Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Californication Review -- 1x06, "Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder"

I'm starting to really understand the fact that the Dawson's Creek people did Californication, too. I mean, I knew it in my head before, but I could never quite believe that the dreamy-eyed creators of the Dawson-Joey "soulmate" debacle could really come up with Hank Moody and his plethora of skanks. But boy, do I believe it now, because Monday's episode was sappy beyond the suspension of disbelief.

Hank meets a girl in a bikini at the grocery store and immediately gets high with and sleeps with her. Of course. (There's a pretty amusing eye-roll from the frumpyish blonde cashier while Hank flirts with Bikini Girl, but Hank spoils my amusement by comforting her with the always-romantic line, "I'll make a run at you, Frosty. I will." I was like, ...please let this be another dream sequence. Please let this be another dream sequence... nope, this is really happening.) She rips him off, but returns later to give back his stuff.

Meanwhile, Mia continues to cause trouble by stalking Hank and asking for his work to borrow. He offers to help her edit her own draft instead, and she follows up her acceptance of his offer by crying wolf about a sketchy teacher from last week. Also on the family front, Hank flirts ridiculously with Karen and cries (cries!) when he sees Becca's band play onstage. (This is where the writers' training on Dawson's Creek was in full play.)

Also, Hank's agent Charlie juggles his slavish secretary and horny wife by asking Wifey to try bondage with him. "I could bring you to the brink of orgasm and without ever letting you come," he suggests, to which she says, seeming near tears, "I feel like we've done that." It's grotesque and awful and ridiculous, but my one emotional response to this episode was intense sympathy for Charlie's wife, who gamely tried to balance respect for and willingness to try out her husband's fantasies with a deep sense that something had gone terribly wrong in their relationship.

The Hank-Karen bonding in this episode ratchets up a notch. They get drunk and high, have a silly little conversation about who makes who happy or crazy and who misses whose smell, and then they make out; then she shoves him in a pool. Like, okay. Hank is not that charming, Karen's engaged, and they don't have any real chemistry, so the whole thing just got on my nerves. It's the attempt at creating romantic tension where there is no reason to see any that reminds me of Dawson's Creek. To be honest, I loved that show with all my corny little heart, but I don't really want the soft-core-porn, David-Duchovny-vehicle version of it on my hard drive.

In Summary: Holding onto my patience by a thread. Please be funnier next week, writers. Please. Also, kill Charlie off.

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