The Circumstantial Exile
by James Killough
Tomorrow will be the season finale of Californication, after which I shall willingly slip into watching Nurse Jackie and less willingly United States of Tara; I find most of Tara’s personas to be more annoying than she does, and I don’t believe her husband loves her so much to put up with that. I’m really psyched about The Borgias. Jeremy Irons’ voice makes me regret I don’t smoke any more. He sounds like a total industrial accident. So glamorous.
I’m going to discuss Californication and its plot, so if you don’t want to read further, please don’t make me say SPOILER ALERT, a term that is equally as annoying as “blog” or “hater.”
The basic story line over four seasons so far: a sexy, rakish writer, Hank Moody (David Duchovny), moved with his girlfriend, Karen (Natascha McElhone), and their daughter, Becca, from New York to Venice Beach in Los Angeles because they were adapting a book of his for the screen. Hank is deeply in love with Karen, but can’t stay out of trouble much less out of other women’s pussies. Many, many other women’s pussies. Snatch is thrown at him like roses at an opera singer. Hank is basically the wet dream/pet project of almost every male producer in LA I have ever met: the Casanova character: talented, louche, up to his eyeballs in cooch despite himself, chased by the law for things he did but weren’t really his fault. This is the reason 90% of these guys get into film to begin with: to get laid. A lot. And all they end up with is three simultaneous alimonies and a litany of crap on their filmographies.
Duchovny is good at this because he is entirely believable and sympathetic; apparently he checked himself into sex addiction rehab a couple of years ago, so the role of Hank isn’t a stretch for him. Even better than Duchovny, and someone I would give a molar or two to work with, is Natascha McElhone. What a revelation she is, and so beautiful to look at.