A Californication Community
Showtime (ended 2014)
This is a review of Californication Season 6 so it contains some spoilers - obviously!

So, I finally got around to watching Season 6 of Hank Moody et al living it up in sunny LA and for the life of me I can't justify why it took me so long. After the disappointing Season 5, particularly the irritating chauvinist that was Becca's boyfriend, I think I fell a little out of love with Californication. I had finally become tired of the same old screwing around, larger-than-life miscreants and boundary-breaking incidents. So it had taken me eight months to finally start this years misadventures with our floundering author and his follically challenged side-kick. I wish I'd had more faith.
I began watching on a Saturday night and I'd finished the season two days later and it's been playing on my mind ever since. The reason for this is that I can't remember the last time I witnessed that much heart and depth from a single season of a TV show. There's something about cable comedy/drama's that you just don't get elsewhere.

Season 6 wasn't perfect however. The awful cockney wench Trudy, played quite badly and with a terrible accent by American actress Alanna Ubach, was probably the worst thing to happen this season. Every time she spoke I wanted stab myself in each ear! Then there was the man hating, unnecessarily violent Ophelia, played rather well by Maggie Wheeler, in a predictable and ultimately uninteresting sub-plot to keep Pamela Adlon busy for the season. There was also the usual poor decisions from Charlie Runkle, particularly when he pretended to be gay so that he could be the agent of an out-of-the-closet film star – I was hoping that sub-plot would end up being a practical joke being played on Runkle by the film star and Runkles colleague Ken, but alas it ended in another rather predictable compromising situation.

But the positives far outweighed those few negatives. Chief among them was probably Maggie Grace playing the fixer-of-broken-geniuses “muse” Faith. I'll admit to being sceptical when I learnt that Grace was going to be playing a fairly major character during the season, but my scepticism was unfair. She was brilliant. The character of Faith could have been written over-the-top and in the hands of a lesser actress she could have been played over-the-top too. Thankfully this wasn't the case. She was bright, intuitive, self-assured and beautifully understated and she proved to be the perfect companion to bring Hank back from the brink of losing everything and giving him his mojo back.
Another positive for the season and probably the biggest surprise for me was seeing British stand-up comedian Tim Minchin playing excessive party-hard rock star Atticus Fetch. I was initially annoyed by the character; did Californication really need another larger-than-life rich distraction to tempt Hank from the path of relative normalcy? I didn't think so. But Fetch turned out to be a great character who was also understated considering how bombastic he could have been and Minchin, like Grace, was perfectly cast. He provided the temptations that the show needs to keep putting in Hanks path but he also proved to be a (reasonably) decent friend for our beleaguered author, as well as being an intriguing character in his own right – I wouldn't mind if they made a few webisodes of His and Faith's escapades on tour.
Many of the cameo characters were well cast and provided some interesting plot points and/or distractions throughout the season, and while Natascha McElhone was underused this season - we didn't really see much from Karen until she was needed to advance Hanks story or she was a third wheel between Marcy and Ophelia - I did like how Becca has been developed. I might not approve of her decisions but Madeleine Martin is doing a great job of playing the budding author careening into womanhood.

This was a fantastic season from a great show that was unfortunately falling a little short of it's usual standard of quality. What the heart wants now is for Season 7 to start!
14 Comments
Comments (14)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Apr 16, 2015
Tim Minchin -- Australian comedian, actor, composer and songwriter. Not Brittish :)
Reply
Flag
Apr 16, 2015
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Minchin

Actually, he was born in Britain, raised in Australia and has duel citizenship.
He now lives in LA!
Reply
Flag
Nov 20, 2013
This show is still on? Why? without watching a single episode of this show I can only assume dusuckny has mailed it in again. You would think that acting a role that is hits so close to home would be second nature but when you're a shitty actor maybe it's tough to pull off.
1
Reply
Flag
Apr 01, 2014
And this is why people who have never seen "a single episode" of a television series should refrain from commenting on said show.
2
Reply
Flag
Nov 20, 2013
Agreed. I also thought Maggie Grace, who everyone was bitching about when she first appeared, was quite wonderful. Fetch also worked out and was a cool character -- I still like Callum Keith Rennie's Lew Ashby the best of the 'Californication' rich side characters in Hanks life and its great that they've always found room to bring his ghost back every season. Season 6 was an excellent season for this long running show and seemed to infuse it with something that made the fans want more. The only thing missing for the past couple of years has been any appearance from Madeline Zima's 'Mia'. I knew it was a good season when I didn't have to fast forward the Becca scenes.
1
Reply
Flag
Nov 20, 2013
Thanks for this, I think Californication it quite a good show, but unfortunately people dismiss it quite quickly. The show doesn't necessarily do itself any favours with some of its questionable plots and characters, and I do think it's past its prime, but I still enjoy it.

I honestly don't remember much of Season 6... Atticus was fun, and Faith served her purpose (although I hate that every young and attractive woman Hank meets ends up sleeping with him, I mean, really? , but they're just one-shot (or season) characters the writers introduce to make each season a self-contained story at this point in the series, and I can't see I enjoy that in a show that has the potential to be highly serialised. I also hated Ophelia, too.

I don't know where the majority of the fans stand, but I find Karen really annoying. I can't say I've been interested in her relationship with Hank for a very long time, even though that seems to be the shows primary theme throughout. He's just made so many mistakes, and he continues to make them, and she continues to go back to him. I'm sick of watching that, and she's a stupid woman for doing it. Too me, this season was full of plots/ stories/ characters that would lead to the eventual getting back together of the series two main couple Hank and Karen, and Charlie and Marcie. Looking at it like this sort of makes me feel bad about the others character, because you know they were sort of always written as temporary roles and therefore possibly weren't developed as much as they could/ should have been, and here I'm talking about Bates and Stuart.

Anyway, despite all this I do enjoy the show. It's fun, and David Duchovny is great to watch as the self-destructive writer, so I'll be watching Season 7.
More+
2
Reply
Flag
Nov 20, 2013
I agree with you about Karen, she's barely a character any more. She's just a plot device - a reason for Hank to not go full on party-boy mode, she's the light at the end of his tunnel so without her there's no real consequence to his actions. She needs either a good season where she becomes her own person again or to move on with someone else, at which point a suitable replacement needs to be brought in to give Hank the hope of a happy ending.
2
Reply
Flag
Jan 01, 2014
I think Karen loves him too but the belief in hank's head that she needs him is just something in his head which he cant let go, no matter how hard he may try..he is trying too hard to cling on to the dream "PERFECT LIFE", wherein he lives with the two most important people to him..he needs to let go of this idea however frightening it may seem..look beyond into the future and let go of it.
Reply
Flag
Nov 20, 2013
I can see where your coming from and I'm happy for you. I however failed to find a single thing last season legitimately compelling. I felt like everything had been done or said before and that for the most part each character had been met before. I enjoyed the screen time of my favorite characters like charlie but I also felt like as a whole the show has grown terribly tired. it even manged to make marilyn manson look bad somehow.

grace's character felt like nothing more than another modoy pipe dream like zima played the first season.
Reply
Flag
Follow this Show
Members
2,283