Californication – Hank’s Dinner Party in Season 2
David Duchovny as Hank Moody, recently engaged novelist
Venice Beach, Spring 2008
Episode: “The Raw and the Cooked” (Episode 2.04)
Air Date: October 19, 2008
Director: David Von Ancken
Costume Designer: Peggy A. Schnitzer
This Sunday is Mother’s Day, Hallmark’s kind way of reminding everyone that your mothers deserve the $4.99 that goes along with sending a greeting card. You might spend hundreds of dollars on a gift, but if you didn’t spring for that card, you may as well have never been born.
In part due to the feminine focus of the day and partly due to the springtime setting, bright colors like pink and purple are often associated with the “holiday”. If Mother’s Day is a dressy occasion for your family, check out the masculine ways that Steve McQueen (as Thomas Crown) and Boardwalk Empire‘s “Nucky” Thompson incorporated pink and purple into their three-piece suits. If your Mother’s Day celebration is a more casual affair, you can turn your attention to Mr. Casual himself, Hank Moody.
In “The Raw and the Cooked”, the fourth episode of Californication‘s second season, Hank has just been informed by his recently re-engaged fiancée Karen that they are hosting a dinner party, clearly Karen’s way of incorporating new groups of friends (i.e. the season’s guest stars) into their combined social life.
Karen: We’re having a dinner party…
Hank: God, when you say it out loud like that, it sounds awful. Is it too late to call it off?
Karen: Stop it. It’s gonna be fun, right?
Hank: Really? ‘Cause I think it’s gonna be like having a q-tip jammed up my urethra. For three hours. Without lube.
Many people approach dinner parties with the same lack of enthusiasm that Hank clearly displays, especially when hosting. Hank provides a fine blueprint for spending the majority of the party drinking, eating, playing games, and still managing to be the center of attention, all while sporting a very masculine shade of purple.
What’d He Wear?
Having evidently retired his traditional black or blue for the evening, Hank sports a soft eggplant purple button-down shirt. It has a spread collar, which he wears unbuttoned, and black buttons down a plain, placket-less front. The shirt appears to be either a soft cotton or possibly even a microfiber suede, although the latter seems too “dandified” for a guy like Moody.
The shirt has long sleeves that close with a button, but Hank rolls the sleeves up nearly to his elbows. The rear of the shirt has a plain yoke across the top and no darts. Darts, which usually help fit a shirt and reduce the “billowy” effect, are unnecessary here as the shirt is nicely fitted to Duchovny’s frame. This is clearly an example of a button-down shirt that was meant to be worn untucked, rather than the dress shirts that some men poorly wear untucked and look all the sloppier for it.
As usual, Hank wears a pair of bootcut jeans without a belt. This denim wash is a darker, deeper blue than usual. Like most of his jeans, these have a zip fly.
Hank also wears a pair of suede Chelsea boots, although they are not as dark as his usual dark brown pair. While still being the Timberland “Mt. Washington” style of boot, the suede on this pair is light brown.
The boots each have a loop in the front and a loop in the rear to assist slipping them on. They are still available at some retailers including Amazon. Hank wears his boots with black tube socks.
There is a slight continuity/revealing error when Hank is walking Lew Ashby to the door after the failed party. In this shot, Hank is wearing a pair of blue and white Puma sneakers with orange laces.
These are evidently David Duchovny’s personal shoes, which are spied a couple times in the second season, usually when they’re not supposed to be seen. Duchovny himself is a Puma fan, and the show’s costumers began placing Hank in Pumas more and more throughout the season. In this case, it is clearly an error since Hank had his boots on previously and has them on in the next shot when he joins Karen outside for a breakup cigarette.
Hank’s accessories are the same as usual, starting with the silver spinner ring on his right index finger.
Hank also wears his usual black leather bracelets on his left wrist, which you should know damn well by now are available at Urban Wrist. The main bracelet is black leather with silver hexagonal studs, backed up by a thin braided leather bracelet. The studded bracelet closes with a snap, while the leather bracelet is tied on permanently.
Four episodes later, in “Going Down and Out in Beverly Hills” (Episode 2.08), Hank surprises Karen and Becca with some takeout dinner. For his quick episode-ending visit, he wears a purple shirt that is clearly different from the one worn in the earlier episode.
The second shirt is slightly baggier and more lightweight, showing more proneness to wrinkling. The color is also iridescent, appearing blue in certain lights. It is further marked as a different shirt by the front placket.
The second shirt, as usual, is accompanied by dark jeans, brown slip-on boots, and Hank’s ring and bracelets.
Go Big or Go Home
Hank’s sole preparation for the party is exactly what you’d expect: cocktail preparation. Partly because he’s a booze-hound and partly to drown out Mia’s whining, Hank mixes up a batch of frozen margaritas (although I don’t believe we ever actually see anyone drinking any.) Since Hank is so often seen with whiskey, it’s an interesting look at what else is in his bar. Besides the obvious margarita mix, Hank uses Grand Marnier and Cointreau in the blender as well as an unidentified bottle of tequila between them.
Hank himself prefers his usual Scotch, drinking the fictional single malt brand Glen Deville that has been spotted both in this show and the 2001 film Blow. Mia tries to steal the bottle on her way out, but Hank wisely snatches it from her bag. He also serves up some Heineken Light at the party, as per the show’s product placement agreement.
