Tim Stack and Gillian Flynn
September 15, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Is ”Nip/Tuck” love or loath-worthy?

Tim Stack thinks Nip/Tuck is looking good, but Gillian Flynn feels the show is past its prime and needs major work. They butt heads over season 4 of the FX drama.

In all fairness, Nip/Tuck really did go off the deep end last year, the final plunge occurring when Quentin revealed he was without genitalia. But the botched operation that was season 3 makes the drama’s latest face-lift even more refreshing. Creator Ryan Murphy has reined in his series and returned to the sexy, soapy joy of the first two seasons. The parade of all-star guests could have turned the show into The Love Boat-with-lipo, but instead the casting (including Peter Dinklage as nanny to the McNamaras’ disfigured baby) has proved genius. Most importantly, the core actors are finally being given interesting things to do, especially talented Joely Richardson — so ill-used last year with her boring spa story line. And you have to love seeing less of the McNamaras’ creepy, androgynous son Matt, which is precisely the kind of nip that Nip/Tuck was needing.

The thing that drives me mad about Nip/Tuck (a show I used to truly like) is how mean-spirited it has become. It’s one thing to create flawed characters — Rescue Me is packed with ’em. It’s another to actually wish them ill. Christian’s sole role now seems to be as a general object of disgrace (while uttering faux-randy lines Roger Moore would have rejected); Sean is slapped down for every good intention he has (his guilt-inducing fling with the young nanny seemed to be retribution for his new hybrid car — take that, righteous lefty!). But the ugliest three seconds of the season had to be the egregious shot of Brooke Shields’ smart psychiatrist confoundingly on the painful receiving end of Christian’s angry lovemaking. Why? We’ll never know. It was a moment designed only to humiliate — context or clarity be damned. How very Nip/Tuck.

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