Building on my previous comments about season 5 Nip/Tuck, here are some more observations. As the main characters, Greater Asshole [=Dr. Christian Troy, played by Julian McMahon] and Lesser Asshole [=Dr. Sean McNamara, played by Dylan Walsh], try to set up a new plastic surgery practice in Los Angeles, they become seduced by the entertainment industry. Lesser Asshole establishes a recurring role on Hearts And Scalpels, a medical drama show, while, in one episode, Greater Asshole convinces Lesser Asshole that there should be a reality show about their lives, Plastic Fantastic. In a clever development, much of the episode, called Damien Sands, consists of the pilot of Plastic Fantastic, complete with appropriate titles and interstitials.
Despite its obsession with the entertainment industry in this season, Nip/Tuck refuses to make the most interesting leap: for the characters to realize that their lives are just as soap-operatic as the shows they are involved in. Refusing to acknowledge the meta-melodrama inherent in the situation, Nip/Tuck plays the most stereotypical plot devices — in the last ep alone, an incestuous relationship is broken up; Julia wakes up from a coma with retrograde amnesia, and Sean gets stabbed in the back by his deranged ex-agent — seriously, with solemn music underneath them. I’m supposed to feel sympathy for these characters, but I can’t because I’m all too aware how cliched the plot developments are. Therefore I get a little bored with the proceedings. By ignoring the fact that it is a high-gloss SOAP OPERA, Nip/Tuck disservices itself.