What to watch during the writers' strike? Californication.

What you're watching.
Nov. 21 2007 4:56 PM

David Duchovny, Why Won't You Love Me?

Or, reasons to watch Californication during the writers' strike.

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Californication is worth taking a look at because it is funny and skuzzy and touching and occasionally genuinely erotic. It partakes of real life just enough to make us feel we are watching an extension of our own lives, albeit one that has a lot of low-rent glamour going for it. The writing is frequently superb, suggesting an informing intelligence, a sort of low-balling of a highbrow subtext.

As for you, David Duchovny, I'm a belated fan, having never caught The X-Files or any of your other appearances other than that of invisible husband behind the gigantic Tea Leoni ads for whose jewelry line? But seeing you now, it's no wonder you were the subject of Bree Sharp's tongue-in-cheek lyrics, which went so far as to describe your warped charm as that of an American Heathcliff. For my taste, you've got too much Dudley Moore in you to live up to that comparison, but it's a tribute to your slightly brooding aspect. And, yes, I know it's just a show, but my bags are packed, I am ready for my flight, just in case you and Karen don't work out. Meanwhile, assuming the strike eventually ends, there's another season to look forward to—and the consoling notion that when it comes to TV you may mostly not get what you want to watch, but just once in a while, you get what you crave, week after week.


Lovesick in New York

Correction, Dec. 3, 2007: This piece originally stated that Bill's daughter's name is Maddie. It's Mia. (Return  to the corrected sentence.)

Daphne Merkin is the author of a novel, Enchantment, and a collection of essays, Dreaming of Hitler. She lives in New York City and is at work on a memoir, Melancholy Baby.