As TV dilemmas go -- and my goodness, those are serious, aren't they? -- this is one of those "I know I shouldn't, but I just can't stop myself" things.
I shouldn't continue to watch "Nip/Tuck." It descended last season so deeply into the pit of gratuitous, and not just a little demented, sexual story lines that I planned to wash my hands of this show, even though it once was one of my top 10 favorites.
I won't go into detail, but it was fairly disquieting to see one-time sweetheart actresses like Brooke Shields and Melissa Gilbert take part in some of the show's more shocking plots. Sure, their careers aren't exactly balls o' fire right now, but, gosh, there must be a commercial out there they could do instead.
So it is with some mortification that I admit to curiosity over how the show will turn now that the plastic surgery practice at its heart has moved from Miami to Beverly Hills. Could the move help this series desleaze and return to top 10 caliber?
Of course, the new setting is Beverly Hills. Not exactly Amish country. So odds of the writers toning down things aren't something I'd stake my house on.
The thing about "Nip/Tuck," though, is that even when it delves into the most shocking of behavior, it still manages to be one of TV's most compelling dramas. It's almost like the writers are daring you to keep watching, upping the craziness with each new episode and laughing: ha, ha, ha, ha -- gotcha!
And this week's season debut certainly didn't signal a switch to family viewing fare. Again, let's skip the details.
Yet there I was, watching the whole darn thing.
Now that I'm in, I guess I'll give it a two-show window of opportunity to prove itself rehabilitated.
Or, maybe, three shows.
Or, heck, maybe, we'll just watch and see how low things go.
Oh, boo hoo.
That's all the sympathy I could come up with while reading about the paparazzi photographer who allegedly got his foot run over by Britney Spears.
I guess I've turned some corner about this pop princess, nee sad mess. I used to think she was unduly popular, incredibly untalented and mostly irritating. Now, after watching her life fall apart in front of the world's eyes, I just think she's woeful and should be left alone to clean up.
Yes, I feel sorry for her -- despite the fact that she brought it all on herself.
I don't feel sorry for a celebrity hound who purposely crowds a person's space to get his payday shot. Seriously, if a person is going to insinuate himself on someone's life and rush her car for no reason other than to make a buck off her misfortune, then he bears a chunk of the responsibility if his foot finds grief because it's in some place it shouldn't be.
Speaking of celebrity messes, who let Paris Hilton make another movie? Really, why?
The title alone is reason to stay away (as if Hilton being the star isn't reason enough): "The Hottie and the Nottie."
Seriously? That's what you want to call your movie?
Even my computer wasn't having it. It locked up when I tried searching the film on IMDB.com.
Apparently, Hilton plays an heiress. Wow, nothing like going out on a casting limb. How will she pull it off?
The plot revolves around said heiress forcing an admirer to win her affections by getting a guy for her unattractive friend.
You know, I'd have a modicum of respect for the filmmakers and for Hilton herself if she was playing the "Nottie" instead of the "Hottie." Well, a half a modicum, anyway.
OK, maybe just a quarter.
Scene editor Pat Clark can be reached at email@example.com.