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May 04 , 2009


Television that Gets under Your Skin


Promoted as a ‘disturbingly perfect’ and ‘deeply shallow’ television drama and created by Ryan Murphy, who is also behind the teen musical show Glee, Nip/Tuck has been one of the most popular and controversial shows on cable TV. The misadventures and soap opera-esque entanglements of the lives of plastic surgeons Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) and Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) won Golden Globes and boycotts from the American Family Association. Yet, as this first full critical examination of Nip/Tuck shows, ironically the show is an examination of the American family and its many definitions, anxieties and complications of gender and sexuality, and the class issues and illusions surrounding the American dream. It is also revealed as a glorious televisual melodrama, full of Gothic tropes and contemporary sensationalism and at the same time, a deeply misanthropic satire on the American dream with a sometimes highly problematic portrayal of women and minorities. The book also features an interview with frequent Nip/Tuck director Elodie Keene and an episode guide.

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