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October 13, 2015

Californication: The Land of Rape and Honey

by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 5th 2009 2:01AM
David Duchovny as Hank Moody on Californication
(S03E02) - "All work and no ass play makes Chuck a dull boy." Sue Collini to Charlie Runkle

A show like Californication might seem like just another rude, crass and completely tasteless sitcom that gets away with speaking Kinsey from cover to cover because it's on pay cable.

But if you actually sit down and watch the damn thing, you'll realize it's actually much deeper and more emotional than that, or at least as deep as a group of flesh lusting horndogs can go ... and I do mean "emotionally" deep, sickos.

Take for instance last Sunday's episode that attempted to mine humor from the act of fantasy rape. Now before we go any further, let me make one thing clear to all you letter writing complainoids who get your gut twisted when your eyes scan something mildly offensive. You know who you are. You're already drafting a comment to type below as you're reading this. This episode or review did not find the act of criminal rape hilarious. We're talking about fantasy rape, the act of a criminal fantasy being acted out in a consensual act as dictated, in this case, by the woman. If you can't grasp that concept, maybe this show and this review isn't for you. If so, try reading about something less real or intelligent like this.

But when Marcy's rape fantasies are out in the open, Charlie, the biggest sexual dumbass in the world than one-fourth of the current U.S. Senate combined, decides the best way to get back in his ex-wife's good graces is through her pants or more specifically, her pantyhose which he uses as a rapist mask while trying to "surprise" her in her sleep. It felt partly like a selfish act on Charlie's part since the man is more starved for physical affection than three-fourths of the current U.S. Senate combined, but it was his dumb attempt to show that he still cares for her by doing something for her that physically repulses him.

Meanwhile, Hank seems to be up to his old tricks in between bouts with the only woman who can't stand her, his teenage daughter Becca. This time, he's slowly moving towards a hot chick hat trick by scoring with the dean's MILF wife Felicia, his hot assistant Jill and his star writing student/mega busty stripper friend Jackie. He may not have officially made his move on any of them, but anyone with any sense and the first two seasons under their belt knows where this train is headed: Beaverlick, Kentucky.

But the gold medal for this episode goes to Ed Westwick, Hank's brooding, vampire loving and gay infatuated student who tries to off himself when his mentor gives him the brutal truth about his Twilight fan faction. Everything about his performance was creepy and disturbing and therefore, either funny or a vehicle to achieve comedy. Just the scene where he read this God-awful vampire literature of two gay vampires falling for each other off of what sounded like the world's longest cliff made me want to jump off of it with them.

And unlike other aforementioned TV shows, this was a good response.

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I enjoyed your post very much, and think the first two comments "missed the mark", or at least missed your point. I chuckled at Beaverlick, and nowhere did I see you refer to Becca as busty or that Charlie's attempted rape caper was entirely selfless!
While I didn't think this was one of the better episodes, I agree with Prhime's remarks about it setting up the upcoming threads nicely.
Plus, any shortcomings were more than made up for with Hank's swipe at Twilight!

October 07 2009 at 3:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

--I do want to thank you though for writing about the show. was a little worried TVSquad was stearing clear of the show again.

October 06 2009 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Agreed with the above comment.

I think you missed out on one key area of the show - Hanks crumbling relationship with Becca. The one woman who he truly cares for in all ends of the world. You could see the pain he felt when she said he hates him and his only reaction was to dumbly repeat what she said rather than his usual quick and on point wit.

Also - "...the only woman who can't stand her, his teenage daughter Becca. " I believe Hank is a male.

Also, also - is she really busty? i beg to differ

My short/cliff-note review:
This episode continues on the fantastical voyage that Hank thought he set out on. You see him trying to balance the chaos that is no fully revealed to be a life he both picked and is stuck in as he wants to enjoy having Becca live there but ultimately has to just deal with the situation and her. He ultimately has issues with the women he cares about and seemingly manages to win and lose them in a heartbeat.

You notice moments of his maturity when he drops off Jackie but decides to pass on it - "bad habit" to head home to his daughter. The writing is on the wall, bed and paintings that there will be at least two movies made between the two.

Oh Charlie. You see him also living in this fantasy world with Marcy due to the fact they live together, which means they are going to get back together in his mind. - ultimately i think this will be the case but let us revisit in the mid section of the season. The look on Charlie's face when he opens the door to his nubian brother as Marcy leaves on her date sums it all up. Charlie is back to his lonely horn-dogging but this time focus is on Marcy as he tries in every way to please and get back with Marcy - including trying to re-enact the fantasy that all woman have (according to Sue). Marcy blows him off but he wants her. Charlie blows Sue off but she wants him. Does that mean we can ex charlie and see a Marcy and Sue romp...nah but why not use that logic math.

Becca- what more to say than she is simply following the footsteps unknowinlgy laid out by dad.

Sue - probably one of the best characters added to the show. Can't wait to see more interactions with her and Hank. Sue's addition also gives Charlie the closest thing to another "momement" -as she is a female Hank. Spewing and speaking whatever comes to mind without a filter and knowing she will get what she wants.

I saw this episode as more of a strung together set of "on this season of Californication" shorts because you say the seeding of what will happen and play out throughout this season rather than any detailed storylines. The writers did a solid job of setting up the next set of threads that will play-out through the season as Hank has lined up 2 plays with Jackie throwing one his way and Ed wishing from the sidelines. Hank having to work to keep his relationship with Becca off the rocks or lose her to the same wagon he is riding (and driving at times).

The "have you ever been punched in the face" question instantly brought a flash back to last season.

October 06 2009 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This post really misses the mark. First, there are some seriously nonsensical grammatical/editing errors, especially in the paragraph with the pointless Senate references. Second, the "Beaverlick, KY" joke is puerile beyond description, and ridiculously unfunny. Third, the analysis of the episode is lacking. Anyone who sees the scene where Runkle puts the pantyhose on his head and thinks that it's an entirely selfless act either just didn't understand what they were seeing, or is a sociopath in need of some serious help.

October 05 2009 at 9:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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