some people still cling to the ludicrous idea that British TV
is 'the best in the world' - despite all the evidence to the contrary
- the best television of the last twenty years has all come out
of America. Yes, I'm sure they have plenty of crap too... but
unlike UK broadcasters, they pepper their manure piles with a
handful of diamonds.
from cable channel Showtime (also responsible for serial killer
hit Dexter) is a prime example, a refreshingly
cynical - yet ultimately romantic - look at sex and love in the
Duchovny (best known as Fox Mulder in The X-Files)
plays hank Moody, a man drowning in a world of mediocrity. An
acclaimed writer, he's relocated to Los Angeles, where he's seen
his novel turned into a bland rom-com starring Tom Cruise and
Katie Holmes, split with his partner and developed writer's block.
he fills his time with casual sex, drinking, smoking and self-loathing,
all the time trying to get his life back on track and convince
'wife' Karen (Natascha McElhone) to reconcile.
to complicate things further, he's had sex with Mia (Madeline
Zima), who not only turns out to be the daughters of Karen's new
fiancé, but is also, at 16, still a minor...
starts out with a bang - a dream sequence where Hank has sex with
a nun in church (a scene that caused predictable outrage worldwide)
- and packs plenty of sex and nudity into the early episodes,
sometimes with a decidedly kinky bent - Mia punching Hank in the
face as she rides him, his best friend Charlie (Evan handler)
getting into a sub-dom affair with manipulative Suicide Girl Dani
(Rachel Miner), threesomes and more. Interestingly, as the series
develops, the sex levels drop and the nudity disappears (other
than a memorable threeway where Charlie discovers that the woman
he's going down on is 'a squirter' in a moment I guarantee you
won't have seen on TV before) as the story develops.
possible that the later episodes become a little too sentimental
in nature, though to be fair it works - the plot needs to move
forward after all, and there's no way (unfortunately) the show
could sustain itself simply on Hank fucking, drinking, snorting
and punching his way through life. The final episode is a little
weak - without wanting to spoil the ending, it panders too much
to (assumed) audience desires, and it'll be interesting to see
how season two develops. Not well, I fear - if ever a show was
designed to be a single season product, this is it.
is excellent as Hank - his deadpan delivery and worn-down look
fits the character perfectly. British actress McElhone lets her
accent slip from time to time, but has good chemistry with Duchovny,
while the supporting cast are all good - including the many women
who are nothing more than one-scene naked foils for Hank. Production
levels are good and the writing and direction are as consistent
as any TV show can be.
not for everyone - the sex, the nudity, the constantr swearing
(even from little kids) and the black humour will put the small
minded and prissy off. If you are reading this, I'll assume that
isn't you anyway. Everyone else will find this a rewarding experience,
even if the DVD set is pretty basic (a few podcast interviews
and single commentary are the sum of the extras).
IT NOW (UK)
IT NOW (USA)