouldn’t kiss her the other night either, pre or post-pole smoke. You know why? Because he thinks they are whores, not worth a kiss. Oh my God, Christian is really Vivien from Pretty Woman. First drink of the night!
Joyce is shocked:”Our tongues are good enough to be in your ass, but not your mouth.” Christian likes his salad tossed! Drink! This whole scene, shocker!, spirals out of control quickly with Mommy & Baby McBride quickly dissembling Christian’s whole life, while defending their own. They’re not whores (err, the difference between you two and a whore is about, what? $50.00), and they might not be perfect but at least they have each other. Christian has no one, he’s going to die alone, etc. etc. etc. Do you think creator Ryan Murphy just peruses old scripts and pulls lines out verbatim at this point? This is DEFINITELY not the first time we’ve heard that one before.
Next we get the family bonding dinner that Sean proposed earlier. Julia is in the kitchen making dinner with Christian and Annie, Sean and Julia’s daughter, who has miraculously reappeared from the land of the lost younger sibling. At least she didn’t end up in porn like poor, misguided, discarded Judy Winslow. Christian tells Julia that she looks beautiful, and they share a longing glance and I just want to put my head through the television set. Didn’t we settle this whole Julia and Christian thing LAST season at his almost-wedding to Kimber? Remember, she kissed him as his wedding present, so he could let her go, blah, blah, blah. I hate you Ryan Murphy! I hate you! (P.S. – Running with Scissors, however, looks fab. Thanks.) Sean asks where Matt is, and luckily for my eyes he’s hiding out in the garage. I actually, don’t loathe Matt as much as the other characters on this show. While I feel like a lot of the things that they try to make work (Julia/Christian/Sean, anything having to do with Liz, etc.) don’t always turn out as well in actuality as they would in theory, Matt as a truly screwed up kid works for me. I mean, his first girlfriend hated his uncircumcised penis and turned out to be a lesbian, his best friend raped the girl that Matt his with his car, he had sex with a woman pretending to be a man, and found out his father was really his dad’s best friend. So let’s not judge him for aiding and abetting the murder of his white supremacist girlfriend’s crazy father and beating up Trannies. Not to mention that off-screen he dates his onscreen mother (yes, Matt and Julia, doin’ it, doin’ it, phone doin’ it IRL), which isn’t as cute as say onscreen siblings, Bright and Amy from Everwood dating. The kids got issues, mostly as a result of his parents and Christian, and I can really respect him for that. All that being said, he looks like the bastard love child of Hello Kitty and Michael Jackson and it freaks me the fuck out. Sean wants to go get Matt from the garage, but Christian chimes in against it, and the moment gets awkward, because, you know, Matt is Christian’s son, after all. By the way, the culmination of that plot point in season two was the height of this show. It was a great, albeit soapy, twist. The show has gone steadily downhill ever since.
To assuage Sean, Julia sends him into the other room with Annie, to practice lines for Puss in Boots, the dirtiest children’s story of all time. Christian is staring at the loving connection between Sean and his daughter, feeling a sense of jealousy. He’s never connected with anyone like that. Boo-fing-Hoo.
This revelation leads Christian to therapy, which may be the definition of too little too late. On the plus side, his therapist his Brooke Shields, who I think is great, especially in a role like this, where it’s a lot of stern dominance. I’m distracted, though, by thoughts of Brooke and not her character. You think she cried when Andre Agassi retired? Do you think she laughed when Tom Cruise got the boot from Paramount? What does she think about Kathy Griffin and the D-List? So many questions!
In preparation for this scene I grab a couple of beers. Dr. Shields starts to comment that Christian’s life is pretty good, tons of money, tons of pussy. Why look for help now? Christian makes a surprisingly insightful (self-reflection = totally gay. DRINK!) leap, by saying that he celebrated his 5,000th surgery the same way he celebrated his 1st surgery 15 years ago: With a hot threesome. Weird. That’s the way I celebrated my first recap. Dr. Shields asks about Christian’s loving adult relationships of which there were exactly two: Julia and Kimber. Dr. Shields asks about how Christian makes love, and as the gentleman he is, offers to demonstrate for her. Christian is immediately denied- Dr. Shields is so doped up on Post-Partum pills that she can’t feel anything, including Christian’s sexuality. She wants to know about how he climaxes and what positions he likes. Before this gets to SKINEMAX, she explains that a face-to-face connection implies intimacy and vulnerability. I don’t see why. I feel a connection to all the girls I have sex with, and most of the time they aren’t even in the same room as me. Christian has had enough of this – he wants to pay Dr. Shields and leave. Dr. Shields calls him out on being afraid to take a good hard look at his own life. WRONGO SISTER! Christian has someone who makes him look at his own life really closely: Sean. Drink. He’s got the brown hair of a Greek god, dark soulful eyes, and the kindest gentlest touch in the world. Drink – okay, I made that up, but that’s what Christian was thinking. Even Dr. Shields thinks so, when she proposes the theory that perhaps Christian is in love with Sean. DRINK! DRINK! DRINK!
