Season 3 of Californication was, well, a typical 3rd season. Having established the identities of the major characters and not having a particular crisis leftover from Season 2 to resolve, it tests out a few ideas and entertains without really surprising…until the very end at least. If S01 was about meeting Hank and his family and friends, and S02 was about Ashby and single parenting, then S03 was “Hank goes back to (and bangs half of the) college. While not the strongest season (I still think the first season was the best in terms of writing and character development), S03 has its high points and both hilarious and dramatic moments. I liked the Sue character a lot and still like watching Becca grow up. The trio of dean’s wife-student-TA was a bit of a stretch but made for some comedy – particularly the culmination of having all three in his house simultaneously – but I found that the denouement was a bit too early. The primary story line more or less ends in E09 and we are left wondering, how are they going to string 3 more episodes along? That did allow for the face-the-music comedy of E10, the boys-night-out meets girls-night-out in E11 with its dramatic moment and typical depravity and then the Big Revelation in E12 that shatters the bond between Hank and Karen irreparably. Californication continues to be a show that is easy to watch – only about 26 minutes per episode once you eliminate the “recently on” and trailer bits – so I do appreciate the ease with which I blow through the episodes. The writing of dialogs remains witty and rudely creative. However, I think that they could have allowed for Hank to grow up just a tad and it would have been pleasurable to see him writing again, but then perhaps he’ll break a stride in S04, who knows?
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