340 meters per second

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Friday, September 23, 2005

Something's rotten in the state of Florida.

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.

- William Shakespeare, "Macbeth" (IV, i, 44-45)

So Nip/Tuck is back and we're pumped. Like crystal meth, this show looks clean and sparkly but is made of some very, very dirty stuff.

When asked, I'm hard-pressed to identify exactly why I like this show so much. Mainly, it's the characters: while they're sketched a little broadly at times, they still come off as plausible. Even with all the melodrama and operatic dialogue, the McNamara family, Christian, Liz and even Kimber all come across as three-dimensional individuals with complex motivations. I admire a show that doesn't give the audience a single completely likable character: Sean has an admirable altruistic streak and seems to genuinely want to help his patients; he's also wildly narcissistic, an absentee father and a lousy husband. Christian may be a manipulative, philandering lech but the same keen eye for human nature which allows him to seduce women also gives him a particularly lucid kind of empathy. Julia possesses tremendous strength of character, yet often seems adrift and purposeless. Even Kimber, who seems at first to be vain and unimaginative, demonstrates a finely-tuned tactical sensibility and surprising emotional depth.

I enjoy watching these characters feint and parry their way through the sick little games they create for themselves. In fact, if you look purely at subject matter -- and ignore historical context -- Nip/Tuck is positively Shakespearean in tone and content: sex, blood, perversity and profoundly dysfunctional families tearing themselves apart. Bring it.

* * *

On Monday, Pacanukeha posted a bunch of links to cool shit. They're all worth your time, but yo -- mad whuffies to the guy who wrote this version of "The Aristocrats." It's brilliant on so many levels, I can't even begin to get into it.

The Color Code is also incredibly cool (even if it is misspelled).


  • At 11:31 p.m., Blogger Candis said…

    Aside from being slick and having a great soundtrack, I always get sucked in by how the show deals - or doesn't deal - with issues. It's politics seem to be as elusive as it's characters; always leaving a bad taste in my mouth. I wonder maybe if the reason I get transfixed is because I'm always hoping that they'll go that next step, make an issue that much more complex, and actually see it through instead of nip/tucking it for plot progression and standard issue liberal/moral pedagogy. Wouldn't it have been more interesting, for instance, if Christian HAD contracted HIV, and had to live with it in all his slutty self-consumption - instead of killing the character who did, punishing her for essentially the same lifestyle he boasts?

    The women in this show are also deeply troubling - and troubled, for that matter - and they never get to play out their complexities. Kimber is a remarkably successful entrepreneur and a savvy manipulator (and seer) in her own right (and I would consider her as narcissistic as Christian is vain); Julia has the weight of age and historical circumstances and motherhood - working in conjunction with a big brain...all of which turn her into "purposelessness."

    So I continue to watch. and wait. and hope...that slick can become smart, too...


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