The last time we saw “Californication’s” Hank Moody (David Duchovny), he was on the back of a motorcycle, having left a traveling rock ’n’ roll circus behind to return to Venice, Calif., and woo the love of his life, Karen (Natascha McElhone), once and for all.
As the seventh and final season kicked off Sunday on Showtime, he did just that.
At least for a couple of minutes until he got distracted. So in that aspect, it’s pretty much like every other season.
Hank loves Karen, but he’ll sleep with anything with two X chromosomes. And, because it’s a male fantasy show (at least the fantasy of some males), every woman he encounters is more than willing, trying to get into his pants as though he had an engagement ring, a Prada bag and the next episode of “Scandal” in there.
But first, Hank needs a job, which his best friend/manager Charlie (Evan Handler) said was impossible.
Charlie: “You have taken a (expletive) on all of it, Hank. Books, movies, theater.”
Hank: “What about television?”
Charlie: “What about it?”
Hank: “I could (expletive) on that.”
In a later episode, Hank encounters one of his former students. “That’s right. I taught for a while,” he says. “I totally forgot about that.”
In other words, it’s time to wrap things up. But this final season feels less like a valedictory than a reboot.
Rather than making nice with Karen, Hank spends the majority of the season with his one-time fling (Heather Graham), and her weirdo son (Oliver Cooper) he never knew he fathered.
Hank also (expletives) on television by getting a job with an old-school producer (Michael Imperioli) in the writers’ room of “Santa Monica Cop,” the TV version of the movie he was working on back in season five.
And, as always, there’s plenty of debauchery. “Is this wrong?” Hanks asks at one point. “I can’t tell anymore.”
I’ve seen the entire 12-episode season, and while it’s too unfocused to be among the show’s best, it’s at least an adequate representation of what’s come before it.
The finale even gets a little sentimental.
It’s far from perfect, but at least it’s nowhere near the debacle of “How I Met Your Mother.”