Californication season one review
Aerial Telly was never really a fan of The X-Files. He watched the first two episodes and was agnostic as to its appeal. Then came the stretchy man in an air vent producing a large "get tae fuck" from his mouth and an understanding that the show sucked a great deal of hairy man ass crack. The problem was that unlike Buffy (whose monsters were clearly metaphors) the show cultivated the notion that "woooo – this could really be happening RIGHT NOW and the guvverment is LYING" to which the sensible critic would reply "fuck off, that’s a stretchy man in an air vent – there’s no such thing". And the same applies to the poltergeists, alien spacecraft and carnivorous man-beasts that appeared on the show. It was fantasy that tried to convince you it was documentary. It wanted to have its cock and eat it. Which meant that at its heart it was a stupid and annoying show.
"The X-Files cultivated the notion that ‘this could really be happening RIGHT NOW and the guvverment is LYING’ to which the sensible critic would reply ‘fuck off, that’s a stretchy man in an air vent – there’s no such thing’"
Consequently, Aerial Telly was not that bothered about the post X-Files career of David Duchovny. His new show Californication nonetheless sounded worth checking out. Misanthropic writer and poon hound pines for his New York home as he tries to get back with his ex in the vacuous image obsessed LA. And you know what? It’s a pretty fucking good show. Duchovny plays Hank Moody, aforementioned writer, with a great deal of relish, spitting venom at the assorted stupidities of LA while making increasingly desperate attempts to get back with his ex Karen (Natascha Mcelhone). Hank and Karen have a twelve year-old daughter Becca (the impressive and likeable Madeleine Martin) – a worldly-wise young pup who loves her daddy more than words can say.
"The lazy cliche of saintly mother and feckless absent father is misandrist horseshit that makes for crappy one-dimensional characterisation."
There is a cute snarky relationship between Hank and Becca that is a little like Veronica and Keith’s 1. Becca understands her father better than anyone and loves him anyway. Aerial Telly is a big supporter of the positive portrayal of relationships between fathers and their spawn. The lazy cliche of saintly mother and feckless absent father is misandrist horseshit that makes for crappy one-dimensional characterisation. I mean, Hank is a little on the feckless side but he loves both his girls. Even though one of them isn’t his anymore.
As the show total implies, Hank fucks his pain away with a series of carnal encounters with the finest pie LA has to offer. One particularly feisty young pup who punches him twice (eek!) upon orgasm turns out be Mia the 16 year-old daughter of Karen’s new fiancee Bill (Madeline Zima)2.
"Watching those joyless emotionless mounds of silicone defy gravity and commonsense as the rest of the body moves in tune in the laws of physics makes Aerial Telly quite depressed."
Hank is not a fan of the Hollywood Wax. He likes to have a little something down below to let him know it is having sex with an adult. Aerial Telly is right with him on this one. He was with a lady recently who shaved her wookie and he found it quite off-putting3. Furthermore, there are far too many fake tits on this show. Watching those joyless emotionless mounds of silicone defy gravity and commonsense as the rest of the body moves in tune in the laws of physics makes him quite depressed. What makes Hank depressed (apart from not being with Karen) is his critically acclaimed novel God Hates Us All being turned into a sappy romantic comedy Crazy Little Thing Called Love starring Scientology fuckbuddies Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. The posters for the wildly successful film are everywhere, mocking his futile attempts to begin writing again.
"Moody is strung-out on some broad and the day Aerial Telly is strung-out on a dame is the day he strings himself up from the rafters."
Cultured readers may think they have "spotted" some "similarities" between Aerial Telly and Hank Moody and, yes, he will freely admit that he is also a genius who gets more pussy in a month that most men get in their lifetime. But there are important differences between the two. Moody is a narcissist and Aerial Telly hates anyone like that. Moody is a misanthrope whereas Aerial Telly has nothing but love and compassion in his heart. Most tellingly, Moody is strung-out on some broad and the day Aerial Telly is strung-out on a dame is the day he strings himself up from the rafters. It ain’t never happening, blood.
"Californication is a sharply scripted engaging glance at relationshits, writers and the Hollywood machine."
But that’s all by the by. Duchovny is great in this and it’s a sharply scripted engaging glance at relationshits, writers and the Hollywood machine. And look at Showtime – all grown-up and shit. They keep on producing good shows all of a sudden. Long may it continue.
The best thing about it: Hank and Becca
The worst thing about it: Weird anti-gravity breasts.
The verdict onCalifornication: Considerable improvement on the X-Files.
Marks out of 10: 8
1 Aerial Telly is still in mourning for Veronica Mars
2 Typical. You spend months looking for a Madeleine then two arrive at once
3 Not that this stopped him giving her the best fuck of her life