Californication: Season 4 (PREVIEW)


On DVD: 
Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Having never seen "Californication" before season four, I think I may have come in at the right time. I had only heard that the main character, Hank Moody (Duchovny) sleeps with a lot of women. A lot. Of. Women. While that's true, the show still has so much sparkle and charm that I was eager to watch each next episode.

For those of you who have never met Hank Moody, he is a devil-may-care Hollywood writer who has a penchant for getting (and doing) whatever he wants: taking drugs, drinking more than the entire cast of "Mad Men," and sleeping with so many women that I lost count. He is absolutely not without fault, but how the hell does he make you love him again by the end of each 28 minute episode?

In this season, we find Hank paying for the mistakes and bad judgements of the past three seasons. He's told Karen about sleeping with Mia (16 years old by the way) and last we saw him in season three, he was arrested for that very same deed. Hank experiences every possible twist and turn he could imagine while trying to hold on to everything he wishes he never messed up. Everything that happened in seasons one-three rushes to catch up with Hank and forces him to face his demons whether he wants to or not.  I feel very strongly that this is Hank's redemption season and chance to finally grow the f--- up. Will he grow up or will he stay on the same doomed course?

Hank is reckless, has no judgement, and makes the worst mistakes possible but he tries to be as good a father to his 16 year-old daughter, Becca, as best as he can. He spends a good part of the season trying to make sure she doesn't make the same mistakes he made. He's actually good at relating to her since emotionally, he's her age.

"Californication" is nothing without the supporting cast: Charlie, Marcy, Karen, and Becca. All without whom, Hank would be nothing more than a whoring drunk. They keep him human and alive.

Season four is full of excellent guest stars: Carla Cugino (some reviewers think her talent is wasted in this season, but I disagree), Callie Thorne, Michael Ealy, Zoe Kravitz, Tommy Lee (more of a cameo than anything else), Fisher Stevens, and Rob Lowe. Rob is by far the scene-stealer in every episode he's in ("Agent!") and it is rumoured that Brad Pitt was the inspiration for the role. All I can say is that Eddie Nero is insane.

I give this season an A+ and while I have no real frame of reference for the rest of the series, rest assured that this excellent season makes me want to rush out and get the first three. Worth the watching.


P.S. And the best dialogue exchange of the season:

Karen: You look great.

Hank: I look like a f---ing FBI agent.

Karen: A very broody, comely FBI agent.

Review by Jennifer Isbell