Like a kid suddenly dropped in the middle of Disneyland, I don't know where to start.
Make a TV series full of boring, one-dimensional characters, lots of nudity and cussing, and you've hit the jackpot. You'll be number one, you'll make millions. Plot? Hey, we have naked women, drugs and swearing, who needs a plot? Would it work? Of course. The proof is here: Californication.
Where to begin? We have a writer, Hank Moody (yes, the name gives a hint from the beginning) who has problems with the woman he loves. He does love her, but has lead such a carefree love life that it's hard for him to give up. After all, it's California I guess. Every episode, we watch hunky Hank's suffering (he's an artist after all) and the women dying to steal a night (or 10 minutes?) from him.
That's the whole plot. The main character is played by David Duchovny, who proves that any signs he had shown about being a decent actor(on the X-Files) were totally coincidental. Here he has the acting abilities of an average tree. He is a writer but we never see him write or work. (WORKING? LIKE REAL JOBS, AND ON TV? HEAVENS FORBID!) Like all TV characters, his job (e.g. artist, writer, fashion designing consultant, artist, aromatherapy counselor, artist, creative department head expertise fumgubator, and did I mention artist?) allows him to drift all day long, without doing one bit of the work that %99,9999 of the world does.
During his driftings in his fancy car****, he comes across some woman from his past every five minutes. And boy, do they want him back. Apparently Hank has a habit of changing his bed partners more often than his facial expression. Also apparently, apart from his writing abilities, he is so gifted in bed that all women are desperate to have him back. And the ones he hasn't met yet are so turned on by his wooden acting and porny name that... you get the idea. They are all ready to do it right there and then in 30 seconds.
The whole Hank Moody character, in every aspect, is right out of some 14-year old's horny dreams. He has a cool-sounding job that does not require him to do anything, he is rich, and all the women are wet and hot for him. But please don't get me wrong: I don't mean that he is popular, or well-liked among women. I mean women are ready to open their legs for him the second they see him. Yes, even without foreplay. Doesn't this strike as porn to you as well?
America must be full of women who are dripping wet and horny for the only real man: Hank Moody. Those puffy cheeks (which make him look like a Charles Bronson - Santa Claus hybrid, or a mutant squirrel-man), constant smoking, drooping shoulders and never-changing expression must be the biggest turn-on for women. Also, it seems these women have not had any happy relationships at all. Like there are no real men in America other than Hank Moody. The women are all unhappy, unsatisfied, un-everything.
The writers (yes, this stuff is actually written) try to blend in some drama, but it does not go beyond your average soap opera. Hank's gf still loves him and wants him to be faithful. Hank wants it too, and at one point he actually gives up others for her. But somehow, for some unexplicable reason, in every episode she catches him in a rather naughty-looking position with another woman. So finally she dumps him, and he goes to live with another rich-but-not-working guy, rock producer Lew Ashby (whom he's writing a book about). Hank is out of his home and desperately in need of consoling, so we have more excuse to see the token pubic hair and orgasm scene (at least once in every episode).
Other characters include Charlie, the something-producer (who looks very much like a twisted, retarded version of Peter Lorre. Also contender for the most annoying, pointless character in TV history) and his coke-snorting wife, etc.
I have nothing against sexuality, profanity or drug use on movies, or TV. As long as they are in the right context, proving a point. As long as they are a part of the plot. (Like Deadwood, or Entourage) But in this case, they are not. I guess Californication was supposed to be a series about some people's lives, involving their affairs, sex lives and drug habits. Instead, it is a series about sex, with no characters in it. And you may tell yourself it is not so, but there's a name for that: porn.
I'm trying to imagine the target audience for this show. Certainly not kids. There's almost no action, in fact, no story at all; so I'm guessing not men either. Women? Only bored housewives who'll watch any dull fantasy, I guess. Although no fantasies here either: just Hank exchanging dirty implications with women and trying to give the "It's oh so hard to be rich and loved by every woman, I'm sooo artistic and world-weary" look.
I try to find one bit of entertainment, at least one ingredient that works in this hodge podge of a series. Yes, the soundtrack. The songs are cool. That's it.
Final word: I've read quite a few hundred, perhaps thousands of comments on various movies and TV shows, but no show's fans use the word "witty" as often as fans of Californication. It seems to mean: "I love seeing breasts, but I'm too sophisticated to admit it, so I call this 'witty' instead of 'titty' ."
**** Hank has a Porsche but it is always dirty and one of the headlights is broken, yet he never gets it fixed. WOW! How profound. He is soooo artsy, sooo different from the rest of us.
87 out of 160 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.