Californication – “Hell-A Woman” (1.02)

David Duchovny in a publicity photo for the first season of Californication.

Casual Friday! Channel your inner Hank and have a great weekend.


David Duchovny as Hank Moody, womanizing novelist with substance abuse issues

Venice Beach, Summer 2007

Series: Californication
Episode: “Hell-A Woman” (Episode 1.02)
Air Date: August 20, 2007
Director: Scott Winant
Costume Designer: Peggy A. Schnitzer


“Hell-A Woman” is a great early episode (the second, in fact) where we get to establish some of the more formulaic parts of Season 1: Hank has a meeting with Charlie about how he’s unable to write, Hank picks up a random woman and is undressing her within minutes, and Hank has a confrontation with Karen and Bill that shows the audience (but not Karen) what a tool Bill is!

While this may sound repetitive to someone who hasn’t seen the show, the mastery of the first season manages to keep it all fresh, even when connected with the inevitable drinking, chain-smoking, and foul-mouthed banter we have come to expect and love from Hank and company.

What’d He Wear?

Hank stays consistent from the first episode with the smoking jacket and layered shirts making appearances, as well as the mix of Converses and Timberland boots. This mix remains consistent for the next few episodes, before Hank’s appearance becomes more streamlined and even simpler.

Day 1

Our first day with Hank in “Hell-A Woman” consists of picking up Becca for an unknown errand (according to her, it is to see A Crazy Little Thing Called Love, the “crap-tastic” film adaptation of his book God Hates Us All) and going to a meeting with his agent.

Hank splits his time between annoying both Bill and Charlie during the first few scenes of “Hell-A Woman”.

Appropriately for a sunny southern California day in late summer, Hank sports a T-shirt and sunglasses. The T-shirt is a dark blue, similar to the one he wore in the pilot. His sunglasses are the same Izods that he wears for the show’s first four seasons. The jeans are a slightly lighter wash than in the pilot episode. This medium-dark wash denim is Hank’s standard pair of jeans. Although some people may choose shorts on a day like this, Hank is only seen wearing shorts once: while jogging on an overcast day in the third season.

Hank also brings back his lo-top Converses from the pilot, sporting them with the T-shirt and jeans as he goes around the city. It is one of these Converses that Charlie throws at his head to try and convince him to get his head in the game.

Night 1

That night, convinced by Charlie to take a job writing for the Hell-A magazine blog, Hank meets with a British female editor (played by the chick from the original The Office). He throws a rumpled forest-green button-down over the T-shirt, either to dress it up or because the night is chilly, and goes to his usual bar to meet her. The shirt has barrel cuffs, which Hank rolls up to the elbow, and an open breast pocket. The plastic buttons are white.

Hank severely overestimates the height of his date when trying to look into her eyes.

When he returns home, Hank lays on his bed, chugging blended Scotch from airplane-size mini bottles and contemplating what to write in his blog. Before trashing his laptop and heading out for the strangely-placed full-blown Apple MacBook ad, Hank has evidently cast his pants aside and relaxes in only the dark blue T-shirt (which appears almost black due to the lighting) and gray boxer briefs.

At home with Hank Moody.

Day 2

While some men may see a dinner party as something to dress up for, pulling out that new sweater they got or making sure to iron that Banana Republic button-down, Hank rolls up in a black T-shirt and jeans. This devil-may-care attitude may be a direct factor to the two women competing over who gets to provide his “happy ending” under the table, so maybe you should ditch the polo and khakis for your next dinner party and show up Hank-style.

SPOILER ALERT: The painting above Hank is not long for this world.
NON-SPOILER ALERT: I won’t tell you why.

As well as the T-shirt and jeans, Hank wears his now-trademark brown Timberland suede Chelsea boots and black socks.

Hank’s Accessories

As covered in the pilot episode entry, Hank has four distinct accessories that he is almost never without: sunglasses, a ring, and two wrist straps. The sunglasses are dark brown Izods (model #725), often mistaken for Ray-Ban Highstreets on other blogs and Hank-related posts.

On his left wrist, he wears a black snap bracelet with silver round and hexagonal studs around it. He also wears a thin black braided leather bracelet that is tied around his wrist. All are available on Urban Wrist.

Hank sports his Izod sunglasses and wrist straps during a daydream sequence in the car.

