The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

That Nymphomaniacal Psychopath I’ve Grown to Love and Loathe

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And no, I’m not talking about Rick Springfield or even Sue Collini, although I’ve certainly expressed my appreciation for the latter here before.  No, the nymphomaniacal psychopath I’ve grown to love and loathe is actually Hank and, by extension, the show Californication itself.  It used to be that they managed to – or at least sought to – balance the circus madness of the show’s ADD driven flitting around from one outrageous moment to the next over-the-top one with good plot and character development…but last night it felt like the circus madness took the prize.

Between the labia flashlight, everything Rick Springfield, Marcy’s mopey waiting for RS’s call, Runkel’s pathetic wish to have someone take care of him, the ridiculous showdown between our boys and the mall-cop-type dorm security guard and Collini’s drug dealer being in Thailand for ‘some sex-tourism thing’ (too far, Californication – too far!)…between all these over the top moments and more, there was actually very little going on.

Hank’s screwed up by sleeping with another woman; Karen’s trying to be open-minded but is stewing underneath; the other woman is smitten; there’s a creepy other guy trying to move in on Karen; Runkel and Marcy are on the rocks but we all know they’re meant for each other at the end of the day – this could be any season!  And these characters aren’t growing as human beings; they’re simply repeating the sad tropes they performed in season one again and again and again to the point where they’re getting a little boring (hence the need for things like labia flashlights to brighten the 30mins of tedium).

Here’s the thing – I do still love this show.  I just need it to pull its pants up and get back to being awesome!  It doesn’t need to keep hyping up the shock value – at this point it’s kind of numbed me to shock.  What it needs to do is hype up the story value.  Maybe Hank needs to start writing, or Karen needs to get to work on some amazing house.  Maybe Becca could get a new friend or Hank could actually get passionate about teaching.  I don’t know – but give us something new, please!  Something to help these folks seem like real human beings again.

I suppose in the end the one thing that’s shifted is Becca.  She’s finally complicating things by becoming her own person.  But even her development is a repetition of the father-disappointment she’s also been expressing from the beginning.  Each time she asks Karen when they’re going to learn, when they’re going to get real answers, I have to wonder with her – when are we going to get the same?

Posted by Natalie.

Written by themothchase

November 23, 2009 at 9:40 am

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