Californication was a half-hour show on Showtime for seven years – 2007-2014. According to Netflix, it is about “Best-selling novelist Hank Moody battles writer’s block and a weakness for drugs, booze and one-night stands while he struggles to make things work with his on-and-off girlfriend and their teenage daughter.”
A yoga friend recommended the show to me, but warned that it was borderline pornography. Not one to be scared off by well-done pornography, I started watching it on Netflix a couple of weeks ago, and found it mildly enjoyable. But with each of the 84 episodes (12 per season), I became more fascinated by Hank Moody (David Duchovny), and before long I was in full binge mode, eventually watching the final two seasons in two days.
Moody is fascinating, not only because he is an irresistible lady’s man, but also because he is supremely witty and irreverent. And despite his womanizing, his character is basically honorable and honest.
His on-and-off girlfriend Karen, played by Natascha McElhone, is beautiful, smart, and warm, while his daughter Becca, played by Madeleine Martin, is precocious and plain. Handsome Hank and beautiful Karen would never produce a child as plain as Becca.
After the series concluded, Duchovny was asked how Hank Moody evolved over the seven seasons, and he said Hank had remained essentially the same. What an admission! Although I agree with that admission, it is what ultimately disappointed me about the ending. Instead of continuing his struggle with Karen, Hank should have taken up with the younger version of Karen who he hooked up with in Season Six – Faith, played by Maggie Grace. Even Karen admitted to being jealous of Faith because she saw in Faith’s face the same look of love that had been in Karen’s face many years earlier.
It’s too bad that Hank was too weak to move on from a relationship that had run its course. But that’s the problem with romantics – they live in the past instead of the present.