Page 1 of 3
Has David Duchovny's sex-crazed drama finally jumped the shark....?
Paramount / 342 Minutes / 2012 / Unrated / Street Date: December 18, 2012
It has stuck around too long. Californication - even through its fourth season - was able to be both titillatingly dirty and somehow fresh, with its boudoir banter and character development progressing forward side by side. On this fifth go-round, though, we're not even on the west coast any more: defying its very title, Californication: The Fifth Season is the tale of folks having fun and troubles with each other back in the asphalt jungles on NYC.
Watching protagonist Hank Moody (David Duchovny) pal around with a new girl (Natalie Zea) provides some fresh new character grounds to filter, but even though the addition of RZA to the mix as a rapper who wants Hank to write a script for him is an inspired twist, Californication this time around feels full on idle, almost retread in its lack of dramatic ambition.
That being said, Duchovny is still clearly having a blast with his character here, and his raw charisma as a performer is very nearly enough to keep this latest batch of episodes above water. He'll always be Mulder to most of us, but with Californication, Duchnovny has plunged head-first into a performance that is wondrously multi-faceted, and woefully underappreciated. Unfortunately, if his writing is crumbling as significantly as it is on this Fifth Season compilation, his laudable contributions might end up being unfittingly ignored, which would be a shame.