All Isn’t Sunny on Showtime’s Californication

Before I get to the nitty gritty of Showtime’s new show, Californication, I must address the fact the a few years back, I caught another show with very much the same premise, Out of Order.

Out of Order was a pay-cable mini-series starring Eric Stoltz, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Justine Bateman and several other outstanding actors as they faced midlife, infidelity, childrearing, work and marriage, and it was excellent.

Now on to Californication, which could be Out of Order’s cousin.

In this series, David Duchovny (of The X-Files fame) portrays a blocked writer who uses sex the way some people use toilet paper–too much and too often.

Duchovny’s character, Hank, has an ex (not ex-wife, just ex, as he never stepped up to the plate and actually proposed to her when they were together) and a daughter, Becca, with said ex.

The first episode of the series sets up a lot of action, both in bed and out.

Firt of all, Hank is seen in bed with three different women in the span of the first half hour installment. Impressive.

But there’s more to the story.

You see, Hank wrote a book, God Hates Us All, which got made into a film, A Crazy Little Thing Called Love.

He’s (rightfully, if you ask me) pissed about the “liberties” that were taken with his story–basically, it was turned into a sappy love story, when, well, I would assume that a book called God Hates Us All isn’t full of sap.

One day, Hank wanders into a bookstore, presumably to stroke his own ego because his best-seller is in the window, and he meets Mia, a little vixen sexpot who he quickly beds.

Mia has an odd (habit?) of punching men in the face during sex, and proceeds to give Hank a black eye in exchange for the romp.

In the ep, Evan Handler, also known as Charlotte’s bald, kosher husband on Sex And The City, has a nice supporting role as Hank’s friend/agent, Charlie.

Probably the only miscast of the bunch is Hank’s ex, Karen, played by the wooden, unemotional Natascha McElhone. If the direction given to her was to stand with a blank look on her face in every scene, then let’s just say she’s doing an outstanding job.

Karen has been proposed to by her boyfriend, who we have yet to meet, and it turns out that puncher Mia is said fiance/boyfriend’s 16-year-old daughter. Ouch.

Now that Mia’s had a shot, I wonder who will be next to punch Hank?


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