When I watched the first two seasons of Nip/Tuck, I wrote (back on xanga--oh how far we've come) that the show made me want to change my life, that it made me want to be something better than what I am. In the trademark line, in the shifting desires of Sean and Christian, in the desires of patients for transformation, there is the the constant urge toward change, improvement, regeneration, evolution.
But there was another aspect of the show that stands out: the constant need to top itself. It just keeps going and going and going, until you think there is no possible way to carry the extremes further. And now I watch the show grinning, even laughing, at the excesses of plot and subject (my experience of the show is through DVD, so I'm on season four). After surprise transsexuals, a serial killer plot line, murders, affairs, every sort of sexual debauchery imaginable, what next? And yet it continues: incredibly, unbelievable, the show tops itself with the over-the-top, the absurd, the excessive, the perverse, the strange. I didn't think it could do it, but it does.
But the desire to change my life? Since I watched it, I've bought a house, had a child, become a vegetarian (and even tried an extended bout of veganism), and started new and better blogs. I won't pretend the show inspired any of these life changes--but I won't pretend the desire for transformation and rebirth isn't at the heart of the show's appeal for me.