Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting different results. In that respect, the Showtime comedy Californication
is all about insanity.
As the show enters its sixth season (premiering Sunday at 10:30pm on Showtime), it feels like it's doing the same thing over and over again. Hanky Moody (David Duchovny) is a famous writer who drinks, does drugs and sleeps with as many women as possible. His agent, Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler), gets involved in embarrassing and humiliating sexual situations in his quest to live like Hank. Hank's long-suffering ex Karen (Natascha McElhone) is in love with Hank but knows that one woman will never be enough for him. And so on.
This could describe any season of Californication
, including the new one. The guest stars change, but the story remains the same. Expecting the show or the characters to evolve in any meaningful way is just insanity.
Season 5 ended with one of Hank's psycho exes drugging him in attempts to kill them both. Obviously Hank lives and goes on a bender to end all benders, resulting in his family trying to force him to go to rehab. The goal isn't really to cure him, but to force him into a brief vacation to clean out his system. His loved ones are smart enough to know a sober Hank is an impossibility.
The only real difference in any season of Californication
is the guest cast. This year it's led by Lost
's Maggie Grace as Faith, a rock star groupie and muse who hopes to inspire Hank. There's also Tim Minchin as Atticus Fetch, a Russell Brand-esque aging rock star who wants to turn Hank's first book into a Broadway musical. Before you start to think that Californication
will turn into Smash, it's really just an excuse to have Hank party like a rock star, literally.
Other notable guest stars including Lost
's Jorge Garcia as a drug dealer, Marilyn Manson as himself and Johann Urb as an openly gay actor who hires Charlie as his agent because he thinks Charlie is gay. If you're even slightly familiar with Californication
, you know exactly where that last storyline will go, and it involves lots of men in leather.
The whole thing is just kind of exhausting. At the start Califronication
was an interesting, bold and daring comedy about depravity and excess. But every season is the same, every character continues to make the same mistakes and it all feels familiar. Hank will get drunk and pass out. Every single female character will try to have sex with Hank. They're just doing the same thing over and over again, and perhaps I'm the one who's insane for expecting a different result.
If you liked the first five seasons of Califronication
and want to see the same jokes and situations with new guest stars, season 6 is for you. Just don't expect anything new.
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(Image courtesy of Showtime)