The FX hit show Nip/Tuck has never been for the demure. The show has had mother/daughter threesomes, kidney theft, and Melissa Gilbert guest-starring as a married woman cheating on her husband with her own dog. And that’s just this season.
For the uninitiated, Nip/Tuck follows the sordid lives of two successful Miami-based plastic surgeons: hyper-promiscuous metrosexual Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) and his best friend, angst-ridden, Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh). The anesthesiologist at their practice is Dr. Liz Cruz (Roma Maffia), who happens to be a lesbian.
When I heard Alanis Morissette was set to play Dr. Cruz’s love interest in a three episode arc, I was psyched to see what kind of outrageous antics these two lesbians would get into.
Morissette’s character “Poppy” started out with promise. She pressured Liz into have cosmetic surgery because she found her too hideous to be seen with in Palm Springs, setting her character up as a superficial control-freak. If you’ve ever dated one of those, you know there’s some good drama waiting there.
But in her second appearance, Poppy had only one scene where she and Liz dressed as elves for the mall Santa Claus, played by Dr. McNamara. Oh sure, Santa got drunk and got it on with a dwarf in his workshop, but Liz and Poppy were given nothing to do but look appalled.
Last night, the story arc ended when Liz broke up with Poppy right in the middle of assisting on a face lift. Dr. Cruz kicked Poppy to the curb because dating a controlling woman wasn’t doing anything for her self-esteem. Alanis cried a little and left. Boring!
What’s happened to television when the lesbian in the cast is the sane one? Where are the hot, predatory lesbians, the psychotic stalkers in silk stockings and trench coats, ya know, the fun girls?
Although she works for and on Miami’s Beautiful People, Liz isn’t one of them. She doesn’t have a model’s face or perfect, perky breasts. She’s not twenty-something. Played with understated confidence by Maffia, Liz is level-headed and compassionate Ã¢â‚¬“ the moral center at McNamara/Troy. Arguably the most placid character on Nip/Tuck, Dr. Cruz makes the show a rarity Ã¢â‚¬“ a show where the lesbian isn’t used as a ratings ploy or titillating aside.
Okay, yeah, at the start of the season, Liz had a kidney stolen by a woman she picked up in a bar. But I was dying to have Poppy turn out to be a serial killer, or discover she has a conjoined twin who was removed at birth, or maybe have a vestigial tail. Why do the straight people get to have all the kinky fun on this show?
The highlight of last night’s show was this line, delivered by Liz as she told Poppy to get lost:
“You are the most beautiful woman that I’ve ever kissed who didn’t steal one of my organs afterward.”
And who hasn’t been told that at least once in their lives?