The Verdict Is In

Near the start of the season, I said that this had the potential to be the best season of Californication to date. Well, tomorrow’s episode is the penultimate chapter of the fourth season and I’m sticking to that statement.

Californication walks a tricky line between being a dramedy and a full-on sitcom with some more serious bits. The third season spent too much time being full-on sitcom, and then tacked on the Fall of Moody for good dramatic measure. This season has toed the line perfectly, giving us some absolutely hilarious moments (the Fisher Stevens ep was probably the most absurd and brilliant comedic episode they’ve had), while having some genuine character development and plot advancement. Hank has been depressed, dealing with the realization that his self-destructive nature needs to change and the fear that it may already be too late. Runkle has avoided dealing with his divorce by instead focusing on bringing the number of women he’s slept with up to 100. Becca has managed to become both the sensible, mature member of her family while being the traditional teenager who acts out and gets in trouble. I loved her “I like being fucked up” speech with Hank, and I also like that her age and her intellect mesh much better now. Marcy has also been avoiding her divorce, instead rushing forward with Stu out of fear that she’s getting too old to have a family (and because Charlie has dematured). And Karen.. is also in the episodes.

On top of the forward movement, the fact that Runkle has picked up a bunch (or at least some) of Hank’s sex antics helps to give Hank the room for some self-contemplation. It’s weird, Hank seems to be both having just as much sex as he did last season, and also spending significantly more time not having sex. I’m not sure how that works, but this season feels so much more cohesive then… well, all of the rest. I wonder if this is connected to the fact that it started several months later this year? If they took the extra time to tighten up the plot for the season, it was definitely worth it.

I also have to give the show props for making Mia not the most horrid and despicable character in television history.

-Jerk

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~ by Jerk on March 19, 2011.

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