Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nip/Tuck: Liz Cruz (4.9)

Nip/Tuck in its later years was never averse to entirely retconning the personalities of its protagonists to fit a particular storyline. Hell, it seems to be a trademark of Ryan Murphy and Co., his one major flaw as a writer. I guess it's a soap tradition. The crazy situations are the main area of importance, and characters are obviously secondary. It's disappointing, but it begins to affect this show around this episode. Liz's decision to undergo plastic surgery to become, in her new girlfriend's eyes, 'a more physically attractive woman' was ridiculous, and the show didn't grant Roma Maffia the emotionally-driven material the story needed to work.

While it's always great to see Liz driving an episode, it's unfortunate that the scenario here was so dumb. Alanis Morissette, an artist of immense talent, was pretty great in the ultimately underwritten role of Poppy, and I guess it was welcome seeing Liz in a relationship. Unfortunately, Poppy is a one-note physical terrorist and emotional harpy. Ugh. I know everybody in this show is doomed to live out awful relationships with psychopaths, murderers and plainly awful people, but it's still a little disappointing when somebody who puts out so much positivity in the world (and is the sole voice of reason on the whole show) gets stuck with such a nightmare of a girlfriend.

I know it's an unpopular opinion, but I continue to like the Marlowe and Julia arc. It's an interesting plot from the purely obvious angle of exploring a relationship between an ordinary-heighted woman and a little person (trying to be P.C. here, folks), but it also carries some decent weight to it which makes it believable. You can completely understand Julia's attraction to him. Marlowe is a calming, sympathetic presence, and the two of them seem to connect on a level that Sean just can't reach.

Less successful is the inconsistent Michelle character. The writers continue to be unsure of which route to take her down, leaving her an oddly flat presence in the series. Sanaa Lathan is trying her damned hardest, but you can see the cracks appearing in her performance. No matter how uneasy Burt's actions were, it just doesn't justify Michelle letting him crawl on the floor to his death. Are we supposed to like her? Are we supposed to accept that she's just deeply flawed? It's just too up in the air right now, and it's dragging the whole show down. Jacqueline Bisset continues to rock, and her rapport with Christian is hilarious ("Eau de French cooch", the bodily waste in her car), but it feels wasted on such an inconsistent plot. C+

Guest stars Jacqueline Bisset (James); Peter Dinklage (Marlowe Sawyer); Alanis Morissette (Poppy); Sanaa Lathan (Michelle Landau); Kate McGregor-Stewart (Frances); Jack Yang (Chiyo); Larry Hagman (Burt Landau)
Writers Lyn Greene, Richard Levine Director Richard Levine

1 comment:

  1. I really like this review! You hit so many points straight on!

    The apartment scene between James and Christian gave me chills, but I could not stop laughing at the carpark one.