Monday, March 14, 2011

Nip/Tuck: Lulu Grandiron (5.12)

I mentioned it two episodes ago, but this show had a huge problem with keeping some of its less useful cast members around long after they'd served their original purpose. Kimber, as strong a character as she is (or was), spent season five in a major rut, appearing infrequently and in a series of barrel-scraping storylines. Here, she is inexplicably revealed to have hooked up with slut maiden Eden, that sex tape with Aidan supposedly encouraging Ram to pick her up as a porn star. It's pretty darn ridiculous. Kimber at this point solely exists as both a titillation machine, demonstrated by that lesbian porn clip glimpsed during Eden's consultation, and a vacuum of bitchy snipes at Christian. It's disappointing that a character that was at one point so dynamic and intriguing has been reduced to stories of narrative laziness.

Eden being a porn star now is equally lazy. The show has gone so far out of its way to depict her as a dime-store Lolita that she's even more ludicrous than she was before. Her relationship with Sean (now bizarrely played straight by everyone involved) is similarly contrived, likewise Colleen's jealousy. Speaking of Colleen, it's difficult to understand her motives. Is she just in love with Sean? Or is she just desperate to further this 'successful Hollywood agent' shtick and wants to dispose of anyone in her way? Sharon Gless is still spectacularly creepy, but it doesn't cover up how ill-conceived this storyline is.

The most successful story this show has featured in what seems like forever involves Christian's dalliances with a group of Los Angeles cougars. Seemingly inspired by the various plastic, boozing, bitching 'characters' in the Real Housewives reality series and played to perfection by alumni of various '80s soaps, the story is by turns hilarious and deeply shocking. I loved Christian flinging his dick onto a dinner plate (that's a weird sentence), along with the ridiculously great soundtrack that accompanied most of the scenes in the storyline.

I pegged that Lulu's surgery was inspired by Jocelyn Wildenstein, and it's always intrigued me how somebody can end up looking like that. Presumably Jocelyn also wanted to look like a cat, an animal known for its slinkiness and sensuality. Unfortunately, they don't end up looking feline post-surgery, instead like the contents of a can of tuna after its thrown in front of a high-speed automobile. The revelation that Lulu was bipolar only helped in bringing an even darker edge to the story. Donna Mills was stunning in the part, especially with the crazed hissing at the end. Yikes.

Lulu Grandiron, like so much of this show recently, is spotty. There are certainly moments that are fun and sinister, but too much is so lazily written that it's just plain ugly to watch. Where the episode most succeeds is in exploring a notorious realm of Los Angeles society: the wining, dining divorcee socialites. If season five had spent more time on the darkness of the city itself and its noted inhabitants rather than teenage nymphomaniacs and horror movie cartoons, it may have actually been a success. B-

Guest stars Sharon Gless (Colleen Rose); Donna Mills (Lulu Grandiron); AnnaLynne McCord (Eden Lord); Leslie Grossman (Bliss Berger); John Schneider (Ram Peters); Joan Van Ark (Annette Wainwright); Shari Belafonte (Catherine Wicke); Deborah Shelton (Marla Middleton)
Writer Brad Falchuk Director Brad Falchuk

No comments:

Post a Comment