TV Review: 'Nip/Tuck' Season Five
The end of season three and the start of season four was one of those points. The wrapup of the Carver story and the heavy drama early last season kept me away until toward the end of season four. By then, though, the series seemed to have found itself again by refocusing on its two leads, Sean McNamara (
Those two developments continue with the start of the show's fifth season, which kicks off at 10 p.m. ET Tuesday on
Fortunately for them, their nightclub shenanigans bring them into contact with a powerful publicist (guest star
The show-within-the-show, run by harried producer Freddy Prune (Oliver Platt), contains some of the funniest moments on the show in a long time, as Murphy gleefully mocks the worst tendencies of his own show, other medical dramas and the business in general. Bradley Cooper, as the show's egomaniacal star, and Paula Marshall, his classically trained and deeply insecure co-star, will be semi-regulars along with Platt, and they all do a fine job of playing the joke perfectly straight.
Murphy has a little more on its mind, though, than just poking fun at the raging ids of
The show's facility with guest stars also gets a fresh jolt from the change in location. Daphne Zuniga, who guests in Tuesday's premiere, and Marshall each have roles that probe what it means to be an actress who's not the newest, youngest thing in town. It's occasionally pretty harsh stuff, but it's effective too.
What remains to be seen is how Murphy will get the rest of his regulars to the West Coast. John Hensley's Matt is heard but not seen, and Joely Richardson's Julia appears in episode two, but it's hardly clear whether she'll be sticking around. If Murphy and Co. manage to pull it off without the action seeming too contrived, it will be something of a feat.
It's not a stretch, though, to say that "Nip/Tuck" has been reinvigorated by the new location. The actors are relishing the change of scenery and all that it brings, and Murphy himself seems more engaged as well. It might even be enough to make this season's drop-in last a little while longer.