S4E4: When Californication is on its game, it captures a wide range of human emotion — from the wacked-out silliness of seeing some dude accidentally kill himself while masturbating (yes, that happened this week) to watching Hank deal with Karen meeting a new man. Although both moments are on the opposite sides of the human emotion spectrum, they still feel genuine. That’s because Californication isn’t pretending to be something that it’s not. It accepts that it is a farce, and through that, it’s able to illustrate its characters feelings and actions — no matter how odd or absurd — successfully.
So on that note, let’s dive into this week’s episode — which illustrated the show at its best — “Monkey Business.”
“Not everyone can say they have a picture of when they first meet someone.”
Karen meets Ben, Becca’s bandmate’s father, who’s an artist. The two hit it off immediately, and Hank walks in and sees them enjoying a glass of wine together. Rather than making a big scene like he usually does, he instead backs off, lets it happen, and leaves.
As I stated in the intro, it’s moments like this that makes Californication quality television. Without much effort, the show gracefully moves from the absurd scene at the mansion to a quiet moment at Marcy’s house. And it’s able to do this because of the ensemble’s solid acting. When Ben and Karen meet, although the moment is brief, the two actors clearly show that there’s chemistry between their two characters. Then, when Hank comes in and sees what’s going on, he quietly removes himself. With any other actors who weren’t so confident in their characters, the scene would’ve easily come off as cliche. But, because the actors know what they’re doing and trying to accomplish, they are able to sell the scene as genuine.
Overall, this week’s episode was the season’s best. “Monkey Business” contain all the things that makes this show great, balancing both the silly and the serious moments with grace. Let’s keep it up, shall we?