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TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Nip/Tuck TV Poster Image
Controversial plastic surgery drama; NOT for kids.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 9 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Shows the superficial, profiteering nature of plastic surgery. Also highlights the struggles of doctors wanting to help people while coping with the business-like aspects of the medical profession.

Positive Role Models & Representations

None of the flawed characters are positive role models, though some occasionally have moments of redemption. Both men and women are often sexually objectified. Features people of diverse backgrounds, including gay/transgendered characters.


Strong images of blood and severed limbs during surgical procedures; one episode featured a woman using a carving knife to cut off her own breast. Ongoing storyline about a serial rapist who "carves" people's faces. Occasional fights between characters. Episodes have included harsh beatings, some of which were spurred by prejudice.


Very strong sexual content, including graphic sex scenes and partial nudity. Some characters are unsure of their sexuality. Discussions of sex, sexuality, and genitalia often take place within the context of plastic surgery, as well as within the context of personal relationships.


Contains some strong language, but not extreme swearing.


Although there isn't any obvious product placement, materialism is rampant.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Frequent adult consumption of alcohol, including wine and hard liquor. Drugs and drug trafficking are seen and discussed.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this addictive plastic surgery drama is absolutely not for kids (or anyone squeamish, for that matter). Because it's on cable, many of the usual primetime boundaries don't apply: It routinely deals with strong themes including rape, drugs, and incest and includes explicit depictions of sexual behavior and graphic portrayals of surgical procedures. An interesting subtext is the tension between doctors committed to helping people and the growing profit-based business of plastic surgery.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMikeM April 9, 2008

This is truly "the most provocative show on TV"

This show can be very addicting due to the dramatic twists and turns that occur in just every single episode. It's basically about two plastic surgeons tha... Continue reading
Adult Written bybrandydefrance April 9, 2008
Kid, 7 years old December 8, 2009
My mom use to watch this show on DVD.
Kid, 11 years old July 21, 2011


My parents love this show! They watch like 5 episodes a night on Netflix- haha I think they like it more than us kids. My mom told me about it and how they have... Continue reading

What's the story?

Combining dark humor with soap opera-like misfortune and heartbreak, NIP/TUCK highlights the flaws of a business dedicated to creating physically perfect people -- and the imperfections of those who run it. This Golden-Globe winning cable drama centers on best friends Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) and Christian Troy (Julian McMahon), partners in a Miami-based plastic surgery practice. Amid coping with outrageous surgical requests, malpractice lawsuits, and sharp-witted anesthesiologist Liz Cruz (Roma Maffia), straight-laced Sean and womanizing Christian find themselves struggling to keep their operating suites filled with patients seeking fixes for their physical deficiencies.

Is it any good?

Nip/Tuck is well written and highly entertaining. It presents medical cases that are based on fact, and it exposes some of the interesting challenges faced by the medical community when trying to balance the practice of medicine with the profit-and-narcissism-based business that plastic surgery has become.

But the show is definitely not for kids -- even most teens. It's a purposely controversial series that presents strong themes with few boundaries, and it contains a fair amount of sexually explicit imagery. This, combined with the graphic depictions of surgical procedures that are more shocking than educational, translates into a well-deserved TV-MA rating.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why people have plastic surgery. When is plastic surgery medically necessary? Why do so many people opt for surgery when they're dissatisfied with their looks? What are the benefits and drawbacks of having plastic surgery? Why do doctors specialize in plastic surgery? Families can also talk about the importance of having a positive self-image and going beyond superficial looks to appreciate someone's personality.

TV details

Our editors recommend

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