Classes Are Back In Session

After a nine-month hiatus, Californication has finally returned to Showtime’s lineup. The closely followed series eases audiences back into the plot by focusing on the development of character Hank Moody (David Duchovny).

For those unfamiliar with the show, Californication follows writer Hank Moody, whose escapades with sex and drugs threaten to interfere with his role as a father, as well as with his attempts to reunite with his true love Karen. Hank is an opinionated man who speaks his mind and does not always have control over his moral compass. That being said, he is constantly struggling to do the right thing especially when it comes to matters surrounding his daughter, Becca.

Last season saw the arrival and departure of Lew Ashby, an eccentric rock musician who made Hank Moody’s sexual adventures seem minimal. It may have been seeing this extreme vision of himself in Lew, and the fate that may await him, which ultimately nudged Hank in the right direction. Most significantly, Hank’s focus shifted to doing what is best for his daughter. When Hank found out that Karen had received a job offer from New York, he was first thrilled to get back to the Empire State. Unfortunately, Hank knew that he could not move his daughter away so easily. He decided to stay and take care of Becca in California while Karen headed off to New York to further her career.

So far this season, David Duchovny is as impressive as ever in his role as Hank Moody. His sharp delivery and overall presence brings the character to life. Duchovny also has the rare ability to make his character sympathetic without losing the edge that makes the character interesting to begin with. Madeleine Martin’s portrayal as Becca is certainly improving and it is nice to see growth in her character. Evan Handler is hilarious as the impetuous Charlie Runkle. This show is built around its characters and the bizarre situations they find themselves in, and this season opener does not disappoint on that note.

The season three premiere brings matters full circle. Hank is back to his old habits, except this time he is forced to juggle being his usual self with being a full-time parent. His problems only increase when his agent tells him that no one is interested in publishing his work anymore. The news comes at an inconvenient time as Hank desperately needs extra money to take care of Becca and pay for her new school.

Meanwhile, Runkle is in the middle of a nasty divorce, which began when he cheated on his wife with a would-be porn star. When the separated couple goes through trouble selling their house, Runkle is forced to move back in. This, of course, creates incredible dramatic tension. Runkle also has a new boss, who seems to have taken an interest in him.

Several new characters are introduced through the subplot concerning Becca’s new school. Embeth Davidtz plays school
teacher Felecia Koons, and Peter Gallager stars as her husband and Dean of the institution. When Hank is invited to a dinner party with the Dean, he inadvertently gets hired as an English teacher at the school. This twist will undoubtedly lead to some hilarious plotlines.

Overall, the episode set many interesting angles in place for the new season. The addition of more supporting characters will
definitely add dynamic to the show and allow for David Duchovny to play off of them.