Californication, Showtime, Airs Sundays 10pm E/P
Episode: “No Way to Treat a Lady” (Season Two, Episode Three)
Synopsis: On Hank’s (David Duchovny) first day as biographer to Lew Ashby (Callum Rennie), he’s re-introduced to Trixie (Judy Greer), the hooker with a heart of gold, who stirs up trouble by claiming that Hank is better in bed than Ashby. When Karen (Natascha McElhone) and Sonja (Paula Marshall) meet to discuss a renovation project, Julian interrupts to work his guru magic on Karen. Becca (Madeleine Martin) grudgingly starts her first day at Mia’s (Madeline Zima) private school, where she meets an unexpected friend, Damien. Meanwhile, Charlie (Evan Handler) spots one of Marcy’s clients, a porn actress named Daisy (Carla Gallo). While pitching himself as her agent, Charlie hops a ride with Daisy only to realize that he’s in the middle of an impromptu porn shoot.
Review: Hank starts his biography gig in earnest by spending his first full day with Ashby, and as expected, another sexual misunderstanding/coincidence upsets Karen. She walks in as Hank and Ashby are play fighting with Trixie looking on, and the hooker starts blabbering about having had sex with Hank. Karen doesn’t mistakenly think Trixie’s referring to that afternoon, which is good, but it still upsets her enough to cause some over-inflated drama later in the episode. The conversation she has with Hank on the subject is a good one, and it’s very believable (I’ve actually had a similar one…) But like he says, she can’t forgive him with one breath and continue to crucify him for the past with the next. It’s not good for the relationship, but it’s even worse for the show. This is the exact danger that last season’s finale created… how to keep interest and conflict when the couple is together and happy.
The handful of minor plotlines that ran throughout the episode all promise to become bigger later in the season. Becca’s found a new boy, appropriately named Damien, that will hopefully be drama-free for the poor girl. And I’m not sure what to expect from Sonja’s boyfriend, Julian. His move on Karen with the pressure points and racing pulse… is he hitting on her or just a weirdo? Karen doesn’t seem to be responding as of yet, so I don’t expect the show to move her towards a relationship with the guy, but who knows. Charlie meanwhile, unknowingly steps onto the Slam Van, which I’ve been told is a thinly veiled takeoff on the Bang Bus. I of course am not familiar with the series, but per Wikipedia… “Each video consists of a typical everywoman who is picked up on the street, and is then persuaded to engage in sexual intercourse with men in the back of a van – the titular Bang Bus. Each storyline usually ends with the woman being dropped off unpaid and in the wrong location, shouting at the men as they drive off laughing.” Which makes the Slam Van a pretty sloppy imitation as they never filmed her getting picked up or interviewed. Plus, that director dude really can’t have been any good angles from the back seat…
Up Next Week: Hank and Karen throw a dinner party for a few close friends: Charlie and Marcy, who show up high, Ashby, Sonja, Julian and Mia. Becca and her new boyfriend Damien round out the group.
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Is anyone besides me still watching this show?