In this episode, the silver ring on Hank’s right index finger takes on three separate styles: the usual silver ring with two ridges, a thin silver ring with a dark spinner, and a medium-width silver ring with one ridge.

Judging that these two shots were supposed to be within a few hours of each hour, why would Hank change rings? Answer me that, continuity editors.

Go Big or Go Home

While certainly not setting any examples for the youth of America (because then they would be too awesome), Hank sets some great new ground rules of etiquette that would have Emily Post spinning in her grave.

When in meetings:

  • It is fine to lay down on a couch and, if the person you’re meeting with says something disagreeable, turn away from them and flip them your middle finger.
  • Don’t wear shoes! This is uncomfortable.
  • Does the secretary outside the meeting have nipple rings? If you’re not sure, ask her!

Hank handles a boring meeting the way we all wish we could.

When at a dinner party:

  • Wear whatever you’re comfortable in. If you’re Hank, you’ll be shedding it in no time while getting naughty with a woman you just met that night.
  • Bring a bottle of Scotch. Not for public consumption but so that you have something to drink that you know you’ll enjoy. Mark it as yours by swigging from the bottle.
  • If two women are competing over who will jerk you off under the table, choose the one who is of legal age. This will prevent future litigation (presumably).
  • Get high and bang your new acquaintance on the marital bed of your host and hostess. Too much substance abuse that night? No problem, just grab a highly overpriced piece of pop art and let the bodily fluids (be they vomit or those of a more baby-making nature) fly!

Hank is given a HARD situation to manage during the dinner party (Pun.)

In this episode, we hear:

  • Robbers on High Street, “Japanese Girls”
  • The Doors feat. Paul Oakenfold, “L.A. Woman” (Remix)
  • Kenneth James Gibson, “Sarcastically Yours”
  • Tommy Stinson, “Light of Day”

Of these, Oakenfold’s “L.A. Woman” remix stands out as the most Hank-like. Although Hank would probably eschew remixes, his narcissism would be tickled by the montage the song is featured in, where he spits a few one-liners for his blog while laughing and typing in the Apple Store. The song sounds cool, but that sequence has always stuck out to be as a bit too self-indulgent.

What to Imbibe

Hank drinks Scotch throughout “Hell-A Woman”, starting with a glass at the bar with the Hell-A Magazine editor, at least one mini-bottle of a Dewar’s lookalike while relaxing in bed, and most of a black-labeled bottle while at Bill and Karen’s dinner party.

Hank enjoys himself at a dinner party.

In the first two episodes, Hank chain-smokes filtered Camels. As one of the few episodes with an extreme close up of Hank’s cigarettes, we see in “Hell-A Woman” that Duchovny is actually smoking Honeyrose herbal cigarettes, placed in a Camel box so that our television hero isn’t actually smoking herbals. Props to David on his health.

He also shares a joint with Sonya, his Scientologist fuck-buddy.

How to Get the Look

Hank doesn’t spend too much time with his smoking jacket this time, only seen in a few vignettes at the Apple Store. Since he wore his green button-down over a T-shirt in the surrounding scenes, this is likely a continuity error. If you really wanna know about that jacket, check my post about the pilot episode.

  • Black and dark blue short-sleeve James Perse cotton T-shirts
  • Medium-dark wash blue denim jeans
  • Forest green lightweight button-down casual shirt with swelled edges, white buttons, and an open breast pocket
  • Black socks
  • Light gray boxer briefs
  • Brown suede Timberland “Torrance” Chelsea boots
  • Black Converse lo-top sneakers with white laces, soles, and toe caps
  • Izod 725 sunglasses with brown lenses
  • Silver ring with two ridged bands, worn on the right index finger
  • Black leather bracelet with silver hexagonal and round studs, worn on the left wrist
  • Thin black braided leather bracelet, also worn on the left wrist

“Hell-A Woman” is the episode where Hank buys the black MacBook shown on the Season 1 DVD! What a treat!

Do Yourself A Favor And…

Buy the first season.

The Quote

A few things I’ve learned on my travels through this crazy little thing called life. One, a morning of awkwardness is better than a night of loneliness. Two, I probably won’t go down in history, but I will go down on your sister.


Hank’s bracelets are available at Urban Wrist.


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