Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Nip/Tuck: Budi Sabri (5.20)

One of the biggest problems that plague soap operas is character motivation. Since so many soap operas are driven by the situation rather than the character, characters frequently have their personalities altered to service a storyline, the writers working around the character itself to fit the needs of an absurdist plot they've created. Nip/Tuck fell victim to this a lot, and it's something that has been greatly affecting this season, most notably the Christian and Liz relationship. This episode sees Christian proposing to Liz after his cancer is diagnosed as terminal, a proposal that Liz accepts. Now, I understand why the show would want to explore their long-running love/hate relationship. What I can't understand is Liz's motivation for going through with this. There's a huge difference between loving and supporting somebody through their final days and actually marrying them. It just feels ridiculous.

Equally contrived is the entire Teddy character. Why exactly is she here? Why exactly does she want to make Sean as equally wild as she claims to be? We discover certain things about Teddy next season, but this element to her character (casually dropped when Katee Sackhoff was replaced) just stinks up the joint for no reason. Don't get me wrong, the vision sequences were visually gorgeous, especially the falling leaves and Sean's mutating limbs, but this story arc is being badly mishandled. And Katee Sackhoff is just awful here, continuing her over-enunciating, throaty-voiced bad girl thing. Ugh.

There were obviously some positive things about Budi Sabri, Sabri himself a fascinating patient played with a quiet dignity by Chi Muoi Lo, but I can't help feeling that the series is becoming increasingly tired as this season goes on. Characters are doing things to serve the story rather than doing things in an effort to develop them all as people. There's little logic to most of the recent story arcs. Every show hits that point where things become choppy and forced. That fatigue, I feel, has hit Nip/Tuck. C

Guest stars Katee Sackhoff (Dr. Teddy Rowe); Chi Muoi Lo (Budi Sabri); Damien Leake (Dr. Moss); Gil Birmingham (Shaman); Mary Gordon Murray (Surgeon); Jesse Burch (Realtor)
Writer Hank Chilton Director Hank Chilton

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