It's great to see that the glossy trash of the night-time soap — popularised in the 1970s and 80s by Dynasty and Dallas — can still be found on TV in the form of "raunchy" glamour-soap Nip/Tuck. Well, unless you live in the UK, where Channel 4 hasn't managed to screen past season 2. But no matter — the DVD box set comes to the rescue, which is how many of us get most of our TV these days (especially those of us who like to keep up with the quality shows from the US, such as The Wire and Curb Your Enthusiasm).
Anyway, back to Nip/Tuck. I watched a few episodes of the first season, but to be honest it didn't qualify for my "must see" list — I found it a little bit too dry, and McMahon's wooden acting left me with splinters. Now here we are at season 4, and while McMahon is still as wooden as a forest full of trees, the storylines are now so over the top that the show is actually fun to watch. Take some of these, all from season 4: there's a criminal gang in town that drugs people and steals their kidneys; Christian (McMahon) suspects he may be gay and in love with his business partner, Sean (Walsh); Sean's son Matt (Hensley) is coerced by Kimber (Carlson) into joining that loony Scientologist cult; Kimber, who has shagged both Christan and Sean, shags Matt, bagging the trifecta; Matt and Kimber secretly wed; Julia (Richardson) and Sean's new baby turns out to be disabled; Sean shags the potential new nanny; Julia shags the male nanny they hire instead (who's a midget); Christian and Sean sell the business; and Christian shags their new owner/boss, and later proposes to her. See? Pure soap.
Then there are the surgeries: guest star Larry Hagman wants new testicles the size of kiwi fruit; a woman needs a new nipple after hers was bitten off by her dog — during sex; and an ageing ventriloquist wants to look more like his dummy; and lots, lots more. All good fun. Not good clean fun, but fairly tame for what's billed as "the raunchiest show in TV". Raunchy yes, but there's never a hint of nipple (they are always discreetly hidden away) and the only bare arse on show is McMahon's. But I have to admit to enjoying much of the series, which has an impressive rota of guest stars — Brooke Shields, Jacqueline Bisset, Kathleen Turner, Rosie O'Donnell, Richard Chamberlain, Alanis Morissette, Melissa Gilbert, Brenda Vaccaro and Catherine Deneuve. Will I be tuning in for season 5? Ummm ... maybe.
EXTRAS *** Cutting Room Floor (aka deleted scenes) for many of the episodes; a featurette on the guest casting for the season; a featurette called Sizzle: The Sexuality of Nip/Tuck (where they fail to explain the lack of nipples for such an allegely "raunchy" show); a featurette called The Cutting Edge, which looks behind the scenes at the surgeries; and a gag reel, which disappointingly only has bloopers from McMahon.