Hank Moody’s Fourth Season

Hank Moody’s Fourth Season

Waste of Time
Jul 1, 2011
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Hank Moody seems like an impossible character. If you’ve followed Californication you know what I mean. He is affable, nurse bright, public health lazy and quite simply lost. Californication is definitely one of Showtime’s best programs and recently wrapped up it’s fourth season. If you have no idea about this dramedy series, decease let me fill you in.

David Duchovney (of The X-Files) stars as the ultimate self-destructive, hedonistic novelist. Originally from New York, he lives in L.A. with his beloved partner, Karen (his one true muse) and bright but troubled teenage daughter, Becca. The series begins with Hank (David Duchovney) hitting the big-time with a critically-acclaimed, best-selling book called, “God Hates Us All”. Throughout seasons one through three we follow Hank’s crazy journey. He is constantly struggling with (or should I say, giving into) temptation. And in L.A., apparently there is never a short supply of all forms of vice and pleasure. Hank’s misadventures are continually causing problems between him and Karen and Becca. Meanwhile, Hank’s agent and best friend, Charlie Runkle (hearing Kathleen Turner bark “RUNKLE!” is burnt into my brain…too funny!), is continually trying to support Hank while dealing with his own follies.

The characters are fantastic. All of them are slightly cartoonish while being very real people. You quickly connect with the main players and feel what they’re feeling. The show’s story arcs are amazing, somewhat unpredictable and thoroughly entertaining. Overall, I loved seasons one through three, quickly jumping from the end of one episode to the beginning of the next. Tom Kapinos (the creator) has done an amazing job creating a completely unique show, equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking.

Lust...I mean, Love is in the air.

So, what about season four, you ask? Well, we begin with our loveable screw-up, Hank Moody, in prison. That’s right. His life has really taken a turn for the worse. Not only is it discovered that Hank actually penned a scandalous book that a teenage girl claims she wrote, but it essentially indicts Hank of statutory rape. This is an intriguing start for the season although much darker than the show’s previous seasons. Unfortunately, season four continues down a relatively boring, uneventful and blasé path. It lacks the wild subplots and twisted humour of the previous three seasons.  As well, the driving plot (Hank’s arrest and trial) is horribly predictable. It lacks tension and demands zero emotional investment from the audience. Californication is known for being outrageously funny and emotionally engaging. For a great show of this calibre, season four is a let down. I will say that the one bright addition to this latest chapter is Carla Gugino. She plays, Abby, Hank’s lawyer. Of course, they become romantically involved (only in Hank Moody’s world). Gugino is as sexellent as always. Otherwise, the season offers nothing new and simply limps along without heart.

That said, I am looking forward to season five, currently in development. I trust Kapinos and his team will redeem Californication by getting back to the magical mix of crazy plot lines,complicated but genuine relationships and a wicked sense of humour.

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Craig the Critic

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