TV Review: Californication 2.5 – Vaginatown

Californication: Vaginatown

Californication, Showtime, Airs Sundays 10pm E/P

Episode: “Vaginatown” (Season Two, Episode Five)

Synopsis: After getting dumped by Karen, Hank is relegated to living at Ashby’s mansion. In order to distract Hank from his heartbreak, Ashby arranges a sex session with popular, yet incredibly annoying, celebrity chef, Chloe Metz. Meanwhile, Charlie takes on a new client, Daisy, who’s eager to land the lead in a porn film called Vaginatown. Charlie meets with the film’s director Ronny Praeger and secures her the part, but only after investing $100,000 of his own savings.

Review: Great shows start with great titles, and this week’s episode certainly has one… Vaginatown. I myself am not a porn aficionado, but if I were I think I’d be partial to the spoofs if only for the creativity that goes into the titles. Charlie’s venture into the world of porn seems fitting, and it’ll certainly provide endless opportunities for naked flesh and flying fluids, so I most definitely approve of this new direction. But on to the main plot-line…

This episode rocked the way almost all of last season rocked with a perfect balance of the raunchy and the heartfelt. The raunch comes courtesy of Hank’s current living arrangement with Ashby, which like Charlie’s new career, is guaranteed to provide a future bounty of sin. Yay! The banter between Hank and Chloe Metz (Meredith Monroe) during their energetic romp was hysterical… “Fuck me like I’m Al-Qaeda!” she screams… “I’m declaring jihad on your pussy!” he responds. She was a foul little minx throughout the episode and I loved it. Speaking of banter, the quick chats between Hank and Ashby have been priceless so far, both insanely funny and dirty as hell, and I hope Ashby stays around for he rest of the season. Callum Keith Rennie is doing a phenomenal job of making Ashby as intriguing as he is disgusting.

The final few minutes of the episode were some of the best of the season in regards to Hank and Karen’s love. Their pining is perfect and almost enough to forget how it was all almost thrown away at the end of last season. This relationship truly is the show’s strength… Hank and Karen’s desperate love for each other is a thing of beauty, as long as it remains unfulfilled. His pining on the side of the road while overlooking the city, her painting portraits she’ll never share with him… these are powerful images. Much like the idea of Hank’s “half black cock.”

Up Next Week: Hank decides to seek out Lew Ashby’s long lost love. He finds her in the surprising form of Beverly Hills mom Janie Jones. Later, Hank accidentally walks in on Julian going at it with a rocker chick he’s “mentoring.” When Hank confronts Sonja about the discovery she reveals that, much to her frustration, they have an open relationship. Mia spends the day trailed by Rolling Stone reporter Annika Staley. After finagling their way over to Ashby Manor, Hank takes a liking to Staley, but is shocked to discover Mia leaving Ashby’s bedroom later that night. Meanwhile, when a location falls through, the Runkle residence is transformed into the set of Vaginatown.

For more coverage of your favorite shows, check out the Control Freaks Archive.

Did you catch this week’s episode of Californication? If so, feel free to discuss below.

Rob is the Chief Film Critic of Film School Rejects. He doesn't eat cheese on weekdays.

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