Californication Season Two

Californication Season Two
"Friends don't let friends bang each other's soul mate" is an odd piece of advice but when you're Hank Moody, a once successful novelist struggling with writer's block and trying to win back the hand of the mother of your child, it's fitting and even a little touching. The second season of Californication finds Moody (played by real-life sex addict David Duchovny) paying dearly for all the fucking around he did in the Showtime series' first run. Having won back Karen (Natascha McElhone), everything finally seems to be going his way. He's even commissioned to write the biography of superstar record produce Lew Ashby (played by Battlestar Galactica alum Callum Keith Rennie) but things quickly head south when Hank discovers a woman he slept with while apart from Karen is pregnant, most likely with his child, causing Karen to once again kick Hank to the curb. He moves into Ashby's mansion and soon finds a kindred spirit in debauchery and broken hearts. Meanwhile, Hank's agent Charlie (Sex and the City's Evan Handler) is struggling with his demons. Having been caught masturbating at work, he's forced to strike out on his own, signing a fledging porn star and landing her a part in Vaginatown, while his wife Marcy (Pamela Adlon) falls prey to her cocaine habit. Like the previous season, season two is well written and often hilarious but the whole thing feels superficial and inessential. Showtime has been quietly eating away at HBO's one-time monopoly on original cable TV series but where HBO's dominance relied on multi-layered programs filled with allegory and allusion, Showtime has settled for the profane: a sex-addicted writer, a homicidal police officer (Dexter) and a pot-dealing soccer mom (Weeds). While all are extremely well executed and far superior to anything on regular television there's just not enough depth to push these programs to the heights of The Sopranos or Six Feet Under. (Paramount)