The Damage and Caprice of Californication

Think About It.

Lane Cummingsby Lane Cummings

Last week I visited the newest coffee bar on my street, and upon entering, I had to choose between sitting next to a cute, nerdy graphic designer and a middle-aged, unattractive dude. Can you guess what I chose? The middle aged fart. Why? Because I had work to do. I knew that receding hairline wasn’t going to distract me.

It became immediately apparent, that I had made the wrong choice. The moment I opened up my script on to my desk top, the middle aged guy took this as a cue to talk. Now readers, I know I may seem peppy and charming, but I’m actually a gruff, unfriendly New Yorker. So when it comes to chatting with strangers, I’d rather not. I’d really rather not.

This guy would not stop asking me questions about my script, my past scripts, and writing background, also peppering in his questions with tidbits of bragging gold, telling me how he used to have the number one blog about downtown (yeah, I often brag about stale accomplishments too, like how I won the canoe regatta at summer camp when I was 12) and how the creator of Californication reviewed his blog with a thumbs up. And then he said something that stayed with me.

“Oh, you know Californication, nothing like promoting middle-aged debauchery.” And he said it with such an icky glint in his eye, that it really hit me and stayed with me.

The adventures of David Duchovny and his bald buddy truly give middle aged men the pipe dream that they can still pull young, sweet ass. Now, some middle-aged men can. These are largely either fiendishly handsome men or fiendishly rich men, and the ones that have both get ass like unlimited breadsticks at the Olive Garden.

But the reality is that most young attractive women aren’t going to drop their skivvies unless the person in front of them is also young and attractive.

And that’s where Californication is doing their middle-aged contemporaries a massive disservice. They’re painting this primrose path of pussy that never ends and men truly buy into that fantasy.

Seeing week after week of an unending line of pretty young things list, pine and moan over a sheepish looking guy named HANK, for Christ’s sake, truly makes me think the show was a culmination of the wet dreams of a bunch of producers that look like Fozzy bear.

The mass majority of the actresses cast on the show could easily pull a man way better looking than Hank. Seriously, a lot of the actresses cast look like they could easily shack up with male models or serious leading men types. Let’s get real. Duchovny doesn’t even lift. His pecs aren’t even defined. He looks like Mr. Burns with his clothes off.


And most of the actresses play characters that would not ever believably fall for Hank. I haven’t seen a lot of moody, cerebral female characters on the show, or any characters that look like they could actually read a book while not being held at gunpoint. If he traded bonds and had two working headlights in his car, sure. But in order to have some of that necessary, but ever elusive realism, I’m going to need to see some Kerouac reading, iambic pentameter writer femmes.

But all the slobs out there with receding hairlines watch the series and think it’s time to get their game back on and start chatting up the young thing drinking a coffee beside them, trying to get some damn work done.

One of my other beefs with the show is that Duchovny supposedly has the gift of Houdini in the sack. All the ladies croon and weep for him like he’s got some sort of sack-performance-crack and now they’re forever sentenced to search for another score. If this is the case, I would like to see some evidence. Next time, during one of the gratuitous sex scenes, I would like to see some allusion to Duchovny performing some intense and bango-tango mating ritual. Something. Because all they’re showing is his ability to presumably get it up and move it around.

And lastly, I can’t quite understand how all these women get so hung up on a man that shows them as much interest and emotion as a passing magpie. He cares so little, he moves his face so seldom and I can’t live without him.

I leave you with this, in the last couple seasons of the X-files, it was implied that Mulder and Scully (Gillian Anderson) had slept together. Does anyone remember a spring in her step, a girlish glow or look of longing in her eyes?

No. Because she was acting opposite David Duchovny and obviously opted for realism.