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30 Days Of Telly #26

Day twenty-six, the most omg wtf season finale. Hmm. And switching to rant mode in 3... 2... 1...

I've mentioned the end of Angel season five before, but much as I hated that last episode, and also certain aspects of the whole season (mostly the bloody awful mind-wipe, which destroyed two years of plot and character development), it wasn't all bad. The crowning glory for finale disasters therefore has to fall upon Nip/Tuck season six, also the end of the series itself. I loved Nip/Tuck. It was a dark, funny, at times wonderfully insane story about two plastic surgeons, and the many people who came to them for help. In keeping with the theme of cosmetic surgery, it was a show all about façades, and about beauty only being skin deep. It had more subtext in one episode than a lot of shows manage in their entire lifetimes. Key to that were the two main characters, Christian and Sean. The show's publicity always emphasised that Christian was the bad boy, and Sean the good guy, but anybody who actually watched, knew that the reverse was really true. Sean was a moral vacuum, whose family life was a sham. Christian, on the other hand, was a deeply wounded abuse survivor, struggling to keep his life together. Sean was frequently highly judgemental about their clients; Christian never was. Christian also adored Sean, and would have done anything for him, a loyalty that Sean was never capable of matching.

And then came the final season. The creator had left, to focus on his new project Glee. Whoever had taken over apparently didn't give a damn about the show's history, or about the characters themselves. Suddenly Sean actually was the good guy. Also, after six seasons as an only child, he suddenly had a brother. The biggest change was Christian, though. Arguably he had finally collapsed under the weight of his own spiralling depression, but if so, it would have been nice to have seen it happen, rather than have his character change into a total bastard overnight. His on-again/off-again girlfriend committed suicide by throwing herself off a boat, which was both out of character and completely against the spirit of the show. Nip/Tuck always toyed with the dark, but a smile was never very far away. Suddenly all traces of light were gone. Christian became more and more objectionable, and Sean was treated like some poor little wounded soldier being beat up on by his partner. Then it ended, with neither a whimper nor a bang, in a fashion that the actors themselves objected to. It was a mess. And goodness only knows what happened to Christian's son, who vanished utterly. He was only about six, so he can't actually have left home, although by the end I wouldn't have blamed him for trying. So, for taking a gloriously twisted, fun show, and turning it into something truly unpleasant, with no internal logic or respect for its past, the award has to go to Nip/Tuck. But I heartily recommend the earlier seasons. At its height it was a colourful, wonderful, absolutely mental show, and I miss it. It deserved a much better end than it got.

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