I'm still trying to find the scattered pieces of my dropped jaw that resulted from Sean's pathetic attempt to initiate anal sex. Hee.
They were really straining for ratings gold tonight. Porn fluffers, transsexuals, alcoholic butchers, STDs, teen virginity lost!, and the requisite hot young Aussie named Jude. Actually, this was the first ep where I really noticed the writing falling back on formula, with a fairly heavy theme and the pat, symmetrical reversal between Christian and Sean about the porn issue, and Matt's flip-flopping change of tack in his friendship with Christian ("I'm not you"), which seemed more in service of plot than character. It was also the first episode where I started to see plot holes--and if *I* can see plot holes, they must be canyonlike, because I never notice that stuff. But here we had a patient who had come into the office for post-op treatment without providing his previous doctor's name in his paperwork? Please. And what about Sean going into an emergency room and starting to operate? I know he was taking measures that might have been life-saving, but even so, that strikes me as something a doctor would be unlikely to do for a variety of legal reasons. I could be wrong, but it just seemed odd.
This was *also* the first episode where I really felt like some of the lines were clinkers, a bit forced. I think, overall, there was just a general lapse in the writing for this one.
But all that aside, the show is still miles better than 99% of what's on TV and I'm loving it.
What I noticed tonight: they slash the doctors in the credits. Really. The show is Nip/Tuck and the credits are virguled, and the two main actors are listed as Dylan Walsh / Julian McMahon, as if to say, We know you're going to do it eventually on the Internet, so why not start thinking about it now?
Random observations. I liked Sean tonight more than in any episode so far--he was trying so hard to loosen up, and he really came to terms quickly with the gender reassignment issue. Of course, in TV, speed has a lot to do with plot expediency, but still. (Oh, and another strike against the writing: making Sean react to Sofia in surprise as if he's never dealt with transsexual patients before, when surely he must have, in his line of work. The episode would have worked better if they'd acknowledged he'd had such patients, but given some kind of personal historical context for his discomfort. On the other hand, everyone smoothly referred to Sofia as "her" and "Miss," which I really liked.)
So Matt got laid, and there were repercussions. Having him go raw and contract an STD first time out struck me as moralism disguised as prurience, and it seemed a bit heavy-handed--but there's nothing inherently wrong with the message. I also liked that the sex itself was off-screen; usually loss of virginity (and I think it was his first time, given the implications so far) is played up as this huge coming-of-age ritual. And by underplaying it, I think they were saying: look, it's just another thing you do. It happens and then it's over, and you go home and go to bed and go to school the next day, and then it's a week later and you've maybe got an STD. ;)
Matt's follow-up scene with the fluffer was interesting; he cops immediately to his lie about being an agent and seems to take it for granted that this is what guys do, because he's young and a shmuck (the product of his age more than his character). But then he's able to turn on a dime and show concern for her. The way he blows off Christian at the end didn't feel quite right, though. I think he would have tried to make Christian feel better by agreeing to see a movie, perhaps with a shifty expression that suggests he'll find a reason to cancel later; but just saying, "I'll see you," or whatever non-answer he gave was lame. The writers were trying too hard to drive home their message there, and clumsily setting up Christian's about-face on the porn issue.
I'm not sure how I feel about him changing his mind, but it does say something about him, which is that he has some big surrogate father issues. Because I have a dirty mind, I squint closely whenever Christian gets avuncular and touchy-feely with Matt, trying to catch a glimpse of any bad-touch vibes. There are none, but man, *issues*. Where the hell are this man's friends? Why's he taking a sixteen year-old to a porn party? Why doesn't he have anyone else to show off his Lamborghini to, or take to a movie? I know the relationship's important to him, but dude. That's just weird and needy.
Of course, I like weird and needy. Lost, friendless freaks are my stock in trade.
I see flirtation and perhaps adultery down the road for Julia and Jude. (Julia and Jude. How, um, cute.)
The medical details continue to horrify.
Possibly most favorite thing of the episode: cutting mid-ep to "One Week Later." I swear to god, I must have some deep fangeek thing going on, but the willingness to make time jumps really turns me on. It shows a willingness to think and plot outside the box. (I liked the passage of time between the pilot and episode two as well, I think I mentioned.)
That yellow Lamborghini was tack-YYYY. *So* glad Christian returned it. But how great did he look in that black suit with the black shirt and tie? Jesus. And next week: his ass.