The evening’s meal is sashimi, a Japanese dish of fresh raw fish cut into slivers. Meat is also an option for sashimi, but it appears that the Moody family is serving the fish variety since Lew later has a violent reaction to kissing his sashimi-eating date.
Once all of the guests are sufficiently high (Runkle) or sick (Lew), it’s a good idea to have a plan B. In-N-Out Burger is the most logical choice for Californians, and anyone who hasn’t enjoyed an In-N-Out Burger is truly missing out.
The episode is very Guitar Hero-heavy, and I am unsure if this was product placement or just the show’s way of honoring the one video game that Hank Moody would be most likely to play. Hank is very proud of his skills on Guitar Hero II:
I’m rocking Medium now. 86th percentile. Don’t shut the “Free Bird” down.
Often cited as the “most requested song in rock history”, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ten-minute jam from their 1973 debut album is a reasonable choice for Hank. The song reappears at the end of the episode when Becca is trying her own hand at it (and likely on a higher level than Medium).
However, during the party, Becca and her boyfriend Damien are playing “Metal Heavy Lady” by Lions, indicating that they are also playing Guitar Hero III. Can you.
Once all has horribly failed – as dinner parties inevitably do – head outside for a post-prandial cigarette… presumably your first since trying to quit.
Hank finds Karen outside, indulging from one of his pack of Morley cigarettes with his green Bic Classic lighter. “Morley” is a fictional brand that, with its red and white box, is naturally supposed to emulate Marlboro’s full flavor cigarettes without actually advertising the brand itself. While some stations, notably HBO, tend not to shy away from using real brands, Showtime and other cable stations are more careful, especially with tobacco.
The appearance of Morley on Californication is likely also an inside joke to refer to Duchovny’s previous show, The X-Files, where the shadowy Cigarette Smoking Man preferred Morleys, with Duchovny’s Fox Mulder even visiting the Morley Tobacco headquarters.
The Morley fictional brand has been around for more than 50 years, with its first known appearance on a second season episode of The Naked City. In “Tombstone for a Derelict”, which aired on April 5, 1961, Robert Redford played a vigilante murderer who tossed a pack of Morleys onto a corpse. The pack had a different appearance then as Marlboro wasn’t nearly as ubiquitous or well-known as it is now, but it was the first appearance of “brand” in a work of fiction. Morley cigarettes gained even more exposure two years later in the legendary “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” episode of The Twilight Zone that featured a Morley-smoking William Shatner facing off against a gremlin.
How to Get the Look
Hank interestingly wears the most color – a purple shirt – during the more depressing episodes of his life. He was wearing a purple shirt when he received the news that his father had died, and he picks out a purple shirt for the dinner party he is dreading. Hide your own anger with color!
- Eggplant purple button-down shirt with spread collar, black buttons down a placket-less front, and rolled-up long sleeves
- Dark blue bootcut denim jeans
- Light brown suede Timberland “Mt. Washington” Chelsea boots
- Black tube socks
- 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
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the second season. The featured episode here, “The Raw and the Cooked”, is one of my favorites with memorable moments from both main and supporting characters. Callum Keith Rennie’s Lew Ashby is especially on point, and it’s fun watching Hank meet Becca’s new boyfriend Damien (Ezra Miller from The Perks of Being a Wallflower).
You may as well pick up Guitar Hero II and Guitar Hero III while you’re at it.
Hey, you know what? The fucking “artist within” left us a turd within our toilet. Can you believe that shit? Literally? It’s like he’s taking a dump on top of my head. I’m reading him loud and clear. I mean, it’s a thing between him and me, and I think it involves you… you’ve inflamed him in some way. Now it’s like Jaws 3. It’s personal.
Just a quick correction on the boots. They’re the Timberland Torrance rather than the Mt Washington. The front pull loop extends from the top on the Torrance while it’s stitched to the front on the Mt Washington. In the top pic, although you can’t see the loop, it’s clear that it’s not stitched to the front. Pretty close otherwise and a great substitute as the Torrance is nearly impossible to find. Even the Mt Washington is getting hard to find in any kind of selection.
Now about that brown leather jacket from season one…
In the words of the immortal GOB Bluth, I’ve made a huge mistake! As an owner of brown Mt. Washingtons myself, I never even thought to look for the difference. While that does appear to be the only thing setting them apart – cosmetically, at least – I will need to go in and change the nearly 20 Hank posts I’ve made! Thanks for letting me know – I’ll credit you on the pages for spotting this.
I’m looking for a new pair of Mt. Washingtons also; my older pair are showing the effects of 6+ years of wear and the rear tabs popped off almost immediately, to be honest. I have a pair of black leather Mt. Washingtons that feel much sturdier, but the tabs on the brown sueded leather ones can’t handle much more than a light pull, it seems.
Yes, that brown leather jacket would be a major find for anyone! If David Duchovny ever does another Reddit AMA (he did one with Gillian Anderson about The X-Files back in October), I’ll ask if he can identify any of the clothing labels in his costumes – specifically that jacket that everyone’s been asking about.
They are the TIMBERLAND TORRANCE CHELSEA BOOT available here http://www.ebay.com/itm/272617042134