Sunday, February 13, 2011

Nip/Tuck: Damien Sands (5.6)

It's important to note that Damien Sands does a great job at replicating an awful reality show. There's the obtrusive music that bashes you over the head with emotions ("This scene is wacky! This scene is sad!"), the shallow characterization (Horndog; Uptight Puritan; Experimental Lesbian) and the glorification of vacuous morons with an amazing lack of talent (the entire New York cameo, a guest appearance rendered entirely "who?"-worthy three years after airdate), as well as the obnoxious sound effects, ugly editing and poor attempts at a contrived 'story'. However, all of that doesn't make for a strong episode.

You can completely understand what the show was trying to do here. It's a satire of both pop culture and the embarrassing desperation to become somehow socially relevant in modern America, as well as a send-up of why we as an audience watch Nip/Tuck. It's not for an insight into plastic surgery as a medical field, but more for the salacious storylines and soapy melodrama. The depiction of this made for the best parts of the episode: the pilot to Plastic Fantastic is quickly derailed by the off-subject shenanigans of a lesbian love triangle, marital intrigue and a teen temptress.

But what hampers Damien Sands is the lack of any resonance. McNamara/Troy's latest patient is a gigolo aware of Christian moonlighting as a male escort. And? Julia is jealous over an attraction between Liz and Olivia. Huh? Nothing that happens here feels at all genuine or, most problematically, actually important. It doesn't help that everybody involved is acting so strange. Joely Richardson sleepwalks through this episode and at certain points looks close to fluffing her lines. Christian's exploits are pretty embarrassing. Sean is dumber than usual. It may have been a subtle attempt to convey how people act differently under the spotlight, but that never really worked.

Damien Sands is epitomized by Liz and Olivia's kiss. It's a plot development we never saw happen, could easily have not happened, and is never mentioned again. A vacuous moment in time with little meaning or purpose. Kind of like a reality show. D+

Guest stars Portia de Rossi (Olivia Lord); AnnaLynne McCord (Eden Lord); Tiffany 'New York' Pollard (Herself); Leslie Grossman (Bliss Berger); Ian Buchanan (Damien Sands); Steve Monroe (Gabriel Marks)
Writer Hank Chilton Director Charles Haid

No comments:

Post a Comment