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October 9, 2015


'Californication' Season 4, Episode 12 (Season Finale) Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Mar 28th 2011 4:42AM
'Californication' S04/E12['Californication' - 'And Justice For All']

The title of the season finale of 'Californication' suggested a sort of closure that it could never possibly deliver. There would be justice, for sure, but for "all?" Certainly Hank would feel the cold hand of justice probing him in unwanted zones, but would Becca have a real father? Would Charlie learn that he has a child in the making and end up back with Marcy? Would Karen have something -- anything -- to rely on? Would Mia die in a tragic sex-related explosion? That would be pure justice.

The notion of "justice for all" may be misleading and idealistic, conjured up to give people a false sense of hope and to keep them believing in a truth or purity that doesn't exist. Is there justice for us all? It's difficult to imagine, and I don't think Hank Moody will bring us any closer to knowing.

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'Californication' Season 4, Episode 11 Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Mar 21st 2011 6:40AM
'Californication' S04/E11['Californication' - 'The Last Supper']

Hank Moody was running out of options, especially options that end with him and his family intact and happy. He Loves to talk about how much Karen and Becca mean to him, but rarely exhibits behavior that would corroborate such an outrageous claim. He's a classic test case for a communication study: Which form of language -- our words or our actions -- do we trust the most in others?

Hank's words would have us believe that Karen and Becca mean more to him than anything, but his actions put them somewhere between enemas and getting punched in the junk on the list of things he truly cherishes. It took Karen way too long to shift her trust, and that's a comment on either Hank's mysterious allure, or Karen's stupidity.

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'Californication' Season 4, Episode 10 Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Mar 14th 2011 6:30AM
'Californication' S04/E10['Californication' - 'The Trial']

The last trial I watched on television was the 'Seinfeld' finale, so I was looking forward to seeing how everything would play out for Hank. Getting dressed for the trial, Hank stated that "I look like an FBI agent" in a not-so-subtle nod to Duchovny's most famous role, Fox Mulder from 'The X-Files'.

For the first time through all his 'Californication,' Hank was scared, but what was he scared of, exactly, was left open to interpretation. After a pep talk from Karen -- statutory rape trial pep talks aren't in the pep talk handbook, either -- Hank took a few seconds of personal time to reflect, fix his hair, and barf. It would be easy, if not irresponsible, to assume he was puking about the trial, but considering what had been said, he was sick over the thought of losing Karen and Becca.

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'Californication' Season 4, Episode 9 Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Mar 7th 2011 5:45AM
'Californication' S04/E09['Californication' - 'Another Perfect Day']

Hank Moody lives a simple life. Sleep, screw, smoke, write, argue, wear the same clothes, repeat. Do you notice something missing from that day-to-day routine, besides eating and pooping (he's like Jack Bauer with a hangover)?

I don't see "love somebody other than himself" or "stop acting like a 16-year-old after his first beer and hand-job" on the list. Maybe you see other omissions, and I'm sure those omissions would help make Hank's life more easy than simple. As it stands, his simple life is hard, but a few more adjustments in attitude and responsibility could help make his simple life a lot easier.

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'Californication' Season 4, Episode 8 Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Feb 28th 2011 5:25AM
'Californication' S04/E08['Californication' - 'Lights, Camera, Action']

So, what if the love of your life is the thing that has been keeping you from true happiness? It's not uncommon for people to get into a lengthy relationship, have their souls and any inkling of self-respect removed, yet continue to pony up to the bar and order a tall stiff glass of incompatibility because it's the only thing they know will get them drunk enough to make it through another night.

What I'm trying to say, rather unsuccessfully, is that maybe all this time spent trying to please Karen and win her back wasn't just in vain, but misguided as well, because Karen and Hank just aren't good together. If every relationship that began with two people partying until one of them was knocked up ended up being a perfect match, divorces would be like exercise: Not worth the pain in the ass. But since so many people spend so much time with the wrong person for the wrong reasons, divorces (break-ups) aren't only worth it, they're like Caribbean vacations ... and it's time for Hank to book a flight to Aruba.

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'Californication' Season 4, Episode 6 Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Feb 14th 2011 5:30AM
'Californication' S04/E06['Californication' - 'Lawyers, Guns and Money']

The title of this episode of 'Californication' hints at something decidedly not Hank Moody. He despises lawyers and their soulless profession. The thought of Hank brandishing a weapon is absurd to almost comic degrees, and while he should have money shooting out of his fingertips at will, he doesn't.

He holds the kind of elitist cool principles that make all three of those things cripplingly lame. Now his actions and decisions have transformed them into necessary evils for Hank to survive: The lawyer to keep him out of his own way, out of prison, and presumably into her bed; the money to pay for the lawyer, to buy his daughter's guitar and love, and to fund his various binges; and the guns to challenge Ben, the new threat to Karen's love, to a duel at high noon.

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'Californication' Season 4, Episode 5 Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Feb 7th 2011 6:05AM
'Californication' S04/E05['Californication' - 'Freeze-Frame']

What do you do when you rely so heavily on one thing, one person, one relationship to define you? You don't do anything if everything is going smoothly, in fact, you most likely never even think about how great it is while it's happening. Hit a bump in the road, however, or a pothole the size of Kentucky in Hank Moody's case, and in one turn you don't really know who you are anymore.

Without Karen and Becca, Hank is just another celebrity cautionary tale, here to warn children about the evils of drugs, alcohol and a cynical disposition. With them, he's a beacon of hope for art, language, and true love, sent here from the future to save the world.

