It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it

BY JANE BOWRON
Last updated 09:21 27/08/2010
David Duchovny stars as Hank Moody in the new season of Californication.
Reuters
TOO HOT: David Duchovny stars as Hank Moody in the new season of Californication.

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OPINION: The main drawback of having the flu is that the eyes become so rheumy you can't even read a good book.

Having had the porcine lurgy for more than a week I gave daily thanks to the gods of My Sky, even though by the end of the bout I was really scraping the barrel, watching the repellent David Gest - he who once briefly married Liza Minnelli - entertain buying a proper English gentleman's house in Cambridge on Celebrity Fantasy Homes on the Living Channel.

Apparently Gest had endeared himself to the British public by his soul- baring appearance on the noxious I'm a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here and was so overwhelmed by Blighty's response to him that he decided to move maid and mountain to the UK.

His oily flirtations with Gabby, the Celebrity Fantasy Homes hostess, were so noisome that her down-boy body language could have been used by Dr Cal Lightman in a special episode of Lie to Me dealing with the overbearing attentions of deeply unattractive male pests.

During the week I watched so much television that even in my time-off-TV hours, when I was trying for some decent shut-eye, I discovered to my subconscious horror that my dreams were full stopped with credit rolls where my name appeared as an extra. It brought new meaning to the warning: Don't give up your day job.

Speaking of nightmares, Hank Moody (David Duchovny) is having plenty of these in the new season of Californication (TV3, Tuesday, 9.30pm) after Karen, his wife and soulmate, has quit town to continue her career, leaving him holding the baby, in this case his recalcitrant teenage daughter, Becca.

In previous seasons of Californication, the father and daughter relationship was so buddy-buddy rather than parent-child that it was groovily annoying. Not so now as Becca, who even looks like she is going through a real life ugly duckling phase, is seeing her father for what he is - one very smart-lipped womaniser and a full- blown emotional foetus to boot.

The show started off in true fornication style with a pretty female astride Hank and getting her rocks off when she notices that the great sex addict is asleep under her.

Fatherhood is sapping his vital juices, what with all the supervision of texting and internet, not to mention getting Short Stuff up for breakfast and ready for school.

Charlie Runkle, his bald-headed agent, he whose nude nut dome his predatory female boss Sue Collini, played scarily by Kathleen Turner, likens to the top of an appendage, is feeling the full weight of recession cutbacks.

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Charlie can't shift Hank's new book so Hank gets a job teaching English literature at the college where three woman are about to throw themselves at the indolent and lethally charmed university chalkie - one of them being the mandatory student who sports a rack that looks like the proverbial peaches.

Just to underline the charm and verbal skills of Hank, The OC's ridiculously good-looking Peter Gallagher puts in an appearance as the straight-laced, by-the-book dean.

Before they meet in their professional capacities, the two alpha males bump fenders in a car versus bicycle encounter as Hank bumps the dean off into a flower bed before meeting him minutes later round the dining table.

The dialogue is so sexually explicit in Californication, you have a care for the writers, who must have to plumb new depths to find fresh depravity that is borderline to keep a jaded TV audience interested and the censors shaky.

Hank goes home to his bachelor pad - with concessions to sharing his living quarters with Becca - and phones Karen to try to keep lurve alive.

Their open relationship deprives them of the necessary jealousies to keep the ideals of soulmateship potent and Hank wonders to his estranged yet not estranged wife how long they can do long distance without losing sight of each other.

Meanwhile, there is plenty of pot to confiscate off Becca and her offsider, the equally precocious Chelsea, and more distractions in the way of various females who represent the full liquorice allsorts array of types who all seem to find Hank, as Robert Palmer used to sing/talk, "simply irresistible".

Duchovny is looking a little pinched and skull shrunk - as if the sex-addicted real lifer has done his time in the salt mines of sex-sating. It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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