Obviously, women won’t like this title. So, yes, we know that women like Californication, too. But, of course, it’s a generalization, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Generalizations are healthy, just like stereotypes. Racism is bad, but stereotypes are built through some kind of truth or pattern. And, it’s faster and cleverer than racism. Stereotypes are only hated by folks at the brunt of them because they know they’re true.
So, on the surface (and below it), Californication is a man’s show. You may think it’s because of the constant sex or the cocaine and tits, but that’s not really why. Men love Californication for the storyline (specifically, the old storyline of Seasons 1 and 2) and they love to be able to relate to it.
Most men (as in, virtually all) can’t relate directly to Hank Moody, the failing human played by sex legend David Duchovny, himself. They don’t get asked for a bone while waiting at traffic lights, they don’t get thumped by female car saleswomen while taking a Porsche for a test drive, and they don’t get away with what he gets away with.
That said, we can all relate to his storyline. Am I fu*king my life up right now? Should I have gotten drunk last night? What was I thinking? Why am I so tempted by this? Why have I screwed this up? Why can’t I get a job? Why does the woman I love not love me back?
It’s all so relative. It’s just packaged in a prettier city with Zeppelin as a backdrop, so it seems worlds away. Like The O.C., although Duchovny would hate that reference. We know what Seth Cohen feels like to be a loser, what Ryan Atwood feels like to be an outcast, what Mischa Barton feels like to be a suicidal maniac, and what Summer Roberts feels like to be one personality in the wrong body.
Of course, they live in mansions and they surf and they go to a school nice enough to be a private school only they don’t have to wear the clothes. Even when they die at season’s end, it looks cool. Their misery seems enjoyable.
Our lives are slightly different from theirs, but Californication strikes the same chord.
You may think we like to watch Duchovny bang bi*ches on the reg, but we cheer more for his relationship with Karen than we do for his random hookups. You may think we like to see him flunk out and drink his a*s off, but we also wish he would just write something, Dammit. You may think we’re shallow and insecure, and that’s why we watch it, but that’s not it.
There’s something extremely familiar about a man who has everything while having nothing.
The best episodes aren’t the ones where Hank slays five women and does lines off a hooker’s lower back. The best episodes are the ones where he has his new car stolen, where his ex-girlfriend leaves her own wedding to jump into the back of his car, or where he somehow reconnects with his daughter.
The one where he confesses the worst thing he’s ever done to the only woman he’s ever loved, knowing that it will make her leave him, while Elton John’s revised Rocketman plays in the background (*look above).
A show is a good show if you care about the main character. Then, it’s not about the meaningless women or the drugs and drinking. It’s really about something that you can’t put your finger on, but you keep heading to Sidereel.com to find out.
And, really, isn’t that what love is?
White Cover Staff
White Cover Magazine is the "foremost" source for "male" and "female" things in the world today. Kind of. We have Sports. Movies. Arts. (What are Arts?) Television. Music. And, of course, a critical look at everything in the world of Journalism, Sports Journalism, and News at large.
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