Californication

Wednesday 13 October, 11:25pm on Fiver

The third season of the racy comedy drama comes to an end on Fiver this week. On the eve of Hank and Karen’s move to New York, Mia returns to town with a new agent, who is hellbent on exposing Hank’s transgressions in order to save his client’s ailing career. Meanwhile, Charlie considers getting his vasectomy reversed in the light of his improving relations with Marcy. Hank arrives home to find that he has a very unwelcome visitor. Mia, a former conquest of his, is in town to promote the paperback release of her hugely successful novel. Unbeknown to Karen – who became a mother figure to the girl when she dated Mia’s father – the book was actually written by Hank. After Mia seduced Hank at the age of 16, she stole the manuscript from him and passed it off as her own, using the fact that Hank unwittingly committed statutory rape as leverage. Karen accepts an invitation to Mia’s book launch party on behalf of her family, where a reluctant Hank soon finds himself alone with Mia’s agent – and latest conquest – Paul Rider (James Frain, ‘The Tudors’, ‘True Blood’). Paul confesses that Mia seems to be having trouble writing her second novel, and goes on to indicate that he knows exactly what went on between the teenager and Hank. “Quite the literary scandal we have here,” he muses, watching Hank squirm. “But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.” Paul goes on to set out his master plan for Mia’s career. Now that he knows she is hopeless as a novelist, he wants her to confess all about her involvement with Hank in order to become a reality TV star. Hank is understandably horrified by Paul’s plan, which could see him facing not only the end of his career, but also possible jail time. “My biggest client is a fraud – I’m trying to make the best of a bad situation,” Paul snarls when he hears Hank’s protests. “And I’m not the one who fucked an underage girl.”

Wednesday 6 October, 11:25pm on Fiver

David Duchovny stars as hell-raising writer Hank Moody in the third season of the racy comedy drama. In this episode, Hank is confronted by several of his old lovers at an awkward lunch, while the Runkles re-evaluate their marriage. Hank and Karen are in bed on a Saturday morning. Karen confides to Hank that she is concerned that the fiery passion they once had as a couple has disappeared. The couple then get dressed and go to Felicia’s house for lunch. On arrival, Hank discovers to his dismay that Felicia has also invited his old paramours Jill and Jackie. “We couldn’t just let you skip town without a fond farewell,” Jill says wryly. As the morning continues, Hank becomes ever more uncomfortable about being alone in the presence of his four latest conquests. Karen is delighted by Hank’s discomfort, and is more than happy to swap notes about him. “I’m enjoying the appraisal of your little idiosyncrasies,” she reveals. Hank’s problems worsen with the arrival of Richard Bates, a fellow writer who is taking over Hank’s teaching position at the university. It is revealed that Karen had a passionate affair with Richard when she was at university, and it is clear there is still a strong spark between the old lovers, who flirt openly in front of Hank. Lunch is further complicated by the arrival of a drunken Stacy, who is dressed in full American Civil War regalia. Having had a few drinks with his war re-enactment buddies, he is ready to settle a score with Hank. He challenges his former love rival to a duel, although this idea is met with ridicule from the louche philanderer. “Let him bust a Civil War cap in my ass? I don’t think so!” Hank says. When Felicia convinces those present that the pistols have blanks in them, and goaded on by Richard, Hank reluctantly agrees. However, the three men present soon get into an ugly tussle as the women look on in startled amusement. Will this episode damage Hank’s smooth reputation once and for all, and ruin his delicate relationship with Karen?

Wednesday 29 September, 11:25pm on Fiver

David Duchovny stars as hell-raising writer Hank Moody in the third season of the racy comedy drama. In this episode, Hank and Charlie hit the town after Karen, Becca and Marcy snub them in favour of a girls’ night out. Hank pulls up outside his flat in the early evening and sees Becca and Karen leaving for dinner at a restaurant. Despite Hank’s best efforts, the ladies are adamant that he will not be joining them “We were thinking that you weren’t actually invited,” says Becca. The girls are taking Marcy out, in an effort to cheer her up after her relationship with Rick Springfield imploded (see last week’s episode, ‘Mr Bad Example’). Karen and Becca are still angry with Hank for sleeping with Felicia, jeopardising Hank’s plan for them all to move back to New York. Taking their strong hints to leave them be, Hank visits Charlie as he is cleaning out his office. It transpires that Sue has fired the agent over his run-in with Rick Springfield. “Charlie Runkle is once again an agent without an agency,” Charlie ruefully reports. The pair decide that hitting a bar is the best plan of action, and are soon discussing their respective other halves and recent troubles. Charlie then gets a drink accidentally spilled over him by an unremorseful man. When Hank demands an apology from the stranger, he is rudely questioned about his sexuality. In response, Hank passionately kisses Charlie, announcing to the bar “we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it,” before promptly punching the offending drinkspiller in the face. After being thrown out of the bar for fighting, Hank has a proposal for Charlie. “What say you and me go on a good old-fashioned bender?” he asks. After a few more drinks, the boys find themselves in a late-night book shop, where they steal an expensive first edition of Hank’s early writing. After making a dash out of the shop, Charlie and Hank run into Becca, Marcy and Karen as the women are leaving a restaurant. The ladies are not impressed with the inebriated condition of the pair. “I’m done being your mommy,” Marcy says to Charlie.

