The one thing that Season Six of Showtime's sex, drugs and writer's ennui sitcom CALIFORNICATION seemed to have going for it at its opening was the result of the almost-murder/suicide by one of Hank's many lovers (portrayed by Natalie Zea), and his resultant depression and alcohol-drenched daze he finds himself in after she dies.
It made me stop and wonder if perhaps the show might go slightly back to the roots that it laid for itself when Hank was still a pretty unlikable guy. That's what made the show such a wonderful thing in its opening season is that Hank Moody was not without charm and humor and heart, but at his essence he was selfish, immature, self-pitying and frustratingly childish. But, after about one episode, that idea is gone to make way for COMEDY! After all, it's not like this show feels like exploring the dark side of anything anymore. We have madcap rehab silliness, a "man pretending to be gay" story arc that is recycled from some of the worst rom-coms of the 90's, Hank begrudgingly writing a rock opera with a drug-crazed rock god, and, of course, a pornucopia of women willing to do anything with the men on this show for comic value.
In recent seasons though, all of those character flaws that define Duchovny's character have become virtuous and make him even more attractive to every other woman with the exception of Karen, the woman he actually does love. This season's primary paramour is that of Faith (LOST and TAKEN's Maggie Grace), a good girl gone bad that he meets in rehab for his alcoholism and drug addiction. Faith, a professional rock groupie and muse, is instantly annoyed with him, which of course means that she will end up falling for him in some way.
Of course, there's the various other people in Hank's life that make the show a little more bearable, such as the eternally funny Evan Handler as Charlie, whose name and likeness suggest a certain Charlie Brown-like quality; he can't really seem to get a break. This personifies itself most especially in a kind of mildly offensive way in the character of Ophelia (Janice Wheeler), who is a friend of his ex-wife Marcy (Pamela Adlon, stepping up her game considerably after last season). Ophelia is a horrifyingly intense and violent feminist author that suggests that even this show can't escape the "comic" trappings of having a feminist character be a caricature of some form. She's so extreme that it suggests the real-life version of the feminist book store owners that Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein so hilariously send up in PORTLANDIA.
Don't get me wrong; the show is still watchable and somewhat fun, but it's gone so far from it's original mission statement that the show really only exists to showcase the depths of stupidity and depravity that only L.A's rich and shameless are willing to stoop to.