Californication Season 5
Californication is another in a long line of shows that succeed in
making you root for a morally reprehensible character completely devoid
of ethics, with David Duchovny’s Hank Moody sitting comfortably in the
anti-hero ranks with Tony Soprano, Walter White and 'Nucky' Thompson,
albeit without the overtly criminal leanings... Although he DID get
arrested for the statutory rape of an underage girl.
Season five kicks off with a flash forward, a device that has been used
in a myriad of shows in an attempt to revive a flagging formula, and it
pays off in spades here. Coming to the end of his three year parole and
self imposed exile in New York due to the aforementioned statutory rape,
Season 5 sees Hank returning to his old stomping grounds of L.A,
spending most of his time trying to wriggle out of a screen writing
assignment for volatile raptor – That’s rapper turned actor – Samurai
Apocalypse, whilst contending with his daughter’s arrogant boyfriend,
the antics of his sex mad agent/ best buddy Charlie and the
ramifications of certain decisions he made whilst in New York.
Oh, and to top it all off, he decides to have an affair with the
notoriously jealous Samurai Apocalypse’s partner/ music protégé. If
there’s one thing Hank’s life certainly isn’t lacking in, it’s drama.
Although it could be argued that one thing the protagonist IS
lacking is a moral compass, this season starts to rectify this inherent
character flaw, to varying degrees of success. Hank’s a lot less
confrontational this time around, actually taking into account the
feelings of those around him and acting accordingly. We’re also given a
bit of insight into his initial foray into the glitzy glamour of the
entertainment industry and the beginning of his descent into the
decadent and hedonistic Hank we all know and love.
of the Fist
for the Miracle
Ain't a Bad Place to Be
quality is crisp and clear, with no signs of compression artefacts. The
colours are rich and vivid and the transfer offers a viewing experience
that’s nearly on par with Blu-ray.
equally as impressive; as is expected from Dolby Digital 5.1, the
clarity is exceptional and the levels are spot on, with no sudden
increase in volume from dialogue scenes to the impeccable soundtrack.
Subtitles for the hearing impaired and speakers of other languages are
where the set falls short. Although not a necessity, I find that
commentaries and special features can enhance a show immensely and add
an extra incentive to purchase for those of us who may have seen the
entire run of the season on television already.
release has a handful of underwhelming features that don’t really serve
to offer much insight into the creative process of the show, although an
extremely brief featurette on the wardrobe department does at least
offer a glimpse behind the scenes. Most incongruous is a ten minute
feature on mixing cocktails based on specific characters on the show –
An interesting concept, but rather boring to watch. The rest of the
special features are rounded out by clip collections and a trivia game.
Costuming Californication (6:21)
Tips For Healthy Parenting, By Hank Moody (2:03)
Monica Cop (1:07)
Califunication – Trivia game
Coming into its fifth season, you probably already know whether or not
you’re a fan of this show. If you are, you’ll be relieved to hear that
the sharp writing and witty ripostes between characters is as good as
ever. Less effective, but still amusing, is Samurai Apocalypse and
Hank’s tentative bromance, which is a powder keg ready to explode,
especially when Hank’s appropriation of African American patois
constantly grates on both his compadre and us, the viewer. But these are
minor niggles, and the show still excels at what it does best: Mixing
ridiculously funny and smutty scenarios with moments of pathos that can
genuinely catch you off guard – Hallmarks of any great series.