The End of ‘Californication’

Very rarely does a television show have the decency to wrap up the series in a timely fashion. Most choose to alienate their audience with shoddy, lifeless episodes and tired or ridiculous plots in hopes of prolonging the life of their ‘baby.’ It’s times like that where we should take a page out of Stephen King’s book  and “kill your darlings.”

That being said, Californication’s seventh season, airing in April 2014, will be it’s last. While I wish I could say it remains an untarnished series, I just can’t – but at least they were able to pull the plug themselves. What started as a heartfelt series about a tortured writer trying to get his wife and daughter back together as a family has turned into a circus of attempted shock value, almost insulting stereotypes, and a disintegrating interest from the audience for any of the core cast’s issues. It’s upsetting to see one of this decade’s most recognizable anti-heroes fall even further than the bar floor he was passed out on.

David Duchovny is known as two things -three if you count Agent Denise Bryson of Twin PeaksThe X-Files Detective Fox Mulder and now Californication‘s Hank Moody, a sarcastic, heavy drinking, writer slash sex machine. Managing to make all those tired stereotypes work well together is part of his magic although the show just hasn’t kept up. Trying to push the envelope (however slightly) with the darker sides of a man struggling to “keep it together while everything’s falling apart” has turned the show into a parody of itself…for the past three or four seasons. This season alone has seen a psychopathic, stun-gunning, ultra-feminist, graveyard blowies at a funeral and the magical art of eating candy bars from a lady’s womanhood – all without purpose to the script. This once great show hasn’t just jumped the shark, it’s jumped an entire shark tank.

Season six ends with Hank’s irritatingly textbook goth daughter, Becca, traversing Europe and Russell Bran- ahem, Atticus Fitch, riding his tour bus into the sunrise far east. Hopefully, Hank and the showrunners see the opportunity to take the show back to it’s origins instead of focusing on these cartoonish distractions. Come April, Showtime will have Hank writing for television for a show based on season five’s Santa Monica Cop, but Californication has always been about Hank’s undying love for Karen and his quest to win her back. Leaving him at her doorstep for the finale is a good sign, even if it doesn’t end well for him. With any luck, this show will end on some sort of high and not sink even further to where I regret ever man-crushing on Hank Moody.

About Dan Attamante

North Jersian Film major with a minor in Writing and eight years in teaching screenwriting (because why not, money ain't everything...).

Posted on December 10, 2013, in Comedy, Drama, Primetime, Showtime and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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