Review: "Californication" Returns, Plus 2 New Showtime Dramas

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Next Sunday, Showtime will offer a free preview weekend of their premium subscription service programming, which includes the premieres of three originals (two brand new, one returning), but in case you're still on the fence, I have offered my advance reviews today, giving you ample time to decide whether or not you want to order the network for the full seasons (hint: you should).
"Hank Moody may be a tragic disappointment but the Californication season 4 premiere is anything but"

Californication's Hank Moody (David Duchovny) is a writer, not an actor, but his plight of late very much resembles that of Entourage’s Vincent Chase nonetheless. After all, he is just another creative talent out in Hollywood who everyone around him makes excuses for, while he f*cks up time and again. The show focuses on his journey, but he never really goes anywhere. Case in point? When we last left him, he was being hauled away in handcuffs in front of his daughter, arrested on assault charges stemming from a continuous downward spiral for the Hollywood writer. Well, they say you have to hit rock bottom before you can attempt to suck the poison out of your life…but what happens when that poison is just you? ... [MORE]

"Shameless makes no apologies but tries to find a lighthearted side to a pretty screwed up family"

Shameless, Showtime’s newest original drama, asks us to find the humor, the joy, the life in a pretty screwed-up situation. The Gallagher kids, as adorable and precocious and crafty as they are, have been dealt a pretty sh*tty hand. Their mother has left them, and their father, Frank Gallagher (William H Macy) has no seeming desire to even attempt to heal from his crippling alcoholism. Instead, he flits through life, blowing his disability checks on booze while his kids, from elementary-age Debbie (Emma Kenney) and Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) to teenage Ian (Cameron Monaghan) and Lip (Jeremy Allen White) take jobs, scrape change out of their pockets, and dump UNICEF money into their phone and gas bills to keep the family afloat... [MORE]

"Episodes gets off to a stereotypical start but introduces oddly vulnerable Hollywood players"

Episodes starts out with remnants of a little known but majorly meta film called The TV Set, Episodes opens the same way, with Beverly (Tamsin Greig) taking off on her husband and writing partner Sean (Stephen Mangan). This throws the audience right into the heart and seriousness behind all the humor of the show about a show on Showtime. about a television writer’s struggles to tell the story he has in his heart while dealing with the not-so creative corporate network. In that film, there is a pivotal scene in which an executive who has moved to Los Angeles to take on a coveted position in programming arrives home to find his wife packing up and planning to go home to London without him. The lifestyle is just not what she wanted, and she is no longer willing to put up with the typical Hollywood crap... [MORE]


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