Effective or elective: A character analysis of Nip/Tuck

Sabrina Monet Alipate, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Why are the lives of plastic surgeons so interesting to watch? What is it about this show that draws viewers? Using the typology of character signs by Butler (2002) and the moral standpoints outlined by Krijnen and Meijer (2005) I argue that it is the character development and moral struggles of each character that draw viewers to this show every week. The Miami-based plastic surgeons believe cutting people into someone "beautiful" equates to happiness. It is the search for perfection and beauty and the belief that it will bring happiness that makes the show popular. This paper examines the characters of the show to learn if the glamorized plastic surgery is the draw of the show, or if it is just another metaphor for obstacles in life. Do we believe medicine and in the case of this show, plastic surgery, solve our life problems, or do we just want to look good while we are alive?