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on 30 May 2006
Nip/Tuck Season 2 ended with one of the show's two main characters-Christian Troy-at the hands of serial slasher, The Carver. As Art Garfunkel's track 'All I Know', The Carver's blade fell, leaving fans on edge. Suffice it to say that that edge grew even sharper when it was revealed that a whole year lay between that and the Season 3 premiere, due to show creator Ryan Murphy's working on the film 'Running With Scissors' and Julian McMahon filming 'Fantastic Four'

So, when the Season 3 premiere rolled around, how was it going to live up to fan expectations? Well, it wasn't, obviously. NOTHING can live up to a year's worth of speculation and theorising. I've heard a lot of things about Season 3, mostly about how weak it is compared to the previous two seasons. I disagree with that. I wouldn't call Season 3 weak, just... different, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.

The season picks up a month after Christian's being attacked and the first episode in and of itself is a testament to the show's usual bizzare patient storylines, with a 650 pound woman who has become fused to her couch. Other patient storylines this Season include a fraternity prank gone wrong, a facial transplant (oddly enough, that particular episode was transmitted a week or so before it happened successfully in real life) and a man who wants his leg amputated.

Whereas I disagree with the season's detractors, I do agree that this season lacks one particular thing-cohesion. There is a LOT of random plot jumping between various arcs, making the whole season feel slightly disjointed. Things that happen at the end of one episode are not even mentioned in the next in some cases. Whereas this isn't exactly a reason to jump the show, it can become slightly annoying.

But where Season 3 really, really shines is with the characters. Seasons 1 and 2 kept them all in, basically, the same places-Julia was the housewife, Sean was the 'good man' with a dark streak, Christian was the playboy and Matt was the mischievous son. Season 3, though, takes these characters to new places, especially towards the middle. Without giving too much away, Julia ends up in a spa business and Sean ends up working for the witness protection program, leaving Christian with new doctor Quentin Costa). Some might say that these are all out of blue (Julia never really struck me as a business woman, to be honest) but out of the blue or not, it is still interesting to see the characters spread their wings and explore new areas and I applaud the writers for taking that risk. But the best character development this Season came from Matt, whose downfall is played wonderfully by John Hensley. Again, I won't give anything away, but, despite Nip/Tuck's knack for being 'out there', Hensley makes this storyline totally believable, portraying Matt as a guy who is genuinely angry and hurt.

Apart from the regulars, this Season also brought in two new characters. Quentin Costa, who was first brought in in late Season 2 to fix Sean's face following an attack by The Carver, comes in to join the practice following Christian's attack. Played by Bruno Campos, I think he can be best described as a combination of both Sean and Christian, with a few secrets that are gradually revealed over the course of the season. There's also British detective, Kit, whose primary focus is on The Carver case, although she does, naturally, get involved with Christian at one point (surprised?)

So, the Season's great shining point is its characters. Its downfall? Its villain. The Carver was first introduced in late Season 2 as a masked man who went around cutting beautiful people's faces into a 'smile'. And he was genuinely scary at some points, namely the scene in Sean's bathroom. He also contributed to that Season's brilliant final twist, turning what was already an intense finale into something that would keep fans guessing for a year. In my opinion, though, that's where it should have ended because, by the end of Season 3, The Carver has not only grown stale, he's grown into a slasher villain. Now, I'm not going to deny that speculating about who it may be was good fun, but, in general, he ruined the Season for me. Putting aside the finale and the big reveal (which seems to be very love it/hate it) he really felt shallow, especially compared to previous villains Escobar and Ava. Not only because he was hiding behind a mask for the majority of it, but simply because he did not tie into the Season, either thematically or plot wise. Escobar and Ava both felt right-Escobar in kept with Season One's theme of the dark, gritty side to the plastic surgery industry and Ava in kept with Season Two's theme of aging and hiding your true identity. The Carver is just... there, randomly, weaving in and out of the Season, contributing to the disjointed effect I was talking about earlier and offering nothing to make us think beyond 'Wow, he's got a big knife!'

The DVD itself is pretty average. The episodes look and sound nice, and the cover art and menu screens match up nicely with the previous two, but the extras are nothing to write home about. Basically, we get a few deleted scenes, most of which feel rather randomly picked. It's better than Season 2, where we got nothing, but it's always such a disappointment when a great show such as this goes without any real meat packaged with it. Would some commentaries or behind the scenes be too much to ask for?

