He’s crass. He’s an addict. He’s been a less than stellar father and a philandering partner. He’s a mess. And a darn good role model.
The fictional Hank Moody, protagonist of the Showtime hit Californication played by David Duchovny is a Hollywood writer anti-hero with a habit of self-sabotage. Through the show’s brilliant chaos, life lessons are served up raw and unashamed. Here are 5 things I’ve learned about life and growing up from six seasons of Californication.
1. Own who you are.
Through arrests and scandals, break-ups and divorces and reunions, Moody remains steadfastly flawed. He is comfortable in his own skin. He makes no apologies for who he is and offers no expectations that it will change.
2. Treat everyone equally.
Moody works his devilish charm on everyone from his wife to a studio executive to the valet attendant. He doesn’t look down on anyone. Living in Los Angeles he has seen enough waiters become box office stars and those that don’t remain human beings. The world can use a dose of Hank Moody egalitarianism.
3. Step up when you’re wrong.
Nearly every episode of Californication revolves around Hank leaving a trail of wreckage in his path. And nearly every season concludes with Hank apologizing and attempting to make amends. A Hank Moody apology goes something like this: ‘I messed up. I’m a jerk. I’m sorry.’ As good of an apology model as any.
4. Friendship is thick.
Season 2 finds Hank’s career-long agent and friend, Charlie Runkle fired from his agency for a sexual indiscretion (Watch it in Season 2, Episode 2). Hank remains steadfast as a friend and a client. As Hank’s own career begins to crumble Hank refuses to abandon Charlie. In the business of Hollywood, where relationships are severed because of an errant lunch order, Hank and Charlie remain as thick as thieves.
5. Family is the core.
The heart of Californication is a modern family drama. Hank’s own father dies mid-way through Season 1 and Hank is haunted by his many obvious shortcomings as a father to then 12-year old Becca. While Hank fails his way through her adolescence he keeps trying to get it right. Hank can’t get it right with Becca’s mother Karen, either. Their love affair has burned for six seasons. The last aired episode has a now grown Becca telling her father to be happy which causes him to head home to California and Karen.
Showtime has renewed Californication for a seventh season coming in 2014. 1