DAVID Duchovny has three TV series that have been benchmarks in his career.
He has certainly evolved from his Men in Black-like days where he was chasing UFOs and aliens in The X Files. Given that the paranormal/ sci-fi series ran for nine years, Duchovny had to switch things up when it ended.
And he went a route few TV critics would have predicted when he took the lead in the erotic drama, Red Shoe Diaries.
When that ended, he found another depraved character to sink his teeth into in Californication. In fact, the life of troubled novelist Hank Moody is almost as debauched as Charlie Sheen (as his proverbial bad boy self).
Americans love the dysfunctional family scenario and the series taps into that as well as Moody’s scandalous sexploits.
To date, Moody has got himself into a litany of Catch-22 situations, starting with getting blackmailed by Bill’s (his ex’s fiancé’s) 16-year-old daughter, Mia, who seduces him before revealing her identity and age.
In season two, his relationship with Karen (the ex) improves… but that status quo doesn’t remain for long. Aside from a paternity scandal, Mia continues to be a thorn in Hank’s side and his rebellious teenage daughter has mega boy trouble.
The next season saw Hank’s past with Mia comes to light and it leaves his family gutted. On the plus side, Mia’s plagiarism of Hank’s work is also revealed.
The fourth instalment saw Hank deep in the throes of a legal fight as he was charged with statutory rape. Meanwhile, his book F***ing & Punching is adapted for the big screen and that also takes up a fair amount of his time.
And the family drama pervaded in the next two seasons with Hank often finding himself in compromising situations – but, to his defense, he certainly has one heck of a party doing so.
So what can fans expect from season 7, which marks the end of Californication’s run?
In an interview with Parade, he said: “It hasn’t sunk in yet. I think last season was our wackiest. The characters that came in and out of the Californication world were probably nuttier than they have ever been, especially with Tim Minchin playing a rock star. We kind of spun off from what I always like to think of as the heart of the show, which is the family. I’m always a little amazed because there are certain things I like about the show and then it seems like people like other things.”
Expanding on his likes, he said: “Well, the heart of the show was always about the fractured love story and this fractured family with these weird fractured family values. We were trying to make a family with these crazy people whose hearts were in the right places, but they kept screwing up. To me it was somewhat realistic in the sense that it seemed like a modern-day world to me. It wasn’t this fantasy sitcom, happily-ever-after world. The comedy forced us into some absurd situations, but the love story was always my favourite part.”
Like any show, it can only be milked for so long before tedium starts poisoning its popularity.
At the end of the day, the seasoned actor says Californication gave him an opportunity to explore his funny side.
“It was a real opportunity to be funny in a way that I thought I could be. When I took this show seven years ago, I had been kind of disappointed in my opportunities to play in a comedic world, so I’m eternally grateful for a character that was human and funny. When I look back on it, it filled an artistic need and desire for me in my career.”
In the new season, a mystery woman from Hank’s past surfaces and a budding writer and a diehard fan of Hank’s insinuates himself into his life in an attempt to be just like him.
Comic pandemonium, a bit of debauchery and some heartfelt moments are cleverly buried in the script for this seventh and last instalment.
Now that’s some climax!
• Californication airs on M-Net Series Showcase (DStv channel 113) on Fridays at 10pm.