Hey “Californication,” there’s a difference between rape and sex

“Californication” stars the Golden Globe award-winning actor David Duchovny as bad boy writer Hank Moody. It has just begun its third season and has been a hit for Showtime. The central drama focuses on his inability to maintain a relationship with the mother of his child, Karen van der Beek, played by Natascha McElhone. The supporting characters include Evan Handler as Charlie Runkle, Pamela Adlon as Marcy Runkle, and Madeline Martin as Becca Moody.

The show has pushed boundaries from the very beginning. It has featured a scene with Moody, a middle-aged man, having sex with an underage teenage girl. There have been scenes of BDSM, drunkenness, drugs and lesbian sex. The relationship between Moody and Karen functions as a slight cover to legitimize the outrageous juvenile behaviour of the male characters, which is wrapped in a thin layer of satire. Even as the male characters profess to love the women in their lives, their antics imply that women are actually disposable the moment an orgasm is achieved. On “Californication,” masculinity is ultimately sardonic and puerile.

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