Watch This NOW – The Californication Edition
Ace Wellington The Third Makes a Glorious Return to the Manse to Discuss Shows You Should Totally be Watching
It’s that time of the season where shows are taking their mid-season breaks for weeks at a time and the question is asked, “What does one do with all this free time?” Answer: Watch more TV shows that you might have missed! You see, I’m the type of person that can’t stand idle for any period of time. If I’m not preoccupied with television or movies- I begin to do things like plot the downfall of mankind, plan my inevitable rise and fall from power and/or sit alone in my room while eating a TV dinner. All of these outcomes are unacceptable, so I venture into the interwebs for an acceptable replacement for the hole in my brain that these shows have left.
And what show did I catch this time? Showtime’s Californication.
David Duchovny went from alien chasing FBI Agent Mulder to a slutty yet clever writer, Hank Moody. The show is like crack for those whose minds and pens are connected by a string. The writing is crisp and simple yet it is crafted in such a way to be erotic and all consuming. I won’t spoil the entire series for you, but here are some of my favorite quotes:Meredith: Apathy kills, Hank.
Hank: I don’t care. Hank: People… they don’t write anymore – they blog. Instead of talking, they text, no punctuation, no grammar: LOL this and LMFAO that. You know, it just seems to me it’s just a bunch of stupid people pseudo-communicating with a bunch of other stupid people in a proto-language that resembles more what cavemen used to speak than the King’s English. Hank into mirror: “Nobody likes you … you are ugly and your mother dresses you funny. Now, smile you fuckin’ douche. Becca: I’m always on your side, dad, always. Even when I shouldn’t be. But I’m sick of it. Get your shit together before it’s too late! I don’t care if you and mom never say another kind word to each other, but I’m sick and tired of parenting you both. I’m a fucking kid! I don’t know what I’m doing half the time. But I do know this: If you keep cracking jokes and taking another drink and pretending that life is one big, stupid party, you will miss everything.
So, for the basic story line- Hank Moody is a writer in every sense. He is a tragic character who casts his life down onto his own characters and draws from his crazy exploits. The story all starts when he has a romantic encounter with a woman at a book store who is reading a copy of his book. The two quickly hop into bed and get busy and just as the stranger orgasms, she punches Hank in the face. This would all be a nice and fine story for Hank but when he shows up to the love of his life, ex-lover, and baby mommy’s house, Karen, he meets her soon to be (underage) step-daughter…who just so happens to punch people in the face. And to be honest, this is a more timid part of the series.
The show would actually be a great love story if Hank could just stay out of his own way. He is the perfect example of the little devil on our shoulders- we try and be good people and yet somehow, shit always ends up diverting us. Hank tries to stay true to his roots, each episode he tries to be a better person, and he is always trying to be that hopeless romantic just trying to find his way back into Karen’s arms but that’s not always the way the world works.
Why must writers be so tragic? Is it because that’s the only way we can truly tell a compelling story? In the dying age of the novel- I can only imagine this show is the closest depiction of that transformation of writing from book to screen. So, let’s face it…We’re gonna end up in the hot California sun because New York is cold and novel writing is a dying art. We will become slaves to the screenplay and watch tragically as we try to weave art into fart jokes and half boob. But, it might not be all bad. California has pretty girls, strong drinks, and as Hank Moody would put it, “Instead of finding out your husband was gay, you could’ve found out he was a Scientologist…or a Nazi. Or Al-Qaeda. See that’s what I love about LA. It’s the diversity.” Well put, Hank.
If you like Sex, Drugs, and Writing (there’s even a season about rock and roll!), Californication is the series for you. The show just finished its 5th season on Showtime and has been renewed for a 6th. Now just might be a good time to catch up on it. And as always, stay tuned.