Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Reality Bites

When this episode was written, the looming writer's strike had to weigh heavy on Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy's mind. The timing of it is nearly perfect, anticipating television's near -- and hopefully temporary -- future of a schedule heavy with reality. "Reality's the future," exclaims Christian as he tries to talk Sean into doing the reality show, adding that there are no "overpriced writers" to worry about. The show-within-a-show here is a reality series pilot called Plastic Fantastic -- sort of like Dr. 90120 meets The Hills, and Murphy's cartoonish depiction serves as a biting commentary on current events.

There's not much in the way of music to call out, but composer James Levine, who does the score for the series, did all the music including the incredibly catchy theme song "Plastic Fantastic," which had some pretty funny lyrics:
Don't want no saggy bottom
Don't want no droopy eyes
I'd like a piece of candy
Go up one more cup size
Everyone wants to look like me....Plastic Fantastic!
There was one other bit of music, though. While Christian and Sean perform surgery on the aging gigolo, Mel Torme's "Midnight Swinger" plays, appropriately enough. To keep him from revealing Christian's dalliance in the male escort field, Christian gives him the full anesthesia, against his naturopathic wishes.

While they really went the extra mile with the Fantastic Plastic shots -- complete with MTV-like between scenes graphics, and those annoying quick snippets of what's too come -- this episode felt off a bit, like last season's episode set in the future. It was a bit hokey without a big payoff. I have to admit, though, that through the reality setting, Oliva and Julia's relationship goes under the microscope in a matter that doesn't drag down the rest of the episode. And, there was no Matt and Kimber, so it really should have been a better episode, you'd think.

Some fun quotes:
- "This show jumped the shark in the first five minutes" - Test subject's reaction to the pilot
- ''Julia is as gay as a jicama salad" - Liz backpedaling for Olivia's sake on her earlier claim to Christian that Julia wasn't gay
- "These people are crazy. The only reason I moved out here was because they threw a bunch of money at me. And... the golfing opportunities." - Nurse Linda
- "We really love each other, like Bill and Hillary... Ike and Tina." - Liz on her relationship with Christian
- "They spend every episode convincing us that Paula Abdul's just tired." - Junior publicist, Bliss explains what she liked about the reality show Hey Paula

Thankfully, it looks like next week they get back to more Hearts and Scalpels action (and more music to comment on).

Previously: Big Wheel Keep on Turning (Episode 5.05)

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