Season 5 wrapped up on Sunday, and as usual Hank is in deep shit. No spoilers here, but a quick review. This past season offered some decent humor with the ever-predictable loser Charlie and his English nanny and Stew and Marcy. The whole Karen-Bates thing was a bit much with the white picket fence and all – a bit over-symbolic imho. Hank himself has not fundamentally changed. OK, so he stayed relatively sober and sort of celibate (I am trying to think of how many women he bedded this season but I am thinking it is a much lower number than in previous seasons). I found the Apocalypse character to be quite annoying and, well, a bit stereotyped as well. I think that the best part of the season was in the middle and that the last couple of episodes were rather unrewarding for the viewer. The final episode (no spoilers I promise), was a bit of a letdown because it all seems so incredibly predictable – even the twist at the end was inevitable because there is no way Hank can go through a day without some shit coming down either of his doing or via someone that he previously bonked. There was a little bit of potential early in the season that just seemed to get squandered as the season wore on. I think that S01 and especially S02 were the strongest seasons of this show and that S03 and S05 are the low points. S04 was kind of somewhere in the middle. If you are hesitating in the time investment in this S05, you be better off investing time in S05 of Dexter (not bad and FAR better than the abysmal S06) or even S05 of Weeds which I liked. Perhaps S05 is a difficult bridge to cross as many shows (the extraordinary Deadwood and hilariously off-beat Bored to Death come immediately to mind) don’t make it this far. And then there are shows like Californication that may have run out ideas and start to recycle them: continuing the whole bad Hank-good Hank thing is getting seriously annoying. Perhaps they need just to kill the Sam-Diane dynamic here by letting them stay together, but concentrating on his writing or something. Or calling it quits. I guess we will have to wait almost a year to see.
Loads of credit going out to the fascinating analysis over on Werewolves and Shotglasses about Californication and Gatsby – an excellent read! If tapping source reads this post, I think he will find I am in agreement with his disappointment in the closer.