David Duchovny stars in Californication, a new show which trys to make writers look sexy (lots of shows about writers at the moment – 30 Rock, Studio 60; perhaps they should have a number in it?). He plays Hank Moody, a writer of a famous novel that has been turned into a bad but successful film and has moved to the west coast from New York. This has more to do with the fact that his ex-girlfriend lives there with his daughter, only she is living with another man; it is this that is the central and simple backbone to the story – Hank is depressed and can’t write because the woman he loves is with another man.
Of course, that isn’t particularly engrossing, which is why Hank is sufficiently handsome to be able to shag lots of beautiful young woman in LA. As this is a Showtime programme, there has to be lots of breasts – Duchovny has to sleep with plenty of women in the first episode, to make sure people come back for more. Swearing, shagging, breasts – what more do you need?
It helps that Duchovny is charismatic as the central character – although he is a bit of a dick, there are moments of humanity that make him likeable (to a degree). He gets all the good lines (well, he is the fantasy of the male writer – he can write, he’s funny and he gets to have lots of casual sex) and he gets to be sensitive with his daughter. The show has good support, but it is more about Hank and his life; this might make for limited scope, especially as the will he/won’t he aspect of getting back with his ex isn’t sufficiently interesting or novel to keep attention. However, there is a lot of potential there and Duchovny is having a ball, which is translated onto the screen. Mark under ‘possibility’.