Fall TV Shows Preview – Californication – David Duchovny

Last year I had access to the preview DVDs that upfront media buyers get when they lock in their millions of dollars of ad buying in June for the fall season that started in September. I watched a lot of the shows and posted about them. Most I was not a fan of. Most of the new shows that started last fall were cancelled either immediatley or within a few months. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip only lasted till the end of the season because of the contract they had with Aaron Sorokin and a devoted high income audience. It has been canceled now too. I firmly believe that these expensive development projects for fall premier season son’t work about 85% of the time. Yet, the mid season replacements and oddball reality and game shows that they just launch mid year work about 75% of the time.

That success rate would lead me to run a network not on flagsips but on fun oddball stuff that appeals to the mainstream and is cheap to develop and promote. I am sure that 85% of the shows you see being advertised on TV, busses, billboards, Radio and the Internet will be gone by November. Its sad mostly for the actors, since many of them have to take this leap5 or 6 times before they get a series that sticks. And we all know what kind of a pyramid it is to climb if you are trying to make a living as an actor. I wish for their sake more of this was solid anc concrete. Like if a series is developed, it is committed to running all the way through. Rather than being yanked and more episodes of the singing bee are inserted there instead.

I was curious when Netflix said they had DVDs you could rent with these same pilot episodes on them that the big time media buyers get. Well I saw the first one the other day for Californication. with David Duchovny. We all loved him in the 90’s with the X-Files. So many of us were into him then. Somehow he has survived on doing voice overs for dog food comercials and a few odd movies inbetween. (his wife tea leoni works more than he does,  although he does have kids that he is probably happy to spend time with rather than working all the time)

Californication isn’t really clear what it is about or what kind of show it wants to be. I was suprised that it seemed to just be a show about sex that this one guy was having. Do they think that many people are still in lust with a character from the 90’s that we would just tune into Showtime to watch him have sex like 7 times with toppless women in the pilot episode? Does this happen every week? Why would I watch a character I neither admire or identify with? Plainly I thought the show sucked. I almost couldn’t watch the entire thing. David Duchovny plays such an unlikable guy you don’t want to watch him. He is a self centered self loathing writer that just picks up any woman he wants and has sex with them. All the while his divorced/seperated ex shows up from time to time to scold him about how he isn’t a good man or father. This isn’t the guy you keep hanging on to, this is the guy you walk away from and never speak to again if it’s reality. And of course he has all this carefree fantastic sex without stds, without cervical cancer, and without any regrets. I’d call it womanizing, but the women are just as frivoulous about it regardless of the danger and enjoy showing off their boobs the whole time. I did learn though a lot about other women’s boobs that I didn’t need to know.

So in summary, watch Californication if you want to watch a soft porn show with gratouitous sex and a completley unlikable character. I expect this series to last longer than most because it is on cable, but maybe till December at best.  Weeds is about 100 times better.

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10 thoughts on “Fall TV Shows Preview – Californication – David Duchovny

  1. It seems to me that californication is finding an audience. I like it very much. It’s much more then one guy having sex. As far as how long will it last……well since it’s a 3 month series it will end the second week of November. Hopefully it will come back next summer. While you find the main character distasteful, i really like him. As far as Weeds…..eh, it’s ok.

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  3. I must disagree with your review. This show is smartly written and Duchovny is a likeable sap who beneath all his problems is really trying to do the right thing. Just think about the episode on the morality issue with the sixteen year old. He goes as far as stating it for the audience. He’s got his own problems, but within that gives others the strength to stand up for themselves. I think the chemistry between the actors is also excellent (with the exception of the husband to be). As for Weeds, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. It’s just okay.

  4. well everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I found watching him make the same mistakes over and over again and keep hurting himself as his life spirals out of control was painful. I think David Duchovny is a great actor, I just don’t have anything I can relate to in this character because I don’t see the world at all like he does. Maybe this is marketing to a 40-50 yr old male divorced demographic that fantasizes about having wild sex with random women and markets to how they want to trade in a life of comfortable predictability for this wild life to “find themselves” so to speak.

  5. I believe the 15% success rate is acceptable because networks are looking for the next big hit (Seinfeld, Friends, et cetera); something they can cash in with more than just advertising dollars. A small following is fine, and I believe myNetworkTV and the CW do that low budget stuff more than the bigger networks. Their ratings are consistent, but never through the roof.

    I’ll have to check out Weeds — everyone keeps talking about it.

  6. How can you not love David. He is playing a very charming, yet screwed up hunky man. Maybe he is not the guy you want to marry, but who doesn’t like to watch him and dream away for a bit?? It’s nice to see a show that is a bit different from the rest. I never watched x-files (not my kind) so I have never been a big David fan, but I think he pulls of this character really well.

    Elisabeth

  7. Well I am glad you guys are happy with it if you are spending the time to watch it, but after that pilot I was sure I didn’t want to watch any more. I guess I left the fascination with David Duchovny in the 90’s.

  8. Californiacation was one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. David does a brilliant job as Hank. Becca says it the best…Hank is tragically flawed, but is deep down a good man. Where I may not identify with Hank on a personal level, I do understand how it is for one, when you see the right thing in front of you but you just keep on missing. But he is ultimately warm hearted and a good father. He just needs to grow up a little…better late than never.
    David is very beleiveable as Hank. Since I did watch him in X-Files, Zoolander, and Evolution I was impressed with his ability and talent. I wasn’t the biggest fan of him previously but I now have a greater respect for his ability to make this character his own. I didn’t think that I would like this series, but found myself on the edge of my seat the entire time I watched. I was hooked right after the first episode.
    I hope that you take the time to watch and really…just get it…
    I also hope that there is another season as I am completley left with the feeling of wanting more.

  9. I love this show , when i saw the promotions , i really tought it was gonna be crappy ..and another attempt of that duchovny fella to get rid of his xfile persona..but after seeing it mroe i got caught into it and his carachter ..he is great playing it …and shows that he’s got what it takes to get edgier …hope it lasts a lot …its always great to see disfunctional carachters well played and suited ….take a look at Dr. house …another great one ….
    I fell in love with californication not just because they started to show skin ..but because it shows every generation of women in their own form , and what women had really become these days ….and its not a compliment …
    the people or person who wrote this article obviously is either a woman who saw the show and saw herself into it and thats why it hates it …because most people i know who hate this show are because they see themselves in it specially women who hate to be told the truth …
    This show is not afraid to be on the edge of showing how much us humans treat each other these days , and be that as it may , laugh at it ….i hope it gets renew over and over because it worth it , well written and well acted ..by duchovny , and natasha mcholne ( too bad she has those horrible tatoos tought) …but very good …thumbs up duchovny ! …youre showing youre a real performer who’s gotta be taken more seriuos !

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