Tell Me, What You Don’t Like About Yourself: Nip/Tuck

Tell me, what you don’t like about yourself?

If you were part of that legendary generation that watched TV series during the CNBC-e era, you must surely remember Nip/Tuck. The show premiered on July 22, 2003, and it was not only one of the most successful series of its time but also among the most popular ones on CNBC-e. I have to admit, the series lasted way too long. If it had ended in the fourth season, nobody would have complained, in my opinion. They enjoyed the fruits of their popularity and the energy brought by AnnaLynne McCord, who later joined the show. Long or short, one must acknowledge that Nip/Tuck is one of the most successful series ever made in television history.

The series revolves around the professional and personal lives of plastic surgeons Sean McNamara and Christian Troy. Each episode begins with the same sentence: “Tell me, what you don’t like about yourself.” At the start of each episode, someone comes to our plastic surgeons and shares the aspects of themselves they wish to change. However, this is not always driven by vanity. Some come for personal problems or illnesses. One of the show’s strengths is the authenticity of the makeovers performed on the clients who come to them. Some of the bodily abnormalities found in these individuals are so intriguing that the question “How will they fix it” keeps the episode flowing smoothly. The process of treating the patients, the details of the surgeons’ personal lives, analyses of wealth and high society, and numerous colorful adventures revolving around their sex lives filled the series throughout its six seasons. However, a change was made in the third season.


While the first two seasons focused on our characters’ surgical skills and personal struggles, the third season transitioned from drama to suspense. The emergence of a killer named Carver, who targets and kills the people the surgeons operate on, turns the series into a thrilling crime story. I can easily claim that the third season is one of the most magnificent works shown on CNBC-e. Ryan Murphy has many successful works, but in my opinion, the third season of Nip/Tuck easily ranks among the top three. Ironically, the series’ cast claims that the third season, which they disliked the most, is their least favorite.

The series contains many intriguing details about plastic surgery. It must be a coincidence that as someone who spent three years of my life in the plastic surgery industry, I had experienced almost everything I encountered when I entered the field, thanks to Nip/Tuck. We had the opportunity to witness, to the extent permitted by the TV censorship board, how liposuction, rhinoplasty, silicone, wound corrections, gender reassignment, rare diseases, and many other exciting surgeries were actually performed. The show’s creator, Ryan Murphy, explains that many scenes were cut due to some viewers feeling uncomfortable with the realism. As someone who has personally witnessed most of the procedures depicted, I can confirm that the series does justice to its realism.


The series goes beyond the realm of plastic surgery and also focuses on the characters’ social and personal lives, which is actually one of the aspects that adds color to the show. We get the chance to deeply understand our characters, Sean’s never-ending family problems, Christian’s insatiable sexual desires, and the issues caused by supporting characters, all of which give birth to new stories in each episode. Speaking of supporting characters, it was through Nip/Tuck that I first became acquainted with the beloved Peter Dinklage. Therefore, I was quite delighted to see him in Game of Thrones. Not only Peter Dinklage but many famous faces you know today also make guest appearances on the show. Famke Janssen, Bradley Cooper, Rose McGowan, Kate Mara, Catherine Deneuve, J.K. Simmons, and many more names come and go for a few episodes.

The series offers much to learn about plastic surgery: its affluent settings, vibrant music playing during surgeries, flawed and intriguing doctors, and new problems arising in each episode. It was the most thrilling weekly series of its time. If you want to start a quality and timely popular series, Nip/Tuck is an excellent choice. Furthermore, the show’s opening credits are among the best in TV history.

Cast & Crew

stars: Ryan Murphy

starring: Dylan Walsh, Julian McMahon, Joely Richardson, John Hensley

USA | 2003 | 100 EPISODES |


Ukrainian Creative Director | Motion Picture Writer | Horror Freak

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