Review: Californication - The Apartment
by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 16th 2009 4:45AM
(S0308) "For someone who loves women so much, you sure don't understand them very well." - Jackie to Hank
Hank makes for an interesting character because there is never one single, solitary way of looking at him. Some people see this alcoholic horndog as a success while others look at his cavalier exterior and think of him as an utter failure. He's certainly one of the most complex characters on television for a guy who has one thing on his mind, two depending on how much booze is in the house.
So naturally all of his bad decisions and mistakes will come back to haunt him, and this week, he got hit with them all at once in a bizarre clusterf#$% of sheer craziness. It's as if a tornado of tail just leveled Hank's house and life in the process.
All of Hank's current and never-ending flings happened to meet at his house, along with all of the unattended baggage that he usually neglects. Jackie, the student stripper, continues to cling to Hank like a dingo finding a helpless baby. Jill is more in love with Hank than ever since he gave her ex-fiance the biggest diss of all time. And Felicia, the Dean's wife, has finally made her feelings known for Hank after he keeps her from making the biggest mistake of her life with the hack writer who's probably still crying in his cup of "word tea."
These three women converge on Hank's home like a pack of starving hyenas, along with Charlie and the cartoon version of Rick Springfield and a gaggle of Jackie's stripper friends to celebrate her newfound freedom from shaking her moneymakers for a bigger bank account. Although some guy friends might call that party more of a wake.
Each of these people and what seems like everyone ever connected to them converge on the house and turn the whole place into a real time whirlwind of bad decisions. They slowly stuff the place until Hank is suffocating, and just when you think the room is completely full, someone else comes by to occupy a seat in Hank's theater of embarrassment. It's like that stateroom scene from the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera where people are being crammed one after the other into this tiny room until the whole place is just a glob of people, all with a different purpose. It was as funny as that, but with more tasty nudity.
Then as the whole mess draws to a close, we see Becca once again lost in the madness of her father's crazy life, sitting on the living room couch in her usual state of catatonic shock after standing up for her father against her rotten friend Chelsea. She doesn't take down her father or tell him anything he hasn't heard before or even thought about himself. She has learned to accept him for who he is, even though she has every right to be mad at him for the mistakes he continues to make. It was a very surprising and heartfelt moment for a show that pines most of its feelings and humor by scraping the depths of the perverts' dictionary.
[Watch clips of Californication at SlashControl.]