Review: Third Season Of Showtime's 'Californication'

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It's good to be Hank Moody.

In the third season of the Showtime comedy Californication, the economy is holding back buyers for the latest book, penned by David Duchovny's character.

Not to worry. When Hank helps a tee-totaling professor fall off the wagon and into rehab, Moody's novel talents, good looks and alternating charm and come-ons insert him into the gig at an LA college.

That puts at least three new women into his life and lap: teacher's assistant Jill (Diane Farr); creative writing student/stripper Jackie (Eva Amurri); and Felicia Koons (Embeth Davidtz), the English department head who hired Hank.

Hank's relationship with the latter figures to become especially complicated: Felicia's the mother of Chelsea (Ellen Woglom), his teen daughter Becca's (Madeleine Martin) new best friend. Chelsea has her own taste for trouble, drugs and perhaps Becca herself (hey, Hank raised the subject at a dinner party). Felicia's husband also just happens to be the school's stuffy dean (Peter Gallagher surfing 180-degrees away from The O.C.'s ultra cool Sandy Cohen).

Meanwhile, after Becca's mom Karen (Nataschca McElhone) moved to New York, Hank's love for her is bicoastal, their only interaction through the first four episodes, limited to phone calls and a Web cam (no virtual sex, yet).

The other side story orbits Duchovny's agent-buddy Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) trying to forestall a divorce from his wife Marcy (Pamela Adlon). In the meantime, Charlie's job security is predicated on being a boy toy to agency head Sue Collini (Kathleen Turner), whose primary passion is for an epithet that rhymes with her last name.

It's all very prurient, provocative, puerile and playful.

The third season of Californication premieres Sept. 27 at 10 p.m. on Showtime.

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