I love the show Californication. I watched seasons 1-4 in a matter of days (which I posted about in 5 Things I Learned From Hank Moody). Not only is Californication a great show but Hank Moody (David Duchovny) is one of the most inspiration characters I have encountered in a television show. Hold the phone….inspiration? But Orangechair, Hank Moody is a womanizing, cheating, insulting, self-sabotaging asshole, how can he be inspirational? (It’s weird how I know exactly what you want to ask me isn’t it?) When I say that Hank Moody is inspiration I am talking about some very specific Hank Moody qualities. For a young aspiring writer like myself, it is tough not to idolize Mr. Moody. It isn’t the never-ending string of parties, booze, drugs and sex that I idolize (though it doesn’t hurt), its Hank Moody’s writing and ability to inspire me to write that I idolize.
I do understand that Hank Moody is not a real person so all of the praise (and soon to be criticism) is actually directed towards those that not only created Hank Moody but also those that write every line in the show. Every line from Moody’s mouth has been crafted to be perfectly witty and more often than not hilarious. The words that so easily roll off his tongue are literary works in their own right, proving Hank Moody to be a master of vocabulary, diction and phrasing. To watch a man so effortlessly wield words with precision and power should get the creative juices flowing in any writer. Hank Moody specifically gets me because of his humor, which is something I am trying to cultivate and control in my own writing. Watching Seasons 1-4 had the same create effect on me as if Stephen King (author of the greatest book series of all time) and Christopher Moore (the greatest author of all time) had walked up to me, placed the Pen of Power in my hand and said “son you have the skill, now write.” I couldn’t stop coming up with ideas and I couldn’t stop writing. I was pulling inspiration from the most obscure sources and writing with every spare second that I had. Creating this response in me is what makes Californication such an outstanding show, which is why I am concerned that Season 5 evoked no such response in my creative psyche.
I am not saying that Season 5 was bad because it did not inspire me to write, that would be crazy. I am saying that Season 5 wasn’t the best because it was unable to creature enough emotion to get me remotely inspired. The show has gone stale. Hank Moody is still there in all of his witty, literary glory but he seems to have given up. My biggest issue with the season was the introduction of Samurai Apocalypse (RZA). Never, no matter how much he needed work, ever, no matter how desperate he was, would the Hank Moody I first met have agreed to work with Samurai Apocalypse. Beyond that glaring issue, the Season seemed sluggish and disjointed. Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) turned into a sniveling cry baby that spend more episodes whining than doing anything of consequence. While I enjoyed the addition of a Hank Moody doppelganger, Becca’s (Madeleine Martin) boyfriend Tyler(Scott Michael Foster), the episodes seemed to either focus on Hank complaining about Tyler or Hand fearing his early demise from Samurai Apocalypse. The reoccurring themes got old after a while, like the show was struggling to pull the story together.
As much as I want to say I will not be watching Season 6, the Season 5 finale makes that ana impossible thing to guarantee. Also, as rumors about the next season fly, it is becoming apparent that Hank’s writing project in the new season will be Broadway based, which is something I don’t want to miss. While I will be turning in to check on the fate of Hank Moody, there need to be some changes made if I’m going to be able to watch all o Season 6.