luke kalamar dreams of californication…
Plot: Writer Hank Moody (David Duchovny) wakes up in the hospital after he was drugged by his ex-girlfriend Carrie (Natalie Zea). He shortly discovers that Carrie is on life-support and is waiting for her parents to pull the plug. Hank blames himself for her condition and falls into a massive drunken stupor. During this time, he meets with British rocker Atticus Fetch (Tim Minchin) who wants to turn one of Hank’s novels, God Hates Us All, into a Broadway Rock Opera.
As someone who never had a subscription to Showtime in the past, I didn’t have the opportunity to watch Californication. I saw plenty of commercials on the channels I did watch, and was always interested, but still never could go beyond that. Now, on the premiere of the Sixth Season, I finally had a chance to see what all the fuss is about. The result was a very enjoyable 30 minutes with constant laughs and a few low moments.
The main focus of the episode, Hank’s constant inebriation, was both entertaining and tragic. Even though the reason behind his destructive behavior was as horrible as they come, his actions during it were absolutely hilarious. The back-and-forth between Hank and his best friend/agent Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) was both well-acted and very well-written, making it one of the best moments of this premiere. I lost it when Hank urinated into an empty alcohol bottle and then proceeded to take a big swig of it, much to the disgust Charlie. It was the most apt display of how much of a mess this man had truly become. Hank’s “worst intervention ever” with Marcy (Pamela Adlon), Rebecca (Madeleine Martin), and Karen (Natascha McElhone) was amazing as well.
I also really enjoyed the introduction of what is to be the primary story arc for Season Six. Even though very little was done with the idea of turning one of Hank’s novels into a Rock Opera in this episode, it definitely set the wheels in motion for something much bigger. Tim Minchin was a great choice to play Atticus Fetch as well and I look forward to seeing what type of rapport him and Hank can create by both being completely unhinged individuals. It’s bound to be hilarious.
What I disliked about this episode was how there was very little explanation to why Carrie was in the hospital and on life support. Granted, I didn’t see the Fifth Season Finale, but no amount of research on my part revealed to me why she is in such a horrible condition. Hell, I’m not even 100% positive the woman in the bed even was Carrie as the characters never reference her by name. I simply put two-and-two together when I kept seeing her haunt Hank’s dreams.
Speaking of the Hank’s dreams, I didn’t really see those as having much of a point too. The real message I got from them was that Hank completely loves Karen and is rapt with guilt over Carrie’s condition, but that message was already hammered away in every other scene during this episode. I would’ve really preferred for those scenes to have been replaced with a minute or so explaining why Carrie is going to die. All in all, it didn’t feel those scenes were a good use of the short 28 minutes this show has for actual content.
Despite the negatives, this was a strong premiere and great first step for me into the world of Hank Moody. David Duchovny was incredible and I believe he deserves some more recognition for his performances. I’m officially adding Californication to my ever growing list of shows that I must watch, and you definitely should too if you haven’t seen it before.