Wednesday 22 September, 11:25pm on Fiver

David Duchovny stars as hell-raising writer Hank Moody in the third season of the racy comedy drama. In this episode, Hank and Karen ponder their next course of action when Becca and Chelsea are expelled from school for fighting. Rick Springfield’s designs on Marcy drive Charlie to despair. Hank is called to Dean Stacy Koons’s office to hear his fate at the college. “I’m not planning to fire you,” Stacy says. “Unfortunately, not a single one of the ladies that you so egregiously fouled has agreed to stand up and press formal charges against you.” Hank is dismayed to hear that Felicia has kicked Stacy out of the deanery and offers to help him patch up his marriage. Both men are distracted, however, when they hear that Becca and Chelsea have been fighting at school. Hank, Karen, Felicia and Stacy are called to see the principal of the girls’ prestigious academy. The principal reveals that both Becca and Chelsea have been expelled for fighting with each other. When Karen demands to know the cause of the fight, Felicia lets slip the revelation of her fling with Hank. “Becca’s father and I had a slight, well, indiscretion. It may have contributed to the girls’ little kerfuffle,” she explains. Back at the apartment, Hank’s explanations to Karen cut little ice, and she begins to rue the day she left him in charge of Becca. “Do you have any idea how infuriating you are?” she asks. “Yes, yes I do,” Hank replies. The chastened writer retreats to his office at the campus, where he consoles a downbeat Charlie over his work and relationship woes.

Wednesday 1 September, 11:25pm on Fiver

David Duchovny stars as hell-raising writer Hank Moody in the third season of the racy comedy drama. In this episode, Karen returns from New York to discover Becca’s adolescent behaviour is spiralling out of control. Charlie feels inadequate when Marcy takes a shine to rock star-turned-actor Rick Springfield. Karen’s unexpected arrival from New York (see last week’s episode) does little to shake Becca from her morose mood. “I don’t recognise her anymore,” Karen says. “I told you, she’s changed,” Hank replies. “She’s a miserable little bitch all the time now.” Karen decides that Becca needs to move back to New York with her. “This place is toxic,” she says. “LA is no place to raise a daughter.” But the news sends Becca into a fury. The stubborn teenager is aghast at the prospect of being separated from her best friend, Chelsea. “New York doesn’t mean shit to me! It isn’t the answer to anything!” she screams. Karen, meanwhile, has a confession to make to Hank. She reveals that she slept with her ex-fianc�, Bill, in New York. “It’s not that big a deal. I kinda felt that I owed him one. I did, you know, ruin his life and all,” she says. Disturbed by this news, Hank nonetheless allows Karen to accompany him to the university, where she delights in sitting in on his class. Karen is quick to notice Hank’s exchanges with perky Jacky and repressed Jill. “Which one are you sleeping with?” she asks, with a raised eyebrow. Hank and Karen grant Becca her wish of dining with Chelsea and her family, the Koons. They head off for dinner with Marcy and Charlie, only to be called away by the news that Becca has been misbehaving. “It seems Becca and Chelsea staged a raid on the dean’s wine cellar,” Hank says.

Wednesday 25 August, 11:25pm on Fiver

David Duchovny stars as hell-raising writer Hank Moody in the third season of the racy comedy drama. In this episode, while Becca visits Karen in New York, Hank entertains a childhood friend looking for a good time. Daisy’s reappearance threatens to derail Charlie and Marcy’s reunion. Hank is at the airport to put Becca on a plane to New York. The taciturn teenager seems typically underwhelmed by the prospect of visiting her mother. “I don’t get it, Becs. What could be so awful about visiting the woman who pushed you through her magnificent vagina?” Hank asks. Having dispatched Becca, Hank heads across to arrivals to meet his childhood friend Mike ‘Zloz’ Zlozowski. Mike called Hank at short notice and asked to visit him in LA. The two men have not seen each other in years and Mike is initially cagey about the reasons for his visit. “What’s up? You sounded pretty mysterious on the phone,” Hank says. Mike and Hank end up in a bar, where Mike causes trouble by hounding every girl in sight with bad chat-up lines. Hank eventually presses the happily married family man to admit that he has fallen out with his wife. “We got into a fight. Words were spoken. Household appliances were thrown,” Mike explains. Appalled, Hank urges Mike to go back to his wife. “You’re not gonna do any better than Kim,” he says. “You were my hero when you nailed her.” “Well, as the saying goes – for every beautiful woman, there’s a guy who’s bored of fucking her,” Mike replies. The two boys attend a party at Sue Collini’s house, where Mike expresses his desire to enjoy a little bit of the LA high life – much to Hank’s continued dismay. “You got everything you could ever want or need back home, trust me,” he says. Mike winds up in a hot tub with a beautiful woman, only to discover that the woman is a transsexual. Mike’s revulsion angers Hank, who warns him to curb his aggressive behaviour. The pair end up in a fight on the pool table, only to be separated by Sue.