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'Californication' Season 4, Episode 4 Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Jan 31st 2011 5:45AM
['Californication' - 'Monkey Business']

For all Hank Moody's trials, tribulations and blackout-induced personal abuses, he has known all along that there's one thing that could save him. It's the thing that, from an outside perspective, should come most easily to him, but that outside observer probably never had to sit down and write something for money.

Writing is ultimately what Hank is running -- or at least hiding -- from, and every day that he doesn't write is a day when his idle hands and mind get into more mischeif. When he's writing, manipulating language and finding the way, he's at his most content -- and so is everyone around him. We last saw Hank alone in a dark room, banging away at a typewriter. Good times.

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'Californication' Season 4, Episode 3 Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Jan 24th 2011 5:15AM
'Califronication' S04/E03['Californication' - 'Home Sweet Home']

Hank Moody has been down before, both literally and figuratively, but we've never seen him this low. So low that he has to reach up to touch bottom.

I'm hoping that the fading moments of last week's episode of 'Californication' showed a man who thinks he knows everything, completely out of answers, humbled and terrified by a life that has been chasing him for years and has finally caught him from behind.

That's my hope. It looked a lot more like the last act of a desperate psycho girlfriend playing the "I'll kill myself" card for one last chance at happiness. Say it ain't so, Hank. Say it ain't so.

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'Weeds' - 'Thwack' Recap (Season Premiere)

by Elizabeth Chan, posted Aug 17th 2010 10:30AM
(Season 6, Episode 1) This episode can be best summed up in lots of F words.

Fight. Flight. Fright. Fight (again), Fail and Family.

Shane fights for his life. The flight of Nancy and Shane at the scene of a murder. Andy frightened of a hostage situation. Audra fighting with Andy over choosing Nancy -- and the failures of Andy as a man, and Nancy as a mother. Leading to the reuniting of the Botwin family for the season six premiere of 'Weeds.'

From the top, shall we?

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Showtime Renews 'Jackie' and 'Tara' for Third Seasons

by Audrey Fine, posted Mar 26th 2010 10:45AM
Nurse JackieWith their second seasons just off the starting blocks, Showtime has already ordered a third for both 'Nurse Jackie' and 'United States of Tara,' according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Monday-night's season opener snagged 'Jackie' it's highest numbers to date (1.5 million over two airings) and 'Tara' was on par with its first season debut.

Her bang-on portrayal of a jaded E.R. nurse whose unmanageable back pain leads her to abuse pain pills (and the man who dispenses them) earned star Edie Falco her seventh Golden Globe nomination (she won two for 'The Sopranos'). 'Tara' lead Toni Collette, meanwhile, nabbed both the Globe and an Emmy statues at last year's ceremonies.

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Cast, Creators Let 'Dexter' Find His Own Way - PaleyFest Report

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Mar 5th 2010 10:30AM
The PaleyFest 2010
The most pressing concern for fans of Showtime's 'Dexter' at the show's Thursday night PaleyFest 2010 panel was touched on only briefly -- as if spending too much time on the topic was bad form -- or, worse, a jinx.

When series star Michael C. Hall took to the stage to a standing ovation -- it was impossible to miss his stocking cap. With the other stars and creators dressed to the nines across the Saban Theatre dais, that modest piece of headwear served as the uniform for an individual undergoing cancer treatment.

When it was pointed out to him that his reception might be the first "standing O" in PaleyFest history, Hall smiled, shrugged and pointed to his cap -- as if saying, "Well, it's the cancer treatment."

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Dexter's Julie Benz finds new work on Desperate Housewives

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 4th 2010 9:00PM
Are you sad that Julie Benz is no longer going to play dear sweet Rita on Dexter? Did her tragic departure shatter the last remaining ounce of hope you had of living in a free and humane world? Does her exit have you questioning the existence of a just and fair God? If so, please seek immediate professional help.

And don't fret. Actress Julie Benz has already racked up an interesting role on ABC's Desperate Housewives.

And when I say "interesting," I mean "smoking hot." Her character, Debbie, is a stripper who is trying to earn a Master's degree in education. Think of it as a late night "Skinemax" movie but with a better acting coach.

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Dexter has lost its showrunner

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 15th 2009 9:00AM
DexterHere comes some shocking news just as the crest of the Dexter buzz wave is starting to form.

Clyde Phillips, the show's long running showrunner, has decided that the fourth season of the show which ended Sunday will be his last.

Phillips said he made the decision during a long drive to his family's home in Connecticut and is leaving so he can spend more time with them. He described it as a "hugely difficult decision" and that he had "complicated feelings about it."

Frankly, the timing couldn't have been better. It ended on a climax that was so well done and gripping that my mind cannot even wrap itself around the possibilities of how to top it. It could, but it's giving me a headache like you would not believe.

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Dexter finale rakes in more eyeballs

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 14th 2009 7:28PM
Dexter has topped itself again.

Last night's shocker season finale wasn't just the most watched episode in the show's history, but it was the most watched, well, anything in the Showtime network's history.

The finale (you can read my review of it here) racked up 2.6 million viewers. That topped the previous record held by the second-to-last episode of the current season of 2.1 million viewers, which at the time was the highest rated show for the network in the last 10 years.

I really feel sorry for the poor bastard who has to write the fifth season. Not only does he have to craft a plot that tops the genius of the Trinity Killer angle, but he has to top the ratings record the show has just set. And I thought I was the most sleepless writer on the face of the planet.

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