Despite its flaws, Season 3 is a solid entry in the shows history, taking the characters to new places. Will everyone like it? No. But Nip/Tuck has always been a niche show and, let's face it, there's nothing else quite like it on TV.
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on 6 January 2006
Another great season of Nip/Tuck, a show which continues to throw out the suprises and can plot twist in the blink of an eye. The first episode continues the season 2 finale in perfect style and once the action starts it never once stops to draw breath. Plus the all important question of 'Who is the Carver?' is answered, and believe me you won't be disappointed. Dylan Walsh, Julian McMahon and Joley Richardson are superb in the lead roles and their on screen performances are deserved of many awards.
Well worth the money, another quality season! Roll on Season 4!
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on 11 February 2006
I didn't really get into Nip/Tuck until midway through the second season - always thinking the promos made it out to be another turgid patchwork of domestic squabbles and sub-Dallas excess - however, the later storyline involving vicious serial rapist The Carver (as well as several other plot-strands exploring more in-depth moral issues) began to play out, and eventually, brought us into season three with a bang. Here, the writers continue the downward spiral of doctors Christian Troy and Sean McNamara, introducing a number of other plot components that only bring the melodrama to even greater highs, whilst even managing to include some terrific moments of wit, warmth and the occasional stab (no pun) at scathing social satire.
The writing here is fantastic, and is more than matched by the smooth direction and the conviction of the performers, with the three leads (Dylan Walsh, Joely Richardson and Julian McMahon) each offering further dimensions of depth to their characters, whilst also getting to indulge themselves in some seriously weighty topics. Throughout the series we see the surgeons juggle their usual work-related duties - with episode one finding the pair confronted by a morbidly obese woman, whilst a later episode finds Sean doing reconstructive work on a woman entering into the F.B.I. witness protection program - whilst simultaneously finding themselves with even more problems at home. Added to this, there is the arrival of macho cad Quentin Costa (as seen briefly in season two), who takes up residence at McNamara and Troy after Sean becomes disillusioned with the surgery's approach to superficiality, whilst the hunt for the Carver creates a further degree of animosity between the principal characters, and generally, leads to the revelation of a number of family secrets that were probably best forgotten.
The central concept of ugliness lurking beneath the superficial veneer of perfection couldn't last forever, so the writers here attack more topical issues... not least the central idea of The Carver, who casts a shadow over the season as a whole, but also racism (in the form of Matt's new girlfriend Ariel), pregnancy (I wouldn't want to give anything away!!), and workplace ethics too. In a number of episodes the team is faced with making a series of important decisions, having to decide between what is right and what is wrong and what will net them the biggest stack of cash... for example, dealing with a patient with O.C.D. who wants to have their perfectly fine leg amputated in order to feel complete; a HIV positive man who wants to have his withered face re-built so that he can get back to picking up men; and a very "now" episode in which a mother weighs up the pros and cons of allowing her comatose daughter's face to be transplanted onto a young woman with a degenerative muscle disorder. Sure, it's quite often over the top and melodramatic to the full, but the show succeeds over other contemporary U.S. dramas thanks to the deft characterizations, witty one liners (Quentin and Julie's post-hot-tub exchange is camp genius; with Sean's now successful ex replying to Quentin's assessment of her as "a bitch" by offering the cool kiss-off, "yeah, but at least I'm not yours") and some really quite thought-provoking moments of drama.
Some might argue that this season suffers slightly from the over-reliance on the Carver subplot and his ultimate reveal in the final episode, and, to an extent, I suppose they have a point (the final episode seems rushed, clumsy, and introduces a number of gaping plot holes that run as far back as season two!!), however, to dismiss the entire season on the failure of one episode is churlish, as the series as a whole more than delivered great entertainment and gripping storylines week after week. It's not only Sean and Christian who have to juggle the moral issues here, with the duo's trusted assistant Liz finally having enough of the surgery and it's politics by taking up residency at Julia's successful spa De La Mer, whilst later in the series Julia herself is forced to make a serious and life changing decision when she believes her mother has been involved in a massive plane crash (the whole episode is one of the best of all three seasons combined and features Richardson's greatest on-screen performance to date).
Nip/Tuck Season Three more than measures up to the success of seasons one and two, offering the same combination of caustic one-liners, intelligent characters, trashy melodramatics, over-the-top surgery scenes and edge-of-your-seat tension. Some will probably find the ultimate revelation of the Carver's true-identity to be something of a let down (which is understandable when something is as hyped as this... for more, see the Bad Wolf climax of the recent Doctor Who!!), but I felt that the escalating sense of mystery, tension and drama, coupled with the great performances, writing and direction, was more than enough to make up for the last episode's thematic short-comings.
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on 22 September 2007
The strengths of this show so that were so evident in the first two series are still present throughout the third. It's slick, stylish and quirky. However, the great weakness of this series is how that quirkiness crosses into self indulgent nonsense. There is often a lack of consistency and, despite the promising start, the carver storyline descends into farce. Nip Tuck has always been over the top but has now lost any sense of credibility.
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on 22 April 2007
Season 3 continues with the same romps, the same weirdly obsessed people and the same twists and turns as the previous two seasons, with the addition of the identification of the Carver. As dramas go, Nip/Tuck continues in a league of its own, with originality oozing from every episode. Plenty of twists and turns keep you guessing til the last second, with a hearty dose of emotion in there too. Brilliant work by the whole cast.
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on 17 January 2007
I bought this as an Xmas present for my girlfriend and have been assured Seaon 3 is just as gripping as 1 & 2 and each episode's cliff-hanger ensures you are putting on the next instalment immediately. The speed at which the box-set was viewed is also evidence of this.
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on 27 March 2011
Nip/tuck is one of the most gritty, witty intelligent shows on tv. With a strong cast and brilliant writing, the shows first and second season was highly addictive and fascinating to watch.
With the competitive rivalry between Sean and Christian, the highly strung manic outbursts from a repressed Julia, and the complicated development of Matts upbringing, the show proved itself to be dramatic yet relatable to most.
The problem with series 3, was that it became tedious and repetitive. The carver storyline, which was intense in season 2, with a brilliant finale, just simmered under the surface of the 3rd series, with other silly storylines taking over. There was a few dull episodes of this 3rd series, and a few decent ones. Problem is, is the characters didn't get the full exploration they deserved and overall, the 3rd series failed to deliver the quality the previous series did.
The apparent role switching of the lead characters Sean and Christian I found unrealistic and offputting, as the way they were portrayed in the 1st series was excellent.
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on 22 May 2006
While its not up to the wonderful standards of nip/tuck season 1 it certainly holds it own, i was a little disappointed in season 2 apart from the great craver storyline but my main disappointment for me was the fact that the buisness itself never really got touhced on. But in season3 that all changes as theres a sudden slump in their buisness and the desperation they go to is great television. There are obviously stand out episodes such as 'Momma Boone' with a wonderful beginning which will give you the shock of your life. Also i was a big fan of the Matt storyline in which he is dating a daughter of a neo Nazi. WHile there are some unimagaitive episodes and quite frankly boring (the whole de la mer episodes) there are pretty of great storylines and we see the evolution of Matt and the disintigration of everything that seans owns or loves. The Carver storyline was a great masterpiece in writing, although i felt the actually revealing was badly done and very anti-climatic but the actual ending was great as it gives a unique twist.
All in all the good out weighs the bad (which is around 3 episodes) and you will be truly touched by some of the series. WHile not as good as season 1 its better than season 2 due to the stuff you thought was just fixed and not going to change (such as the state of the buisness).

