Californication airs Sunday Nights at 10pm on Showtime.
3.1 Wish You Were Here
Synopsis: Season 3 picks up shortly after Season 2 has ended. Hank Moody is still living in Los Angeles with his daughter, Becca while on-again off-again wife Karen has moved to New York on business. While Hank still loves Karen, within the first few minutes we’re reminded that Hank is still Hank following a run in with a young lady. The crux of the episode is Hank meeting the mother of Becca’s friend, a teacher at the local university. Through situations only Hank can engineer around him, involving drugs (of course), alcohol (of course), and the tucked penis vagina dance (what?), Mr. Moody soon finds himself on the verge of becoming Professor Moody.
Review: It’s good to have this show back, how I’ve missed it. Hank Moody is perhaps the reason why, secretly, all of us remain writers. His life, while certainly fucked here and there, also is filled with sex, drugs, and literature. Not quite rock and roll, but close enough. Season three starts by showing us the status quo – Hank is a single dad, Becca is starting to rebel, Karen is out of the picture for the most part, and poor Charlie Runkle is an agent working on commission for Sue Collini (Kathleen Turner).
Californication really depends on Hank being free to be Hank and that’s what we get now. Last season was a bit stuffy at times with all the Karen stuff – really, does anyone want them to be together? If the series ended at season one, sure that’s a good ending, but Hank is an unapologetic womanizing drunk. He doesn’t want to be tied down and the audience would hate to see that. The writing here is as sharp as ever – Moody is convincing and charming and a total ass. Several ill-fated romances/flings are set up as they establish how Hank comes to work as a professor this coming season. While not all that much happens in the first 30 minutes of this season, it’s a strong enough taste to keep us coming back for more of that bastard Moody.
3.2 The Land of Rape and Honey
Synopsis: Hank Moody, slacker writer, is now Hank Moody, college professor, already in the sights of Dean Stacy Koons (Peter Gallagher) and already finding himself wanting some of that sweet, luscious college girl pie – which I’m sure will end well. After Hank gives an emo-vampire wannabe writer (Gossip Girl’s Ed Westwick) a brutally honest critique, he finds himself in a spot of trouble. Meanwhile, Charlie Runkle is trying to get on his feet professionally while his bull of a boss (Kathleen Turner) wants to grind his bones to dust under her gyrating hips. On the home front, both men are screwed as Moody has a confrontation with Becca and Runkle fumbles the ball twice with Marcy.
Review: Karen is completely absent from this episode and not missed one bit. I’m looking forward to more Hank doing his thing, surrounded by plenty of ladies he shouldn’t be banging but most likely will. In this episode we got a glimpse of Hank in the classroom where he is decidedly absent though manages to give some words of wisdom to the students and to any aspiring writers who may be watching. Ed Westwick’s role is funny, but short, as his homoerotic vampire tale gets laughs on its own but also provides Moody some room to poo-poo on Twilight-esque vampire stories.
If there is a flaw with this season so far, to me, it’s Kathleen Turner as Runkle’s boss. She is just so over the top as this big bulldog sexual cougar that I find her laughable in the wrong way. Like she’s trying too hard. I’m not certain what will come of her storyline, but as of now I’m not totally on board. I was glad to see a little bit more of Marcy. I’m not sure what it is about actress Pamela Adlon, but she does it for me. I always did like ‘em short.
Moody also comes into contact with the college student who will either become a prodigy beneath him or a sexual mistake, Jackie, who is one of those smart girls working her way through college via large, natural breasts. The emotional climax of the scene involves a fight between Becca and Hank which to me came out of nowhere and was out of character for Hank, though it will undoubtedly provide plenty of drama in the future. All in all another good episode.
Coming Up: Moody shares a kiss with a married woman in a powerful position, Becca wants to experiment more with mind altering substances, and Runkle finds himself hip deep in some trouble.