For all intents and purposes, Hank Moody (David Duchovny) is a despicable fiend — a boozing, womanizing, self-loather with serious writer’s block and scathing sarcasm. He is not someone you’d call for reassurance or support. But damn if he’s not entertaining.
Duchovny, the conspiracy-theorizing FBI agent from perennial cult classic, The X-Files, does a 180 in Californication. Playing a writer adrift from New York, Moody’s trapped in superficial Los Angeles, where his work and family life suffer. He can’t please his androgynous daughter (Madeleine Martin) and his selfish attempts at reconnecting with his baby’s momma, Karen (Natascha McElhone), are reminiscent of immature romantic yearnings. It seems there’s nothing Moody can do right.
Finally, at the behest of his beleaguered agent (Evan Handler), Moody succumbs to crass commercialism and begins blogging for the uber-trendy Hella Magazine. Much to his dismay, the toolbox editor in chief also happens to be engaged to Karen. But did we mention Moody slept with the editor’s daughter (Madeline Zima)? Who is a whopping 16 years of age.
Yet, his alcohol-fueled ramblings and quest for complacency are endearing. He beds more women than Clooney and does it with a sardonic fuck you toward establishment. Everyone loves a rebel and Hank Moody is just the anti-hero you love to cheer for. Even if it is just to see which nubile coed he sleeps with.
If the American Dream via Los Angeles isn’t your thing, who doesn’t love pot-peddling suburban moms? In Weeds, sexy Nancy Botwin (Mary Louise Parker) turns from homemaker to dealer following her husband’s untimely demise. To keep up with the Joneses and the buzzing suburban drones, Botwin cavorts with enough nefarious drug dealers and gangbangers to fill the FBI’s Most Wanted.
But she does it with courage and sly wit; so, who cares? She’s providing for her children after all — one, a nymphomaniac, the other,
a creepy brat spouting an advanced vocabulary. Even with her loser brother-in-law (Jus tin Kirk), loser accountant (Kevin Nealon) and conniving, shrewish neighbor (Elizabeth Perkins) meddling in her growing (no pun intended) affairs, Botwin somehow becomes a reputable drug kingpin. Make that queenpin.
Remember, Weeds aren’t things you’re pulling out of your garden and Californication isn’t
a subpar Red Hot Chili Peppers album. Showtime offers infinitely more in its edgy TV lineup. Check these two shows out, Monday Nights at 9 p.m.

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