Friday, December 18, 2015

californication [2007 - 2014]

recently i ran across a review/promo piece on the 'net about the latest anthology of poetry and TV.  like, wow, poets watch TV?!  everyone watches TV.  the sitcom was born in the early days of broadcast television and the format has not changed for nearly 70 years.  we've had nearly 70s or so years of TV so now TV is solidly part of our culture.  we may bitch and whine about the dominance of video imagery, but there it is.  and it hasn't killed reading/writing, yet.  and all of us, pray tell, are influenced by television.

i remember when carrie fisher [princess leia organa, bitches!] published her first novel.  yes, fisher is a good writer and respected script doctor.  she was on some late night talk show and described her writing process which included writing in longhand on legal pads with the TV on.  the interviewer was surprised that fisher watched TV while writing.  the interviewer expressed surprise that fisher liked television because aren't writers supposed to be snobbish creatures who don't live and partake in our shared culture[s], i.e. watch TV?

bu TV is part of our lives.  i watch a lot of TV.  probably not as much as many people but still a lot.  has my poetry suffered?  who the fuck knows!  who the fuck cares!  poetry and TV are not incompatible.  TV is part of our life, and poetry is a way of life.  stretch that out to its logical conclusion that TV watching is part of participating in our shared culture[s] and that poetry will somehow find its way out and in to TV.

okay, i binge-watched this TV series starring david duchovny as a bukowski-like l.a. based writer hank moody.  it took me a while to finish this series but i did it this week.  what i loved about the series creator and lead writer, tom kapinos, emphasize that moody was, despite his idiocies and substance abuse, a good man and father who loved his daughter, and the mother of his daughter.

some of the later episodes appear tired in their tropes.  how many times can moody fuck up a good thing?  too many and you can only show that fuck up in so many ways.  yet, moody was a good father in his own fashion.  that is what attracted me to the character as well as duchovny's laid-back acting style and kapinos' hyper-funny writing.

my only beef with the show was how the character hank moody changed as a writer thru the seasons.  i mean, the early episodes had him surrounded by books and writerly paraphernalia.  he even read, for goodness sake!  later seasons abandoned the books and writerly stuff in favor of a more slapstick style of storytelling.  i calll bullshit on that.

still moody possessed massive charisma who evinced a cool zen like approach to suffering.  i don't know what to binge watch now.  there are not a lot of TV shows about writers.  or movies even.  watching writers on the small or big screen is rather boring stuff.  daydreaming.  scribbling.  reading.  who would want to watch that?  well, throw in to the mix a little drugs and alcohol and the utter devotion of a parent to their kid and i'll watch.


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