Californication with Hank Moody

After finishing the final season of Nip/Tuck last month, I’ve been in a bit of a TV-series-watching lull. Nothing really appealed to me enough to commit, and I ended up watching a bunch of meh movies on my Wii, including Casino (★★★), Latter Days (★★), and the truly unwatchable Dear John (☆). That’s right, Dear John doesn’t even warrant a star! And that’s not because  I’m a bitter cynic against rom-com’s – I love me a good Nicholas Sparks love story, but that it absolutely wasn’t (or if it was, I was too bored to wait for it).

Well, last night I stumbled on Californication, which had been hovering over my radar for a while, and I gave it a shot. To my surprise it wasn’t nearly half-bad! If it’s any indication, I watched the entire first season in two days.

A Brief Taste

Season one introduces Hank Moody (David Duchovny), a washed-up New York writer (living in LA, hence the title) whose last successful, existential book was published over five or six years ago and turned into an awful blockbuster romantic comedy. He’s a loving father, and the scenes between him and his adolescent daughter are truly incredible. However, as is such, he’s deeply flawed man with considerable commitment fears and wide supply of one-night stands. He’s got a razor sharp tongue that sticks out in an LA world where “LOL” has become part of the lexicon and bloggers and tweeters are the new Richard Yates and Virginia Woolf. Check out the show for all of Hank – hilarity, wit, deep personal struggles, lewdness, and quite simply an excellent character.

What I like

  • The obvious love that Hank has for his daughter is crisply evident; unlike other apathetic dads, he is very very present in her life (although he’s certainly human and has his fair share of dissapointments)
  • Hank is smart! I don’t just mean intelligent, I mean he’s a literary genius who refuses to allow society to kill off the art of writing
  • The dynamics between him and his ex-partner are very real – they’ve split up and she’s moved on, but they have the very real task of co-parenting (and do it well for the most part)
  • It’s on Showtime, so free reign over language and nudity
  • Season 1 is available on Netflix’s Instant View!

What I don’t like

  • Despite his love for his family, Moody’s in fact quite that – moody, and he can be lazy and sort of apathetic about it all, which  can set the same tone for myself even after I’ve turned the show off, you know?
  • There’s a very annoying sub-plot involving Madeline Zima which I could do without (although realizing that she’s Gracie from The Nanny was priceless!!)
  • It’s on Showtime, so free reign on the language and nudity 😉


  • If you’re a fan of Weeds, Dexter, Nip/Tuck, Mad Men, The Sopranos, etc., Californication may be for you!
  • If you watched The X-Files and/or are a fan of Duchovny, you should watch – he’s stellar!
  • If you are interested in family dynamics post separation, and if you’re interested in the inner-workings of a literary genius, check it out!

I give season one of Californication ★★★★ and hope it continues not to disappoint!

What do you think of the show? Praise? Criticism?

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