Californication: Kickoff, Review

Hank's show is stumbling already, but Californication is right on the money in its latest episode.

Santa Monica Cop is going up in flames. The writers are fed up. The actors want their characters killed off. The ringleader of this loony Hollywood circus only had one rule, no fucking in the pool, and it was violated in more ways than one.

As the fictional show is one road bump away from veering off the beaten path, Californication is quickly approaching the end of its run with some of its sharpest comedic writing in some time. Tonight’s episode, “Kickoff,” further shows us that Hank Moody and Co. may not have the most interesting story left to tell, but their wild nights and filthy exploits are still outrageously entertaining.

With the Santa Monica Cop’s new season set to kickoff, we finally meet the stars of the show. If you can ignore the tacky name, the show’s lead, “Hashtag Black” (Brandon T. Jackson) is something of a loose cannon. He doesn’t do pitches from bitches. He loathes expository dialogue and dramatic jargon. He wants funny. And he is pretty entertaining, if not mildly funny, which is more than we can say about the previous Santa Monica Cop, and Hashtag’s friend, Samurai.

Working with Hank Moody should come with a warning label. Lucky for Hank, his reputation is water cooler fodder around Los Angeles. His close friend, Samurai, told Hashtag that Hank is a good dude, sure, but he’s also prone to “sticking his pee pee where it don’t belong.” He failed to mention that Hank is pretty good about leaving his mouth in places where it doesn’t necessarily belong, but is usually welcome. To prove Hank’s reputation correct, he’s caught going down on the show’s female lead, Amy Taylor Walsh (Mercedes Masohn), by none other than his baby momma, Julia.

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If anyone can turn that tender moment into an opportunity, it’s Hank. We saw some sparks fly between Hank and Julia in the dentist’s office, but they nearly lit the fuse in Rath’s room. Of course Hank can’t resist, even though his boss and leading man Hashtag are all hot and bothered for the lovely Julia. There’s a confrontation, but that fades quickly because Hank fucked up in a more profound way.

Staying consistent with the theme of Hank’s prior indiscretions coming back to haunt him, his positive interactions with Julia turn sour in a hurry, as Levon, overcome with lust for another sexual interaction, fornicates with Stu’s escort in Rath’s pool. Now Hank has a goal for the short term, get back on Julia’s good side, while his long-term goal of reuniting with Karen is clearly on the backburner.

Notes and Quotes:

Keep Michael Imperioli agitated! As much as I love Hank’s catchphrase, I’m partial to the aggressive Italianized version of “Mothafucka!” It brings me back to the Sopranos days.

“You’re not going to walk in there pitching a tent, are you?” – Levon to Charlie

“I wish my pops would have popped my cherry like that” – Stu

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“If you murder the ass then there’s nothing left to enjoy” – Hank

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