New on DVD: Californication: The Fourth Season

By Robert B. DeSalvo

Fans of debaucherous TV won't want to miss any of Hank Moody's adventures in this two-disc set.

Creator: Tom Kapinos

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Studio: Showtime Entertainment

It’s a timeless question: does life imitate art or does art imitate life? On Showtime’s Californication, David Duchovny—who has had well-publicized problems with sex addiction in real life—plays famed novelist Hank Moody, whose insatiable horniness forever threatens his relationship with his long-time girlfriend, Karen (Natascha McElhone), and their daughter, Becca (Madeleine Martin).

Season Four begins with Hank’s life in Los Angeles in total shambles. He’s been arrested for assault and it has come to light that he is the real author of the bestseller Fucking & Punching, which means that Mia Lewis—the girl depicted in the scandalous book—had a sexual relationship with Hank when she was underage. Hank goes on trial for statutory rape and employs the help of sexy lawyer Abby Rhodes (Carla Gugino), a strong-willed woman who inevitably ends up in the sack with Hank. When he’s not being personally counseled by Abby in his room at the Chateau Marmont, Hank is hooking up with the hot young Megan Fox-ish starlet who is playing Mia in the movie of Fucking & Punching as well as her mother—a situation that implodes as soon as mother and daughter realize they are being double teamed by Moody. Meanwhile, Becca has joined an all-girl band and the father of one her bandmates has taken an interest in Karen, who has been devastated by the trial.

A curious thing about Californication is that no matter how many women Hank beds during a season, all roads lead back to Karen. Although there is no question in his mind that Karen is his soul mate, Hank is led by his penis into one dalliance after another and keeps bouncing toward and away from the home life he desperately wants that his libido just won’t allow.

After four seasons of Californication, the lack of resolution between Hank and Karen is starting to wear a bit thin, but we still can’t get enough of watching Duchovny behave badly. “I look like an FBI agent,” groans Duchovny as he dresses up for trial, an obvious reference to looking once again like Fox Mulder from The X-Files. The supporting players are still as funny as ever with Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) starting to get his game back as Hank’s agent and Charlie’s ex, Marcy (Pamela Adlon), discovering that she is pregnant with Charlie’s baby after the house has been put up for sale. Charlie—taking a page from the life of best bud Hank—has moved on to try to sleep with as many women as humanly possible, including his ditsy realtor who is into all kinds or role-playing games.

The last of the 12 episodes ends with Hank driving off into the sunset alone ready to write the next chapter of his life, so who knows what the next season will bring. Fans of debaucherous TV with fearless writing and all the decadent behavior you can pack into a 30-minute episode won’t want to miss any of Hank’s adventures in this two-disc set.

Best extras: Available on DVD only, this set contains the first two episodes of both Gigolos and Episodes, as well as the first two episodes of The Borgias via e-bridge technology.

Buy the Fourth Season HERE.


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