Like a great novel, a TV series deserves a proper ending. That’s what creator and writer Tom Kapinos hopes to accomplish with his beloved-yetdysfunct iona l cast of characters when Showtime’s half-hour dramatic comedy Californication returns for its seventh and final season on April 13.
Californication began by focusing on the unique version of Hollywood occupied by superstar author Hank Moody, serving as a viable alternative to HBO’s Entourage at a time when Ari Gold’s office didn’t take its literary department seriously.
In recent years, Californication has suffered from a repetitiveness similar to that of Entourage. Season after season, both shows have disguised the same plot — Vince getting a movie or Hank attempting to rebuild his life — in a new manner.
Duchovny directs the opening episode of season seven, which suggests that things won’t be much different this time around, either. Not much has changed for his character, Hank Moody, despite his decision to leave what Karen (Natascha McElhone) describes as the “rock-star circus” he had joined at the end of season six.
Hank is still struggling to find real work, attempting to maintain control over his life and, most importantly, desperately trying to get Karen to be with him again while still lusting after other women. Hank’s agent Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) is recently reunited with Marcy (Pamela Adlon) and still struggling with his sexual exploits. Old plots have even literally been repurposed for the new season, as the failed, Moody-penned film Santa Monica Cop has been adapted into a television series and Hank has earned himself a spot in the writer’s room.
These situations are entirely expected, but it wouldn’t be Californication if anything was different. The jokes are still fresh and the witty back-andforth banter between characters demonstrates that Kapinos’s writing is still sharp — a must for any show about writers.
It’s the plot that seems the most stagnant. But the appearance of Levon (Oliver Cooper), a pesky college newspaper reporter, suggests the remainder of the series will hurl some new and refreshingly challenging obstacles in Hank’s path towards normalcy.