In the past, I’ve struggled with Californication. Not over its quality, as much as the fact that I didn’t find it particularly funny, even though it was clearly aiming for laughs. Nor did I find David Duchovny’s Hank Moody to be terribly engaging as a central character. So it was only out of a sense of duty, or maybe habit, that I agreed to review Season Three of this depraved ongoing tapestry. Imagine my surprise to discover that the season amused the hell out of me, and Duchovny came across as more charming than he had in the previous seasons. Is the show actually getting better, or has it worn me down to the point where I’m just going along with it? I don’t have the answer to that, but the fact that I sped through the entire season over two afternoons, and found myself looking forward to checking out the upcoming fourth season (which kicks off in January), must be worth something.
Season Three kicks off with Hank doing the single dad routine with his daughter Becca (Madeleine Martin), since Karen (Natascha McElhone) moved away to New York at the close of Season Two. His daughter is starting to spread her wings and get into trouble, thanks mostly to her intense adoration of a new best friend, Chelsea Koons (Ellen Woglom). Soon enough, Hank finds himself over at the Koons’ homestead for a dinner party. Mother Felicia (Embeth Davidtz) naturally warms to him; father Stacy (Peter Gallagher), not so much. Both parents work at the local university where Stacy is the Dean (yes, he is Dean Koons), and Felicia needs someone to teach a writing class, so of course Hank ends up in a classroom.
Soon enough Hank has to either fend off or submit to the sexual desires of his teaching assistant Jill (Diane Farr), a student named Jackie (Eva Amurri), who’s also a stripper when she isn’t engaged in higher learning, as well as Felicia herself. Jeezus, this guy barely has to get out of bed in the morning to get some pussy.
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