*Only covers the 3rd Golden Age of Television (1999-2015)
*Only television series that I have watched (sorry, no Lost on here)
*Ratings based on four factors (1 to 10)
-Season plot arc
#19 – Nip/Tuck Season 2 – Score: 21
This used to be my shrine to all televisions seasons (I know, give me a break, I was 16). Nip/Tuck Season 2 built on everything that made the first season so memorable but this time, the drama was upped to another level.
With every episode centering around a surgery that either both or one of the surgeons had to perform, the uniqueness of the procedure was often captivating in itself. But the comedic part of Nip/Tuck was just as good. In fact the very first moment I watched this series, I found Dr. Christian Troy face down with his tongue buried in one of his many female clients as he gave her oral, only for her to sneeze and the force of her reaction was enough to break his nose! I never got tired of watching that…..Whether it was the sexy Kimber Henry (my blonde Hollywood crush for about 4 years) or the hedonistic lifestyle of Christian, the Miami life as a plastic surgeon was a constant guilty pleasure of mine. The secrets of the past kept me on edge; Matt’s hit and run, Matt’s true biological parentage, the torrid Matt/Ava affair, wait, Ava is a man saga! Plus also the near split of the McNamra/Troy partnership. Throw in the excellent episodes of Julie’s anthesia-fueled alternate timeline dream and the Rose and Raven Rosenberg surgery; which was a microcosm of the fledgling partnership of the doctors. Season 2 was never got old, not even 10 years later.
Acting Performances: 4
Overall, not as atrocious as The OC, but given what it is up against on this list not a lot of unforgettable performances either. With that said, in its best season, Julian McMahon (Christian) and Joley Richardson (Julia McNamara) really stood out. Their roles earned them each a 2005 Golden Globe nomination nod, with Joley Richardson winning for her role as Julia. She gave a layered performance by balancing the stay-at-home mom act who always held the moral high ground in the family, and then ended up being just as flawed as everyone else and showed real depth for a female lead. As for Julian, we really saw the inner soul of Christian Troy as the Miami Adonis was broken down by his lust, behavior and loyalty to everyone he cared about. And although he didn’t get nominated, Dylan Wash’s (Sean) acting in the final episodes of Season 2 deserves to be recognized as well.
Season Plot Arc: 5
The birth of The Craver. Season 2 was packed with storylines; all the above I mentioned but they all paled in comparison to the riveting initial arc of a serial killer who butchered models and left behind a bone-chilling calling card, “beauty is a curse on the world.” Sean’s decision to continue to work on these victims eventually brought him into the killers’ crosshairs. Sean and Christian had taken on a psychotic drug dealer in Season 1, but this time there killer was in the shadows, always lurking and near the end, no one was far from his reach. Not even Sean, who was attacked by the Carver as a warning. Only for the now resilient doctor to continue to openly defy him and welcomed a head-on challenge. The Carver storyline has always been a favorite of mine, and why? Well that leads to…
The Finale/Cliffhanger: 8
Cliffhanger, cliffhanger, cliffhanger! This moment really put Nip/Tuck over the top for me, more on that in a minute —- The build up to the finale moment was just as good. To this point in my television experience, the Season 2 Finale was the bench mark of all television. We had guest character Joan Rivers as herself, poking fun at her very same lifestyle. Alec Baldwin was Ava’s transgender surgeon. Sean having visions of Escobar as a subconscious reminder of the duel he brought on with the Carver. Everything was set up for a one on one; song again matters here as it was a perfect closing montage (one that they recreated in the series finale). The entire McNamara family at the dinner table, plus Christian, Art Garfunkel’s “All I Know” playing in the background as they all enjoy the meal. Everybody begins to hug Sean goodbye, the tension builds. When you expect to see Sean vs the Carver, it turns out to be…………..Christian! NOOOOOOOO. First a paralyzing shot to the neck, the Carver raises his blade, about to strike, then black……..…………Did he die? Can they kill off Christian? Watch did I just watch?!
When a finale keeps you up at night about what you just watched, that right there is pantheon moment.