NIP/TUCK: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON
Very few television dramas produce the produce the kind of high that one gets from and episode of NIP/TUCK. The highly addictive nature of the series leaves one craving another fix of NIP/TUCK once an episode has ended. For those of you who have never checked out the popular FX series, the basic premise of NIP/TUCK follows the personal lives, the practice and exploits (not to mention patients) of two of Miami’s best cosmetic surgeons, namely Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) and Christian Troy (Julian McMahon).
Season four of NIP/TUCK begins with both surgeons going through changes in their personal lives, along with a bit of introspection that leads them through another stage of midlife and mid-career crisis. Sean and Julia (Joely Richardson) have gotten back together, although a new child isn’t the bundle of joy for which they hoped. Christian’s breakup with Kimber (Kelly Carlson) leaves him even more emotionally vacant and searching for meaning. Matt (John Hensley) has a new woman in his life, which brings him some new life choices that don’t sit well with his parents. Additionally, our two doctors find the financial rewards of selling the controlling interest in their practice comes with some unexpectedly high costs. The season four cast of NIP/TUCK also features Roma Maffia, Alanis Morrissette, Brenda Vaccaro, Brooke Shields, Catherine Deneuve, Charles Haid, Jacqueline Bisset, James Eckhouse, Jennifer Elise Cox, Jennifer Hall, Jessalyn Gilsig, Julie Warner, Kathleen Turner, Kelly Carlson, Kelsey Lynn Batelaan, Larry Hagman, Linda Klein, Mario López, Melissa Gilbert, Peter Dinklage, Rebecca Gayheart, Richard Chamberlain, Robert LaSardo, Robyn Lively, Rosie O'Donnell, Ruth Williamson, Sanaa Lathan, Thad Luckinbill and Tracy Scoggins.
NIP/TUCK: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON ($60) comes to DVD in a five-disc set that features the following fifteen episodes that were aired year four: Cindy Plumb, Blu Mondae, Monica Wilder, Shari Noble, Dawn Budge, Faith Wolper, PhD, Burt Landau, Conor McNamara, Liz Cruz, Merrill Bobolit, Conor McNamara, 2026, Diana Lubey, Reefer, Willy Ward and Gala Gallardo. As with the preceding three seasons, the themes explored season three of NIP/TUCK remain very adult in nature, plus the show is fairly graphic in its depictions of cosmetic surgery, not to mention that series also features quite a bit of adult language, drug use, strong sexual content and some nudity.
Warner Home Video has made all fifteen episodes from NIP/TUCK: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON available on DVD in a 1.78:1 widescreen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. Again, the episodes look really sweet on DVD, easily besting a SD cable broadcast. The Image is sharp and well defined. There are some mildly soft shots here and there, but generally everything looks great. Colors are well saturated and stable. Blacks are deep, whites are crisp and contrast is quite good for a television production. The film elements from which the episodes are transferred are clean; some very mild grain shows up throughout the episodes. Digital compression artifacts maintain a low profile.
All the episodes that comprise NIP/TUCK: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON come with Dolby Digital 2.0 channel soundtracks that decode to standard surround. While my preference is for 5.1, NIP/TUCK is a talky drama, so the episodes get by just fine in the matrixed format. By the nature of the sound design, most of the sound remains localized to the forward soundstage, with occasional directional effects making use of the outlying channels. Fidelity is quite good and the soundtracks produce a surprisingly robust bottom end. Dialogue is crisp and always easy to understand. No other language tracks are provided, but French and Spanish subtitles have been included.
Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard episode selection and set up features, as well as the supplements that are included with the set. Deleted scenes are scattered throughout the release and are available in the episode menu from which they were deleted. Some featurettes are also included: Cutting Edge runs nine minutes and looks at the show’s surgeries. Clever Casting spends thirteen minutes on the season four guest stars. Sizzle: The Sexuality of Nip/Tuck is a fairly self-explanatory program that runs five minutes.
Even after four seasons NIP/TUCK remains an addictive entertainment cocktail. Warner’s DVD set still bests cable and has had the commercials liposuctioned away. If you are a fan of the series, then NIP/TUCK: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON, is another collection you’ll be adding personal library. Recommended.
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