Sean is in the office checking out testicle sizes for the surgery. Christian moves quickly by the office, but Sean calls him in there to inspect his balls. DRINK. If you’re not wasted by the end of this scene, you might have a serious alcohol problem. Balls. Drink. Is this the size of yours? DRINK. Don’t want to talk about your nuts. DRINK. Somewhere in between all the foreshadowing, Sean mentions some statistics to Christian – over the past 15 years 70% of their cases have been cosmetic and 30% have been reconstructive. Over the next ten years Sean wants to flip those numbers, but Christian isn’t so sure. He just likes doing tit jobs. Denial – DRINK TWICE.
Sean’s next patient meeting is with Cindy Plum, who according to her tagline can make you cum. It’s the saddest sight to see Kathleen Turner, playing a woman who has destroyed herself through too much booze and other vices. The veil between Cindy and Kathleen is so thin, that it makes me quite depressed that one of my first five crushes ever was Kathleen Turner circa Romancing the Stone. When I got older and discovered, amongst other things, Body Heat, it just sort of sealed the deal. But how exactly do you go from this:
Regardless, Cindy is a phone sex operator whose voice has completely been destroyed. She needs a voice lift to be able to keep her business going. There is a whole story in there about her divorce, and her transformation from depressed and lonely phone sex caller to phone sex goddess. Kind of like Serial Mom, but instead of scissors, a vibrator. As usual, Sean has his doubts about performing the risky surgery, but Cindy’s sob story convinces him. Have the guys ever said no to a surgery? Oh yeah. Nanette Babcock, who blew her brains out. I guess that’s a good motivator to yes people to death, even if it’s not medically prudent.
Sean is about to start Cindy’s surgery, in record time it seems, but Christian is MIA. They call him up on the “bat phone”, but he’s busy. He lies to Sean about getting his teeth bleached, when in reality is degayifying his apartment. DRINK. As a matter of fact the new designer uses the term “butch the place up,” which is almost oxymoronic.
Julia is having lunch with a mystery woman, who it seems is half frog. You see she has no hands, well, no she does have hands, only they are more like mitts or something. The woman suffers from Electrodacolytes (misspelling, I know, but I can’t find the right spelling of this disease, please e-mail me information here, because although I don’t need information to mock something, it helps). This is the mystery condition that Julia and Sean’s unborn son has. The woman is very well put together despite her illness, although I think I would’ve cast an actress whose face looked less amphibious when dealing with this disease. She’s pretty, well dressed, with a great career. Sure, she catches flies with her tongues, but she’s one hell of a swimmer. This inspires Julia to tell Sean, and make her final decision to have this baby, warts and all. Two years ago, I would’ve applauded this crazy, sick twist. That’s a really great curveball, giving their child this one in a million condition. Now it just plays a little over the top. Or am I being too hard?
Sean passive aggressively greets Christian as they are prepping for surgery. Sean is washing up, but his soap is out, so he cuddles up next to Christian in his sink. DRINK. Christian is so uncomfortable (DRINK) that he tells Sean he should do this surgery by himself. Cribbing a line from Uncle Scrooge, Christian suggests they start working smarter, not harder.
Liz (DRINK) has Landau’s balls for the surgery, which is the first time she’s holding a pair that we’re strapped on. I despise Liz most of all. With her high-moral ground and preaching; she’s just so clearly a “character” that it drives me insane. Sanaa wants to watch the new balls get implanted into Col. Sanders, and although Christian tries to dissuade her, he eventually gives in to the sexual tension. In fact, they go so far as to have surgery sex, with her watching Christian’s every, practically staining her panties in the process.
After the surgery, Landau is out cold, and Christian asks Sanaa to dinner and a bang. Sanaa says that they should just have sex in the bed next to her husband, which Christian is all for. Sanaa, of course is kidding. She’d never cheat on her husband, and if Christian can’t understand their relationship, that’s his own problem.
