Californication's Hank Moody Needs to Get Hurt

It would be nice to be Hank Moody. David Duchovny's protagonist on Californication lives in a world without consequence, where you can carry on three simultaneous relationships and no one gets hurt, where the love of your life finds you amusingly frustrating rather than thoughtlessly cruel, a world where you never have to grow up. As an escapist fantasy, it works. As a television show, it's getting old fast.

With three episodes left in the third season, Hank has ruined an alcoholic's sobriety, broken up a marriage, destroyed his daughter's only friendship, allowed Rick Springfield and Runkel to use his house, where his daughter lives, as a brothel. All of this has turned out pretty well for him, the biggest consequence seeming to be that Karen, the love of his life, is mildly annoyed.

Now, there have been hints of larger consequences for Hank—his last book didn't do well, and more importantly, he is slowly but thoroughly destroying Becca's adolescence—but the merry satyr that Hank sees himself to be is not what he actually is. Hank is a dick. He's a terrible father, boyfriend, and friend. Characters like this need to face comeuppance, not because of some overarching moral imperative (this is television, morality is kind of irrelevant), but because otherwise it's boring.

Californication can go one of two ways at this point: It can be Entourage or it can be Mad Men. On Entourage, Vince and his unbearable gang do whatever they want, everything predictably works out, and it's neither funny nor entertaining. On Mad Men, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is the darkest and most loathsome "hero" since Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), but he is penalized for his choices, and it's compelling. Entourage is a successful show by any non-critical metric, but it's much more interesting to watch a character like Draper, who is likable despite the horrible things he does. Let's hope that in the next three episodes of Californication, Hank feels some pain. Trust me, you'll like it.

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DJHO27 - That's not sexist at all. Yeah, the reason I don't like someone sleeping with many different disgusting women, including his wife's husband's daughter and a drug addict, is because I'm female. Give me a break. Hank is 'refreshing'? I'm sure the reason why you find such a despicable character interesting is because you're a male who can't get any in real life.
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I stoped last season at some point. I just had to watch something else for a change!
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Absolutely NO!

TV and movies were originally created as American escapism - your life is down in the dirt, so watch this and feel better as you live vicariously through the characters. Californication is the complete unapologetic embodiment of that - women, booze, sex, money, love, family, and a total lack of consequences. We don't watch Californication because it's got a typical story arc, rise, climax, fall, blah blah blah - we watch it because it's FUN!
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I don't know why I still watch this show. This whole fantasy thing got old in season one, but I kept watching out of boredom. If this finale sucks it will be my last season.
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No!
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I disagree. That's what we love Hank for. For being such an a**hole! I used to watch Madmen, but they are bloody boring now. I don't want the same to happen to Californication.
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This is without doubt the most ridiculous article I have read, really. I don't even watch the other 2 shows mentioned coz they bored me. This show is exciting witty, sarcastic, sexy, cool & raunchy. Hanks is Fonz in the naughties! Really it all comes down to a story about a guy who gets away with sh*t, terrible sh*t, that's what makes it so entertaining. I remember an Eddie Murphy sketch about a guy caught banging another women by his girlfriend, the girlfriend leaves running, and the guys jumps up off the broad and chases her half naked. His excuse? "Okay I f*ck*d her, but I made love to you" Hank is this guy!
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Yes yes yes!!! I agree. I've watched Californication since the pilot episode, and every season I always ask.... how in gods name does this dude not fall flat on his face from all the crap he does? And it is starting to get old. I'm not saying he sound do a complete 180 and become the bestest (yeah i said that) guy in the whole wide world but at least make something believable! I'm still laughing WAY too loudly when I watch so the comedy is still good.
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I like the show but would kill for a dose of a smart, beautiful woman who DOESN'T fall into bed with Hank. I mean, come ON. I was so hopeful when Diane Farr starred, but they've gone and turned her into a sad, uterus-aging nympho who's already shown her breasts (or was that a double?). Bummer.
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Hank is awesome.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to be him, but it's nice to see a protagonist that is unabashedly themselves without any of the normal, moral, BS that gets shoved down our throat on TV.
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It's still good, when Hank grows up that's the day to end it. Is this really a show about him getting some sort of comeuppence?

