I can’t believe I’m saying this. Showtime’s Californication is better than HBO’s Entourage. By far.
Full disclosure: I haven’t seen the most recent season of Entourage (according to Bill Simmons in one of his mailbags a while ago, I shouldn’t even bother). But two years ago you couldn’t find a bigger Entourage fan than me. I plunked down the ridiculous fee for HBO just for that show. My cable bill was about $100 a month. Every Sunday night I was in front of the tube watching the shenanigans of Vince, E, Johnny Drama and Turtle. And of course, Ari Gold who was golden (cunt muscle, anyone?)
Perhaps because I’m growing older — nearly 30! — I’m seeking a show with more depth, characters with more flaws and issues. Perhaps I’m tired of Vince’s douche-baggery and Turtle’s pathetic pleading for “pointless pussy” (Hank Moody’s phrase).
David Duchovny’s Moody is a character who is seriously flawed. Alcoholic, self-destructive, promiscuous and, well, moody as hell. I can relate to (some of) that. Duchovny carries the show — and it’s no surprise he turned into a real-life Hank Moody and had to seek counseling last year — and he’s got a solid supporting cast. Agent Charlie Runkle is no Ari Gold but he’s a good straight man sidekick for Moody. The standout, however, is Hank’s daughter. She keeps Moody in check.
That’s a scene you’re just not going to see in Entourage.
I just finished season 1 of Californication and eager to get my hands on season 2. I don’t want to be too harsh on Entourage. It’s like candy for the brain. We all still quote lines from it — “Hug it out bitch” “Victory!” — and I’ll watch an episode if it’s on. And I’ll be snagging season 5 once it comes out on DVD or on iTunes (hurry up!).
But a show like Entourage — every show for that matter — has a limited shelf life. It’s not them. It’s us.