Wednesday 18 August, 11:25pm on Fiver

Zoso (Series 3: 4/12) David Duchovny stars as hell-raising writer Hank Moody in the third season of the racy comedy drama. In this episode, Hank further complicates his already convoluted love life by sleeping with one of his students. Elsewhere, Sue Collini suggests Hank kick-start his writing career by offering himself to powerful, older women, Hank appeases Becca by allowing her to go on a shopping trip with Felicia, and Charlie and Marcy’s attempt to sell their house goes awry. Hank is snoozing at the office when he is interrupted by Felicia. “We should talk,” she says. “Oh shit – you’re not preggers, are you?” asks Hank. Since the pair only kissed (see last week’s episode, ‘Verities & Balderdash’), Felicia calmly responds in the negative, before throwing herself on Hank. She confesses that ever since she discovered her husband was unfaithful, she has considered herself owed an infidelity. “I’m like fly paper for the emotionally disturbed,” reflects Hank. The pair quickly separate when Jill enters the room. “We have to talk…” she tells Hank as soon as they are alone. Much like her predecessor, she then proceeds to snuggle up to the in-demand writer. That night, Hank heads to a strip bar, ostensibly to talk to Jackie, a student who recently quit his class. Jackie is happy to talk to her former tutor – but only if he pays for her time. Hank finds himself trying to convince a topless Jackie to rejoin his class, while she writhes around on his lap. “You’re a damn fine writer,” he says. “Writing is just a pipe dream – you can’t make a living doing something like that. That’s how you end up teaching,” she replies. Upon leaving the club, Hank sees Jackie being pushed around by a group of men and rushes to her defence – only to be beaten up. Jackie takes her protector back to her flat, where the pair end up having sex. “This is not a good idea – you’re my student,” he protests. “Not any more I’m not…” she replies.

I’ve seen the first four episodes of Californication, Season 2, and they’re at least as much fun as the first. My sneak peek review contains no spoilers.

californication
the last waltz (12/12)

Concluding this week is the US comedy-drama about a jaded New York novelist who relocates to Hollywood after his best-seller is made into a hit film. In tonight’s season finale, Karen’s wedding day arrives and brings with it a number of shock revelations and a great deal of emotional upheaval.

Despite Hank’s best efforts to cancel the nuptials, the day of Karen’s marriage to Bill has arrived. The day begins with Hank in bed, dreaming of the point in the ceremony at which the congregation is asked if anybody objects to the union. Everybody turns to face Hank, who obligingly gets up, marches to the front and attempts to drag Karen away, before falling off a cliff.

Having been roused by his daughter, Hank begins to get ready for the wedding but is interrupted by Becca. “Dad, it happened,” she says. After some confusion, he finally realises that his daughter has started her period and reacts in what he imagines to be the most appropriate way – by speeding to the local shop and trying to steal the only remaining pack of tampons from a woman’s basket. After a heated argument and a minor grapple, the woman sympathises and takes Becca aside to show her the ropes.

At the beachside venue where the wedding is to take place, Marcy is preparing for the ceremony by getting stoned and offering some frank advice about sex and relationships to Karen. “I think you’re doing the right thing,” she says, unconvincingly, but changes her tune when she learns that Karen slept with Hank after his father’s funeral. As soon as Hank arrives at the venue, she rushes up to him and suggests that he talk to Karen. “F**k her into doing the right thing!” she pleads, before joining the party with Becca.

As more guests arrive, Charlie confronts a rather tipsy Mia about stealing Hank’s manuscript and learns that Bill has refused to let her publish it. “At least it all worked out for the best,” he tells her. “Hank gets his book back and you get to crawl back to the hole from whence you came.” “This ain’t over till it’s over!” she calls after him.

The wedding gets under way and soon arrives at the point of which Hank dreamed. However, Hank is not the one to break the peace; it is Mia, now completely inebriated, who stands up and offers her objections. “I don’t think I can fully endorse this union,” she slurs. “You’re still in love with Hank,” she adds, turning her attention to the bride. Hank comes to the front and attempts to take Mia away so that the marriage can proceed, but this turns out to be an error. “You think you can shut me up?” she yells. “Just like you thought you could f**k me and never talk to me again!”

