WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
The FX network’s sleazy plastic surgeon drama Nip/Tuck
(Tuesdays, 10:00 p.m.) revels in showing the most extreme violent and sexual
content on basic cable. Nothing on Nip/Tuck has topped the bloody
self-mutilation that was shown on the January 27th episode, in which
a woman hacked off her own breast with a carving knife; but while the February 3rd
episode lacked such violence, it did contain enough disgusting and gratuitous
sex to be named Worst Cable TV Show of the Week.
The episode’s major focus is the abortive romantic
relationship between former leasbian Liz and the sex-crazed, narcissistic
Christian. Replete with multiple explicit references to oral sex and graphic
scenes showing Christian copulating with an endless stream of one-night stands,
the program relentlessly bombards viewers with sex, sex and more sex.
Ultimately, Liz breaks up with Christian and quits her job as the firm’s
Even more sickening, however, is the episode’s disturbing,
ripped-from-the-headlines subplot. In it, a young man seeks plastic surgery to
look closer in age to his much older wife. As the couple’s story emerges, the
viewer learns that the two first met when she was his second-grade teacher.
Later, she taught him again in the seventh grade and sexually molested him.
After serving time for statutory rape, the former teacher immediately married
the boy once he turned eighteen. The subsequent plastic surgery successfully
makes the young husband look older; but the episode ends with the husband
catching his wife in bed with his thirteen-year-old brother. At a time when
dozens of real-life female teachers have engaged in similar behavior, it is the
very height of irresponsibility for television to treat such a subject in so
cavalier a fashion. But then, what show besides Nip/Tuck would treat
child sex molestation as a wacky, humorous subplot?
For treating child abuse as a joke – and forcing every cable
and satellite subscriber to pay for it – FX’s Nip/Tuck is the Worst
Cable TV Show of the Week.