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!
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