Another urgent pioneer of edginess is Ryan Murphy of FX's gross-out plastic-surgery series "Nip/Tuck." This HBO show must make him feel like they're stealing his thunder. He proclaimed to the critics that he has the most sexual show on television, and he thrives on being copied by everyone else. One can only imagine what he'll try next. Murphy has no aspiration to impress with his gentle touch toward intimacy. He's the guy who boasted he'll be the first to show rear-entry sex on screen.
But like the HBO actress denying the pornographic nature of her work, Murphy denies the essence of his show -- gruesome gore and tawdry sex. "We've always been upfront about it, and we try not to be gratuitous about it." This is the show where a man stitches a bunch of dead female body parts to his sister's head so he can have sex with the corpse. But Murphy "tries not to be gratuitous" about it?
Murphy told critics he never pays any attention to parental groups protesting the show. "I never think about that when you write the scripts or you'd never get anything done."
Actor Julian McMahon, who plays the super-sleaziest surgeon on "Nip/Tuck," does think about these things, apparently. "I don't think the show is kinky enough," he stated, suggesting that the two male surgeon lead characters need to have a steamy shower scene together. "I just want to push things even further," McMahon insisted. This, from the man playing a character whose typical night at the office on FX includes being in the middle of a mother-daughter threesome.
Hollywood is showing all the subtlety of an out-of-control bulldozer in a china shop. The summer preview for critics is a very disturbing leading indicator of the tsunami of smut washing in for the fall season premieres.