Top 3 episodes (in my opinion):
3.Rhea Reynolds- the great storyline of a girl seeking attention and pretends to be a victim of the serial rapist or was she? Even til the end i was guessing due to the convincing writing and great acting ( from the actress who plays Rhea Reynolds) and a quite touching storyline which involves an old woman trying to rekindle her husbands memory to remember her.
2.Momma Boone- A great story based on a true story (i believe) in which a woman becomes so overweight and is on the sofa too long and the fibres attach to her body, and of course we find out what really happened to Christian and a great and believeable script with true emotion that just makes you feel sorry for Momma Boone.
1. Quentin Costa- Many may disagree with me on this but if you didn't feel for Matt during his quite frankly breathtaking scenes with Cherry Peck, and even thought it was very anti climatic , until the last point you didn't know who the carver was and for a spilt sceond it hought it was someone i never thought it would be,but while its not the strongest season finale {season 2 by miles :)} it had definatley the best edning of storylines yet, although no cliffhangers which i was looking forward too, but with some of the questions they left unanswered it leaves you with antisapation for the next season and trust me you wil.

If you new to nip/tuck this is obviously not the place to start, for you to understand anythign you need season2. So is you heard good things about nip/tcuk and want to check out the carver storyline, then do not start here. For those who want what had to be some of the best hours of television season1 is the best bet for you, but for any nip/tcuk fan this is an essential buy andf you will kick yourself if don't just to relive some great moments.

Good luck with getting this dvd and enjoy,
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on 10 December 2012
Being a huge fan of series 1 & 2 I admit I was worried that 3 wouldn't measure up. My fears were unfounded.
While I agree with other reviewers that occasionally a topic comes up in one episode and is never heard of again, it doesn't take any shine off the series.
If Nip/Tuck is sometimes trashy, unbelievable & gory to some people, it is exactly what I love about this show. It is very very different and never dull. There is a little moral ping pong (one minute Sean is the morals-man, then Christian is etc etc)which can be annoying but I don't think I've ever enjoyed an American tv show more
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on 4 June 2009
In comparison to the previous ones, season 3 is a bit of a let down. The plot and characters become even more outrageous although this doesn't make it any less entertaining. It's like Nip/Tuck has embraced its status as must-see trash TV, losing some of its intelligence and wit in favour of shock value, (from the degrading Carver storyline to Matt's misguided venture into the worlds of transexuals and racists) Nip/Tuck is a show that could never be accused of being boring, I just wish they'd include more of the sharp writing with the sleaze like they did before season 3.
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