She might not be willing to screw Christian, but she is willing to purchase him at a very generous rate. Sanaa and Landau make an offer on McNamara/Troy, that Christian is very pleased with, but Sean, of course, says no. They aren’t for sale, even though this will still leave them with a cut of the business and lessen their hours. Just wait until you find out that you’re having a half boy/half Frogger son, you’re tune will change rather quickly, methinks. Sean doesn’t think the business is a burden, he thinks of it as Christian and his child. DRINK!!!!
Back at home, Julia is crying, which she does very often (and, in her defense, very well). She tells Sean there is something wrong. He asks if they lost the baby, and when he sees that isn’t the case, he immediately asks if it’s Christian’s. It’s the best moment of the episode, showing us that small, nagging feeling that will always come between him and Julia. If only, the episode had a few more of those. Julia tells Sean about the baby’s condition, and of course, he flips out because she didn’t tell him about the possibility sooner. Could we try, every once in a while, having Sean do something that isn’t so predicable? Julia tells Sean that he doesn’t have to stay with her, they aren’t married, and he has not legal binds to her. She’s selling her shares in the spa (remember that?) and will be able to be a full-time mom. But Sean isn’t going anywhere, in the immortal words of the Pussycat Dolls he’s going to “Stick Wit U.”
Sean heads over to Christian’s apartment which is all redone by the same people who designed that house in Beetlejuice. He’s definitely straight now, because everything is very… oh wait, there’s a penis statue in the corner and a zebra rug on the floor. DRINK. Sean, worried more about his future son’s need to get kissed by a princess then he is about drinking and driving, has also been playing the drinky-drink game all the way to Christian’s house. Sean tells Christian to sell the business; he’s going to need to be home more often to be able to tend for his handicapped son. Sean’s really torn up. His innocent baby boy got struck by “a one in a million lightening bolt” and the kind that turns you into a frog-boy, not thje lead wizard of a franchise. Christian starts to console Sean, but Sean doesn’t want his pity. Christian got the perfect son. Who? Matt? The psychopath that the three of you have destroyed? Wow, if the bar is set that low, maybe frog-boy’s got a shot, or even, Annie. Christian asks Sean if it was earlier, if he’d have wanted Julia to have an abortion, and he says yes, another nice moment, showing a very ugly side of Sean, as he calls his own son a freak. Sean starts crying, and Christian pulls him close tenderly (DRINK) and Sean cries in his manly arms (DRINK), until they let go of one another and stare tentatively in each other’s eyes (DRINK).
YOU LET GO FIRST
NO YOU LET GO FIRST
The next scene massively pissed me off. We see the interior of Dr. Faith Wolper nee Dr. Shield’s lobby with SexyBack sounds coming from inside her office. Of course, this strong, smart, beautiful, sophisticated, medically trained PSYCHIATRIST is taking it doggy style from Christian. Okay, we get it. Christian is hot. Women love him. Sure, whatever. But, even the shrink? Really? After she made such a big deal of the power position sex from behind embodies. I just don’t buy it. I don’t think she would have sex with him and I certainly don’t think she’d allow him to “degrade” her like that. Wouldn’t it have been more interesting if, say, she continued to show dominance and NOT have sex with Christian? Yes, I obviously understand, that Christian is taking out his frustrations on her for implanting the idea that he’s in love with Sean, but this just all rings false to me. Just for my own frustrations: DRINK!
Next we see the guys signing their papers in the sale of McNamara/Troy. Then since Sanaa is looking at Christian, I’m assuming that she’s going to display her female dominance, by sucking off Christian sometime in the next 4 episodes. People call Rescue Me misogynistic!?!?
Again, Sean is a big annoying sack of misery and can’t sleep, so he gets out of bed, into his workout room and calls Cindy Plum, so she can help him cum. Gross. Meanwhile, Christian gets hit on and totally denies the hot chick, because he’s gay now. DRINK!
Alright, alright, I know I was kind of rough on this first episode. Maybe it would’ve been better if I didn’t have the bitter aftertaste of last season in my mouth. And, unlike say the Probie gay storyline that I’ve been deriding in my recaps all Rescue Me all summer (for the 6 of you who have been reading them), this Christian/Sean lovers plot they are exploring, is interesting, and dare I say it, seems like the natural progression of their relationship. Christian’s always been a bit of a dandy, if you ask me, and it would be kind of daring of the show to make their two lead same sex characters fall in love, four seasons into the show. Granted, that would never happen, but it’s interesting that they are even entertaining that. Let’s see what the rest of the season brings…