NIP/TUCK: SEASON 5
F X• Tuesday, Oct. 10 (10 p.m.)
Perhaps it’s only fitting that FX’s Nip/Tuck, a show about two Miami plastic surgeons, has received a makeover and a relocation for its fifth season. But their Beverly Hills migration isn’t causing anyone to lock up their daughters, or grandmothers for that matter, on Rodeo. L.A.’s newest implants find their practice in need of some serious augmentation.
Aided by the suggestion of publicist Fiona McNeil (Lauren Hutton) to become advisers on a plastic surgeon series as a means to generate buzz for McNamara/Troy, Sean (Dylan Walsh) emerges not only as the sought-after surgeon, but an on-camera star. Moreover, with a budding romance, he seems unfazed by the arrival of ex-wife Julia (Joely Richardson) and her newly betrothed.
The role reversal forces the increasingly jealous Christian (Julian McMahon) to resort to malicious and cheap publicity stunts in his search for a sense of place, celebrity and physical satisfaction in his Tinseltown transition.
During the first two episodes, the show-within-a-show motif and altered personal dynamics make for a promising season. We’ll see if the facelift holds when other familiar characters from Miami surface.
— Mike Reynolds
KEYSHIA COLE: THE WAY IT IS
BET • Tuesday, Oct. 30 (10:30 p.m.)
AMERICAN GANGSTER: FRANK LUCAS
BET • Wednesday, Oct. 31 (10 p.m.)
(Cole); (Gangster) Black Entertainment Television brings back its breakout celebreality series Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is with as much raw emotion as its breakout first campaign. Season one followed Cole’s rise from troubled beginnings in Oakland, Calif., including being raised by a drug-addicted mom, to become a platinum-selling R&B hit singer.
Season two picks up with Cole inviting her mother, recently released from prison, as well as her alcohol-challenged sister Neffie to live in her multimillion-dollar Atlanta mansion while trying to maintain her successful R&B career. While the first episode of the new season portrays all parties getting along well under one roof, things apparently begin to unravel in later episodes. In particular, Cole’s no-men-in-the-house rule doesn’t sit well with either her mom or sister, which begins to create more strain in their already dysfunctional relationship.
Fans of the show (one of the few reality shows that feels genuine in its portrayal of its lead character) are sure to enjoy the good — and the often ugly and bad — roller-coaster ride that is Cole’s life.
Meanwhile, BET’s Oct. 31 episode of its documentary series American Gangster is notable because the “gangster” portrayed is Harlem drug runner Frank Lucas, the subject of an upcoming film American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.
In the movie Washington portrays Lucas, now 75, who appears throughout the one-hour BET show describing how, growing up in the ’40s south amid racism and poverty, affected his development and actions as Harlem’s king drug-dealer and gangster in the early ’70s.
It’s refreshing for the series, which often profiles deceased “gangsters,” to have such access to its main subject, and Lucas doesn’t disappoint. It’ll be interesting to see how Lucas’ American Gangster big-screen portrayal measures up to this in-his-own-words account.
— R. Thomas Umstead