Things are going to get even wilder on the FX series "Nip/Tuck" (search) when its new season begins Tuesday (10 p.m. EDT on FX).
In its first two seasons, the cutting-edge soap about two Miami plastic surgeons has already made a splash with gory surgeries and graphic sex scenes, but series creator Ryan Murphy promises more shocks are on the way.
"I got more money for the show so the surgeries are bigger and the storytelling is bigger," he says.
It’s hard to predict what Murphy has in store. Last season, Murphy’s creepy storyline about a porcelain-masked slasher nicknamed the Carver reached terrifying heights — in the episode’s final moments, the maniac attacked Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon).
The finale notched a record-breaking 5.2 million viewers, making "Nip/Tuck" last year’s most watched basic cable series by adults 18-49.
The Carver storyline will dominate "Nip/Tuck" this year, but Murphy won’t reveal who the slasher is until "the last scene of the last episode." He promises it won’t be some random supporting player, either.
"Every actor has come into my office, closed the door and asked me if he or she is the Carver," says Murphy, laughing. "It’s definitely someone [the audience] knows."
"Nip/Tuck"’s gallery of characters is crowded this year. Bruno Campos joins the cast as Dr. Quentin Costa.
"In kind of a bizarre way, he’s like a twin to both Christian and Sean (McNamara, played by Dylan Walsh). He’s able to penetrate their defenses," says Campos of his "hypersexual" character.
Gina Russo (Jessalyn Gilsig, now a series regular) opens a spa with Julia (Joely Richardson) and Liz (Roma Maffia).
Vanessa Redgrave is back as Julia’s controlling mother, Erica Noughton. Kimber (Kelly Carlson, also a regular) can’t stay away from Christian. And Matt (John Hensley) is still reeling after learning that his ex-lover, Ava (Famke Janssen) was a transsexual.
“Matt goes to really disturbing places this season,” teases Murphy.
There’s still plenty left for the show’s leads to do, thankfully. It’s no secret Christian survives the Carver’s knife-wielding attack, but his emotional scars run deep.
“He matures because of what he’s been through,” says McMahon. But that doesn’t mean Christian’s stopped using sex as an emotional Band-Aid and McMahon couldn’t be happier.
“I’d like to be even more brutal and more weird,” says McMahon. “In our show, the sex scenes are very particular to what the characters are going through. I feel very lucky that we’ve gotten away with what we have, but I’d like to go even further.”
For Dr. Sean McNamara, who’s perpetually on the verge of a breakdown, there are some big changes coming.
“Halfway through the season, he leaves McNamara Troy because he’s having yet another personal crisis,” Walsh reveals.
His character, now divorced from Julia, is also navigating the singles scene.
“I think it was right to have [Julia and Sean] officially split instead of dragging the audience along,” he says. “I hope the audience that maybe there will be a way for them to be back together further down the line. I have a feeling it’s going to come down to how Sean can get his wife back.”
Unless, of course, she’s the Carver.