The guests gasp in unison at the revelation and are shocked once more when Bill marches back down the aisle and decks Hank. It is only after throwing the punch that Bill turns to his daughter and asks if the allegation is true. “Of course not,” she says, after some consideration. “Give a girl some credit!” Bill then returns to his bride and asks her if she wants to forget about the past and continue with the wedding. “Yes, I do,” she replies.

Later, when the reception is in full swing, Hank joins his daughter for a dance. “I’m very proud of you,” she tells him. “Because you got through it.” She then adds something of a dubious compliment: “You’re tragically flawed Dad, but you’ve got a good heart.” Mia arrives and cuts in for a dance with Hank, who thanks her for not telling the truth about their liaison. Her silence has come at a price, however, as it seems Mia’s father has changed his mind about the book and is allowing her to publish it as her own work.

Before Hank leaves the wedding with Becca, he enjoys one last dance with his ex-girlfriend and offers Bill some advice. “Be good to her,” he says. “I had a shot with her once but I blew it.” As his car pulls away, however, Karen comes running down the drive, shoes in hand, shouting for Hank to stop. Is there still a chance for the Karen and Hank, or is she just saying a final farewell?

californication
turn the page (11/12)

Continuing tonight is the US comedy-drama about a jaded New York novelist who relocates to Hollywood after his best-seller is made into a hit film. Tonight, Becca makes a decision about her future; Mia receives a great deal of interest in the novella she claims to have written; and Hank finally realises what has happened to his manuscript.

Hank’s relationships with the various women in his life are once again the centre of attention this week, as his daughter, his ex-girlfriend and his teenage nemesis put him through a range of contrasting emotions. After a day out with Becca, Hank arrives at Karen’s house to find her and Mia trying on their wedding outfits. At that moment, Bill arrives and prompts Karen to run behind a screen so that he cannot see the dress. “You know what’s worse luck?” Hank calls after her. “Getting married itself!”

Before Hank can leave, Becca insists she talk to her parents together about “family stuff”. “I want to live with Dad,” she reveals, frankly. Hank protests that this is the first he has heard of the idea, but Karen is unconvinced and storms off. Becca then storms off herself when Hank asks her if she has thought her decision through. Bill follows Karen inside and Mia and Hank are left alone. “I’m going to need some help getting out of this dress,” she says. “And then there was one,” is Hank’s response as he too flees the scene.

That night, Bill comforts Karen by assuring her that Becca will return as soon as her father lets her down. “We’re talking about Hank here –how long can that possibly take?” he asks. But Karen is still upset and cries as she and Mia help Becca pack. It is not until Karen has left the room, however, that Becca reveals the reasoning behind her decision. “I’m not going to live with my dad because it’s fun,” she says. “I’m going because I have to.” With her mother soon to be married to Bill and her father still unable to produce any work, Becca is worried that Hank is about to hit rock bottom.

Upon learning that he is about to have his daughter back, Hank meets Charlie in a restaurant to tell him that he must move into a hotel. “I’ll miss the camaraderie,” is Charlie’s response. “But that stain in your bedroom was really starting to unnerve me!” The two then move onto the contentious issue of writing. “How come you never told me that Bill’s little Lolita of a daughter was a writer?” Charlie asks. “Because I don’t use that term lightly,” says Hank. “Everybody says they are a writer in this town!” However, Hank soon changes his tune when he reads some of Mia’s work and recognises it as his own. He jumps up from the table, knocking his chair over in the process, and walks away.

Later, Hank bursts into his agent’s office and interrupts a meeting between Charlie, Dani, Mia and Victoria –a publisher from New York. A furious Hank demands a talk with Mia alone, but she refuses. Victoria, meanwhile, tells Hank that Mia may have written the “book of the year”. “It’s like your early stuff,” she tells him. “But not so juvenile.” When the meeting is over, Hank meets Mia in the street and confronts her once more. “You f**ked me and you didn’t want anything to do with me,” she says. “So this is your revenge?” he replies. “You’re some kind of feminist caped crusader!”

Back in the office, Dani reveals that she has high hopes for Mia’s novella. “The girl’s going to sell five million copies based on the jacket photo alone,” she tells Charlie. It is only at this point that Charlie sits down to read the manuscript –and immediately recognises it as Hank’s work. “I loved your new novel,” he tells the author when he next sees him, prompting Hank to hug him in relief.

However, Charlie’s discovery is not all good news for Hank. Now that he knows who really wrote the novella, Charlie realises that Hank must have slept with the 16-year-old Mia. “You’ve done some f**ked up sh*t in your time,” he says. “But I didn’t think you’d do that.” Charlie offers to take the book out of circulation, but Hank reveals that Mia has him over a barrel. Either the book is published with her as author, or Hank’s dark secret will be revealed…

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