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Recap: Pilot

Looks like our little Mulder has finally lost his virginity, folks. And now he's trying to make up for all that lost time.


In his first series-regular role since X-Files, David Duchovny plays blocked and blacking-out writer Hank Moody, a formerly serious novelist whose career took a corruptive turn when he started writing for Hollywood. Now he's acting like the perennial class clown, totally incapable of holding on to relationships, working on his book or even spending an evening sober. But it's his split from his longtime girlfriend, Karen, played by Natascha McElhone, that has hit him the hardest, driving him to find mindless refuge in an endless stream of gorgeous-but-mean Los Angelenas.


Although the premise is a total Cliche(it's like George Costanza paid a visit to the set of Leaving Las Vegas), every scene is perfectly written, harshly hilarious and dripping with charisma. Duchovny's got magnetism to spare, he and his friend/agent Evan Handler have sparkling guy chemistry, and his precocious 12-year-old daughter Becca, played by Madeleine Martin, could very well steal the whole show. The writers seem fully aware of their cliched subject matter - they make pointed use of hackneyed scenes like the hungover Hollywood schmuck pulling up to a church in a Porsche and then tossing his cig in the holy water. Heck, Karen even calls Hank "the biggest cliche" at one point.


But the sex scenes are bitingly witty. In one 30-minute span, we got a detailed anatomy lesson (tonight's best scene, in my opinion - I especially enjoyed the GPS line), some interesting observations on pubic grooming, one solid right hook, and a new definition of what it means to be truly defiled. It can't be a coincidence that all Hank's girls look the same - dark curly hair, blue eyes, what looks to be the exact same pair of factory-produced breasts - except for the blonde nun fantasy and the blonde Karen, whom Hank is still desperately trying to win back. Obviously Hank has an ideal woman, so maybe during this period of self-defilement, he's subconsciously decided to go for the exact opposite of his ideal. So yeah, he's got some vulnerabilities, but Hank isn't Mr. Charm all the time - his double date with the redhead was truly an act of cruelty. I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of that Meredith - and I suspect that Hank's CliffsNotes version of her life was completely and utterly off the mark. It would be nice if Hank can someday pull himself together and find a nice girl, but ya know, I hope he takes his time getting there.


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