All television shows make you some sort of promise. With the first season of Californication, Showtime promised us a show about a struggling writer who beds many women and generally leads an intemperate life all in an effort to escape his true heart, which is with Karen, the mother of his daughter.
As I wrote in Californication: Showtime’s Raison d’etre, this was one hell of a first season, and the only reason that you need to get a subscription to Showtime.
However, the promise of the first season is not what we’ll get in season II; well, not totally. If you’re a fan, you know that Season I ended with Hank Moody reuniting with Karen just after she has married another man. As Hank and his daughter are leaving the party after the wedding, Karen the bride runs out and says “Wait…Wait…” and she leaves with them: Mother, Father, and Daughter all back together.
With this ending, we knew that Season II would be drastically different. Hank, after all, is now with the woman he was trying to forget. He’ll have to put his philandering ways behind him. Will season II bare any resemblance to season 1?
Well, after having just watched the first episode of Season II, the answer is yes and no. Hank does have a new life now with Karen but he runs into many women/girls from his past, women that we remember from the first season: the surfer girl (wow!), the Scientologist girl (who threw up on the paintings during the act-recognize her from Entourage?), and Mia–the 16 year old daughter of Karen’s new husband.
But, since Hank is now with the love of his life, things are much different. Without desperately trying to forget Karen with women and booze, what will Hank do? Well, first on his agenda is to have a vasectomy. And, of course, this gets the ball rolling so to speak: The hot nurse at the hospital, after seeing Hank’s goods, offers her services to help him get back into form. Would this ever happen? Then, Hank inadvertently goes down on a girl at a party that he thinks is Karen (it’s dark). At the end of the first episode, as Hank and Karen are arguing over the aforementioned mistaken cunilingus, Hank gets pulled over by a policemen who he then assaults.
The Cast of Californication on Showtime
Hank’s antics though are now in a different context. He’s in a relationship and it makes the show very different.
Season II of Californication promises something very different. It’s the same writers, the same producers…but a whole different ballgame. It’s like we watched football in the first season-loved it-and now they are giving us baseball. Same great production but all new content.
Season II may be able to deliver the same great dialogue and performances, but with totally different content, will the show have the same appeal, to the same viewers, as it did in season I?
Or will viewers feel as if the show has broken its original promise?
Get your copy of his latest book entitled Obvious Conclusions, stories of a Midwestern emigrant influenced and corrupted by many years living in San Francisco and abroad. It just received its first outstanding review "...reminiscent of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs" on Amazon UK.