My only problems with the show are that the pretence of him being a writer is over although at least they made him a lecturer to give him something to do. The other thing is the women it would be nice if he met one that didn't want to sleep with him, I think the only one in the whole run is 'cokey smurf' and she is a great character.
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I gave up on this show a long time ago as faintly disguised pornography...it's a f*cking joke of a show...Showtime's standards have really dropped in the last couple of years...Californication and Weeds are wonderful indicators of this...thank goodness there's still stuff like Dexter out there tho...but in the world of comedy..it looks BLEAK.
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As long as I'm laughing I don't care.
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I think Hank feels pain all the time--hence why he does the things that he does. In the last episode Felicia talked to him about suffering in silence and what not. He's trying his hardest to get his life back, which has been the plot since season one, but as we've found out, it's harder than it really seems, as things are in life. I do believe that the women in Hank's life are hurt by what he's done, but perhaps we either haven't seen their reactions yet, other than Felicia's, and/or they're taking it in more of a stride because they knew of how he acts. And we pretty much know how Karen operates by this time in the show, and it's more likely that Karen is only mildly annoyed in this episode because she's upset with Becca being kicked out of school, which leads back to Hank, so she is upset with Hank, but not for that sleeping with everybody else issue. And I'm pretty sure that Karen probably had a one night stand while in New York.

This article seems so forced with no real argument for change. To change it to another show wouldn't make the show Californication. Don't you guys have more pressing issues to rant about other than Hank Moody being Hank Moody? While the writing is not up to quality with the first season, I still believe that this season is hilariously entertaining due to the actors and the small witty moments of dialogue. It's just the small things in this show that make it so big.

Rick Springfield banging a stripper is pretty hilarious.
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I don't care about comeuppance (unless it's done right) but the show has generally been a lot less focused this season, with writing that's just sub-par funny and dialogue far below the last season. You fix that, no one will care about Hank making it or breaking it.
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Hank's alright the way he is.
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Are u kidding me, right? Why do we have to standardize everything?? Why can't a show be different? Honestly every show in which the character grows up dies. And lets be serious Hank is funny because he is an overgrown child. You don't like him, don't watch. You like the show then look at Hank lightly and i guarantee you will not want him to grow. It would be like freeing willy, what d you do after that? Yeah maybe make him suffer a little, but at this point i think the fact that every other guy in the show suffers is in compensation to the fact that Hank just doesn't care. How many bad things happened to Hank in the first 3 seasons?? Oh and Sonja should have hanks baby soon right??Just enjoy the episodes :P
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No need to get hurt, he just needs to grow up. But where would the comedy be in that?
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He's a god damn whore whisperer, how does he do it? lol
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I don't think that people watch "Californication" to see Hank Moody suffer. This is a half-hour comedy that we're talking about here... people watch to see what kind of a mess Hank is going to get himself into & what hilarious quips will come flying out of his mouth when it all blows up.

"Californication can go one of two ways at this point: It can be Entourage or it can be Mad Men." -Seriously?!!? How about instead of "Californication" turning into one of these two shows, it stays "Californication"?

"Mad Men" is an hour-long drama about ad execs set in 1960's Manhattan & has nothing to do with the half-hour comedy about a playboy novelist in modern-day L.A. - the only common denominator is a male protagonist who gets a lot of tail. If Hank Moody began to morph into a Draper-esque character, who would watch? They'd likely watch the original Draper.

"As an escapist fantasy, it works. As a television show, it's getting old fast." - A lot of television shows ARE escapist fantasy, as are novels, movies & video games. DUH.

Personally, I watch every show mentioned in this article - for different reasons. If I want to watch a drama with a slick antihero who has a shadowy past, I go for "Mad Men". When I want "escapism", a "merry satyr" & Rick Springfield hilariously banging a stripper, I watch "Californication".

Now, I'm off to write an article telling people why apples should be more like oranges.
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Still the funniest show on TV...
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I disagree. I feel the thing that makes this show the way it is, is the fact that hank is so “cool” that he manages to get away with all the despicable things he does. I feel that now a day too many people are relying on drama to enhance the show. Let’s face it we don’t watch Californication, Entourage and House to see what’s going to go wrong next we watch it to see what the characters will say or do next. I feel that is what a lot of shows are missing now a day (Heroes). That character that every time you see him you put a smile on your face because he is going to say or do something so “cool”. Don’t get me wrong, Mad Men is fantastic and I love it, but I also like Californication the way it is. I watch each show for different reasons.
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The show is still great, but I agree that he has to start to change, or grow, or learn from his mistakes. It almost seems like they are prepping to do that with his character as he's starting to lose the respect of his daughter, which means more to him than anything else.
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DJH027, you are, in fact, the douche. Hank was a refreshing character during season one, but he has been doing the exact same thing since then. I, admittedly, still watched until about halfway through this season, and I came to the realization that not only is Hank not funny, but the show is not funny either.
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Hank is very entertaining and I like him. However, at some point in this season it did start to bother me that *everyone* lets him get away everything. It's entirely possible to have friends that you can walk all over, but after the things he's done at the school, I can't believe he still has a job there.
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Soapieaddict23 ur a douche. The character Hank is fantastic, there are too many shows out that have the same boring old characters. Hank is refreshing and im going to assume the reason you don't like him is because your female......
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I gave up on Californication after season one. Seriously, Hank is the most despicable person imaginable. As much as I love David Duchovny, I couldn't stand any more of his horribleness.
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