The boys from “Nip/Tuck” are back but this time, they’re moving from Miami to L.A. and the heart of plastic surgery, Beverly Hills. As we left team McNamara/Troy last season, they were taking control high above the Hollywood sign.
This summer at the Television Critics Association, creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy and the cast of the FX drama were on hand to answer questions about the next season. Bringing in a new setting for the show is something everyone welcomed. “One of the things we wanted to do by moving this show to L.A. is to explore the theme of L.A.,” Ryan said. “People who come to this city, as I did, come to sort of re-invent themselves and go after their dreams. They kind of ruled Miami as plastic surgeons, and I was very interested in the idea of what happens when you hit 40 and suddenly you go from being the big fish in a small pond to the opposite.”
Co-executive producer Michael Robin pointed out, “One of the things really fun was walking on the stage that first day; it was like a brand new school and everybody coming to the show on the first day was just this remarkable fresh energy.”
As for the cast, Julian McMahon is ready for more life out of Christian. “I feel like my character has been in a midlife crisis for the whole series, so the idea of a fresh start for this guy that’s what he’s been thinking, to come to Hollywood and have this fresh start. And the sets I mean everything is pretty grand; these sets we’re working on is a great place to start. Of course, he’ll go back into his midlife crisis, but it’ll be on these new, fabulous sets.”
Dylan Walsh says he’s ready for more sex. “I’ve moved on from sex dolls to actual flesh women, which is a good step forward.”
“Nip/Tuck” will always have that distinction for being one of the first shows to really push the boundaries of television both visually and conceptually. The taboos that have been started will only get racier as Season 5 begins. All the credit in the world goes to the folks at FX, notes Ryan. “I felt it’s always been a part of the show; I feel the show has always been designed to sort of explore things in our society that are a little bit taboo and sexuality is certainly one of those things. We’ve always done that; I think I’ve been very up front about it and we try to be responsible about it and not gratuitous about it. But I do feel that about the show; I feel like we do things that are now being copied elsewhere, which I take great pride in. I can’t tell you exact positions or acts, but I do feel that way. And I feel that we were that way from the beginning.”
Are there more temptations in L.A. than there were in Miami? You’ll have to be the judge of that. According to Ryan, it’s a definite ‘yes.’ “I think our show in the first 2 years particularly, we did a lot of very bold things; I think the temptations in L.A. are bigger because I think L.A. is really about the Hollywood thing we’re exploring. The thrust of the season is ‘can you retain your soul when you’re surrounded by all these great temptations that everybody would like to explore and have a taste of?'”
Some new and old faces will be popping up in the office this year. “Rosie (O’Donnell) is coming back,” Ryan said. “She returns episode 4, and she’s doing several episodes this year. We had talked about that character being so popular; she plays Dawn Budge. I think the actors are very interested in the show because many of them are fascinated with the idea of playing patients and getting into the whole prosthetics thing.”
Rosie’s the veteran guest star this season; the newcomers include Oliver Platt and Bradley Cooper. McNamara/Troy are getting their own show within a show. “It’s called ‘Hearts and Scalpels’ and it’s the worst medical show that’s ever been made,” adds Ryan. “It’s run by Oliver Platt, who plays me in a weird way. It’s a plastic surgery show, but the lead of the show is a bachelor who is played by Bradley Cooper; he plays the world’s biggest cad plastic surgeon. What happens is, it’s so bad that they hire our guys to sort of be the medical advisors, which is very fun and in a weird way, almost satirizes ourselves. The show has always been a satire, and I think moving it to L.A., even more so.”
So to answer the real question of how kinky can they get, here’s Julian McMahon. “I don’t think this show is kinky enough; I’m kind of trying to push for that kind of stuff constantly. I did this thing that was scripted to do in my bathing suit, push-ups in the bathroom and then I answer a phone call. I decided to do them on the deck naked. I just want to push things further; I feel like when we start on the show, we were pretty explicit and out there. But now, I feel like we have to reinvigorate that a little bit. I feel like the shock and awe we came out with initially – we’ve done it. You need to see a little bit more stuff, so some of the extraordinary surgeries were pretty outrageous. The separation of the twins was probably jaw-dropping than anything else for me. Christian always thinks he can dominate any circumstance and situation he’s in. In Miami, I feel like he kind of did that to a certain extent; but when he gets to L.A., it feels like he’s kind of running amongst a bunch of people who are better at doing what he’s doing than he is himself. I know there’s some stuff coming up where he’s pushed to the wall of extremes, as far as he’s concerned. In L.A., everybody is just as charming, if not more so, better looking; everything he’s holds onto, there’s better here, and that’s kind of his challenge.”
It’s all about the sex, all about the fights, and all about the Nip and the Tuck in Season 5 of “Nip/Tuck,” beginning October 30th on FX.