“Sometimes it’s better not to touch your dreams, take it from someone who knows.”
What a difference three years makes. That’s right, the beloved series decides to return with a flash forward three years ahead, giving the series a new and fresh outlook with some new faces and a few familiar ones as well. The time may have changed, but thankfully Hank Moody sure hasn’t, still managing to get himself in all kinds of trouble despite his best intentions. This year he must deal with an unstable ex-girlfriend, his daughter’s philandering boyfriend, and keeping his extremely volatile new client from finding about the tryst he had with the client’s girlfriend; it can only happen to Hank Moody.
At the beginning of last season, Hank was up a certain creek without a paddle as he stood trial for statutory rape, and given that he actually committed the crime (albeit unwittingly) it seem that he would be found guilty. Luckily for him (and us), though he was found guilty, he received a slap on the wrist. Deciding he needs a fresh start, Hank decides to get in the car and drive. Three years later, Hank is back in his mecca, New York City. After a bad breakup, Hank needs a break and accepts his best friend and agent Charlie Runkle’s invitation to fly back to Los Angeles to meet with a potential client, hip hop mogul Samurai Apocalypse (RZA) about developing his screenplay.
On the plane, Hank meets a beautiful woman named Kali (the gorgeous Meagan Good: words don’t express my love for her), and in true Moody fashion the two indulge in a rendezvous on the plane. After leaving the plane, Hank goes directly to Karen’s new home that she shares with her new husband and Hank’s former rival Bates (Jason Beghe). Upon his arrival, he learns that his beloved daughter Becca is now involved with someone who resembles a younger version of himself and instantly doesn’t like the guy.
Before long, all Hank wants is to return to New York, but every attempt to escape the City of Angels is met with a disaster that pulls him back in. Ultimately, Hank accepts Samurai Apocalypse’s offer to write his screenplay, Santa Monica Cop (I know what you’re thinking, what a complete rip-off of Eddie Murphy’s critical franchise; don’t worry, it’s more of a homage and it is addressed in the series), just in time to realize that the woman he joined the mile high club with is also Samurai’s girlfriend. I repeat, it can only happen to Hank Moody.
Californication is like wine, it just gets better over time because after five seasons, the show continues to keep you laughing and entertained. Every year you are taken on a journey which on the surface seems to be about how many ways can a guy disrupt the balance of his life by sinking into depravity, but beneath it there is an art and grace to how every situation is handled, and it makes the story worth telling.
No other actor could have done Hank Moody the way David Duchovny has; it’s a bold claim, but it’s the truth. It’s a short list of actors who possess that same level of range, very few actors that could breathe that kind of life into a character that is both creatively brilliant and emotionally broken. I am also impressed with the evolution of Madeleine Martin; I have watched her grown up playing the role of a daughter who usually ends up being more like a parent to her manchild father, and now she’s a mature and attractive young woman capable of making her own choices in life, albeit not always the best choices, but such is life.
Guest starring this season: RZA, Meagan Good, Camilla Luddington, Natalie Zea, Peter Berg, Rob Lowe, Judy Greer, and one I was the most excited about, the return of Mr. Lew Ashby, Callum Keith Rennie.
Favorite Episode: The Ride Along