Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Cougar Crazy

The main theme on this week's Nip/Tuck was obviously cougar related, and somewhere along the line, I lost count of all the cat references, as the number kept growing, like turning the pages of Cat Fancy magazine. Guesting this week were eighties ladies Donna Mills, Joan Van Ark (both of Knots Landing,) Shari Belafonte (Hotel,) and and Deb Shelton (Body Double), playing high society cougars on the prowl for a new plastic surgeon boy toy -- someone to make them feel and look good.

Lulu (Mills) invites Christian to their lair, for an interview dinner featuring other candidates vying for the desired 'position.' As they're introduced, we hear Barry Adamson's "Jazz Devil," playing up the James Bond vibe in the room, especially the line "call me Agent Double-O 6-6-6." But it also serves as another cat reference: "But first I found some cats, and they were howling at the moon / I told them "You play the instruments, and I'll play the baffoon."

But it's the song that follows that had my spine tingling. As Christian cuts to the chase and drops his kielbasa on the dinner table -- they actually dropped a wet hot dog to get the sound effect -- the music is David McCallum's "The Edge," a song many recognize as the song sampled in Dr Dre's "The Next Episode." But McCallum's original instrumental (done with David Axelrod) is perfect here -- and perfectly obscure -- to keep with the 007 mood and dramaticize Christian's large, uh... resume. David McCallum is known more for his role as Illya Kuryakin on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. but you can also see him regularly as Ducky on NCIS.

Once the cougar dinner scene is over, the cat references just never cease. Our other eighties guest star John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard) revisits his role as porn mogul Ram Peters and takes Sean on a tour of the cougars of the porn world, showing off his stable of over fifty actresses, done humorously to the tune of One Way's "Cutie Pie." Immediately after Ram laments that it's hard to find women over fifty who keep their appearances, we cut to the semi-sexy cougars going at it with Christian, one-by-one to Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever." All except Lulu, played deliciously by Donna Mills -- who looks pretty amazing for her 67 years of age. When Lulu tries to get Christian to bring out her "feline essence," the story line starts to mirror that of the Cat Woman, Jocelyn Wildenstein, a high society cougar in her own right. If it weren't true, it would seem even more batshit, wouldn't it?

Even before Lulu's 'feline essence' surgery, I was humming "What's New Pussycat" -- the Tom Jones classic is a karaoke staple of mine, if you must know -- so it's inclusion seemed obvious to me at least. Ditto goes for Hall & Oates "Maneater" which follows for the 'reveal.' It's fitting that it's Joan Van Ark's character who looks the most shocked, since that's the face we've all been making whenever we get a glimpse at her recent scary post-op pictures. She's the one looking more like Cat Woman these days. Someone needs to give that woman a scalpel intervention.

Meanwhile, the sad and crazy Colleen -- played brilliantly by Sharon Gless -- story nearly reaches tragic end. Sean finds out she's really just the kooky make-a-bearscare lady at the mall (am I the only one who thought her glasses and ears make her look like Arthur?) and he's understandably angry. Colleen, who's always backed by The Exorcist theme music (possession?) has her fatal attraction turn cinematic, as she attempts suicide like the original ending for Glenn Close' character. Could this be the 'one more death' that Ryan Murphy promised? As Dr. Dre would say, wait until "The Next Episode."

Playlist: Nip/Tuck - Episode 5.12
1. "Memories" - Waldeck - Kimber & Eden's porn shoot
2. "Jazz Devil" - Barry Adamson - Christian is introduced to the Cougar party
3. "The Edge" - David McCallum - Christian drops his resume on the table
4. "Cutie Pie" - One Way - Ram tells Sean about his over-50 actors and their needs
5. "Cat Scratch Fever" - Ted Nugent - Christian consults and peforms surgery on each cougar
6. "Take From Me" - Kissing Cousins - Sean advises Eden to end porn contract
6. "What's New Pussycat?" - Tom Jones - Christian plans and peforms cat reconstruction on Lulu
7. "Maneater" - Hall & Oates - Lulu's surgery is revealed to the other cougars
8. "Tubular Bells" - Mike Oldfield - Variation played for Colleen throughout
Compiled by Avalon at

More: All that and I didn't even mention the Kimber/Eden sex scene. Perhaps it's just me, but I found it to be not sexy at all -- more cold and distant. Kimber's the cougar here, preying instead on her own past that she sees in 18-year old Eden. This can't end well for either.

Previously: Teddy Bear Teeth (Episode 5.11)


Michelle Auer said...

I was also singing What's New Pussycat before they played it! It was perfect for this episode!

J Shifty said...

If there was ever an album cover that was meant to be experienced in its original gatefold brilliance, it's Cat Scratch Fever (closely followed, or perhaps superseded by, News of the World).

Once again, your fantastic writing has made me highly curious about a show I may never see...