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Reality Check

EW slices up the gore of plastic surgery on TV -- ''Extreme Makeover'' and ''Nip/Tuck'' are downright gross

EW slices up the gore of plastic surgery on TV

Who needs the rerelease of ''Scarface'' when TV offers terrifying versions of its own? Between ABC's ''Extreme Makeover'' and FX's plastic-surgery drama ''Nip/Tuck,'' television is awash in cutting-edge gore. Entertainment Weekly went under the knife to compare a faux face-off with the real thing.

EXTREME MAKEOVER

PATIENT Peggy, a CSI detective who doesn't want to look old
PLASTIC SURGEON Dr. Jon A. Perlman
MOST GRAPHIC MOMENT Peggy's stomach fat is injected near her hairline to help raise her eyebrows.
SAY HELLO TO MY LIL' FRIEND Perlman uses a special adhesive to glue Peggy's skin back together after surgery.
PROGNOSIS ''A lovely person,'' boasts Perlman.
GORE FACTOR (out of five)[2 bandaids]

NIP/TUCK

PATIENT Silvio, a child molester who doesn't want to get caught
PLASTIC SURGEONS Actors Julian McMahon and Dylan Walsh (with help from effects gurus Tom and Bari Burman)
MOST GRAPHIC MOMENT Dr. McNamara (Walsh) hammers Silvio's nose to break the bone.
SAY HELLO TO MY LIL' FRIEND McNamara's scalpel dispenses fake blood when a deep ''cut'' is made. Prognosis ''If this were real, he'd look like a monster,'' admits Tom.
GORE FACTOR [5 bandaids]

Originally posted Oct 24, 2003 Published in issue #734 Oct 24, 2003 Order article reprints
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