Californication and M/s


I don’t really love TV shows all that much. I tend to let them go for a year or two then watch all the episodes in three weeks. I like to take the lead on the literature and ideas in my life, but I’m inclined to let girls take the lead on television…it just doesn’t seem like an area where I need to exert control. Possibly I reject the typical male dominance model a little too hard, but I tend to leave the girls to play with the “penis” as the remote is affectionately termed.
My most recent fixation, largely due to S., has been Californication, written by Tom Kapinos and directed by Ken Whittingham. I think if I hadn’t gotten my shit somewhat together I’d be Hank Moody. But less successful. Being a fuckup is so much more attractive when you’re a wealthy author. At any rate I dress like Hank Moody.
Anyway…the show follows the adventures of a Bukowskiesque (is that even a fair word) writer named Hank Moody. His agent Charlie Runkle is the typical kind of bland guy who tries to be cool but benefits from the cool company he keeps. He’s George Costanza from Seinfeld, dressed for L.A. He’s not entirely uncool but…his cool moments are outweighed by his awkward.
So there was one scene that made me laugh out loud…really. The backstory is that Charlie’s (Evan Handler) secretary has been pushing him to BDSM games. We eventually find out she wants his connections not his hot body and isn’t as subby as she comes across, but that’s later. In the meantime, he has her crawling around on the floor, when his wife Marcy comes in. She pretends to be looking for an Advil and actually finds it, easing tensions since Marcy is pretty clear something weird is going on. Marcy (Pamela Adlon, above in the scene) has a disappointing quickie with Charlie.
Later in bed they have this scene. It’s probably funnier to watch…if you have Netflix on Demand it’s Season 1, Episode 6: Absinthe makes the Heart Grow Fonder and starts at 16:44
Charlie: Although I must admit when you said that thing about her being my slave, it did get me kinda thinking…
Marcy: Thinking about what
Charlie: (halting and shifty) mmm…ohhh…y’know…roleplaying master slave, dominance submission bondage…y’know we never tried any of that stuff…
Charlie: Just trying to y’know mix things up a little bit, like you did today
Marcy: okay. Okay, hear ya. So…you want me to beat the crap outta you?
Charlie: uhhhhh…I dunno…if you want…I guess…or (laughs neverously) you know I could beat you up. Whichever you prefer. Or…nobody has to beat anybody up. we just…there’s a master and a slave, right…and the slave does whatever the master tells it to…
Marcy: HER…being me…your slave…
Charlie: In that example…uhh…yeah…
Marcy: okay…(closes eyes) so whatta ya want me to do?
Charlie: Uhh…whatever…y’know…whatever makes you happy right. Maybe you want me to make you wear a ball gag in your mouth…or…maybe you would want me to drip hot candle wax on your nipples. Or maybe you like to be teased. You know I could bring you to the brink of orgasm without ever letting you cum.
Marcy: I feel like we’ve done that
Charlie: Or…y’know…mmm….maybe you want me to pee on you.
Marcy: Why would I want you to pee on me?
Charlie: I dunno…it’s just…I know there’s people that do that. Okay, that’s all
Marcy: Look baby…I’m in…just…start doing some shit to me, we’ll see where it goes.
Charlie: Look we should probably have a safeword…so y’know I know what your limits are.
Marcy: How about “Don’t pee on me.”
Charlie: That…should work…
Marcy: (He hits her open handed on the ass) “OW GOD DAMM IT…FUCK”
Charlie: “Sorry sorry…”
Marcy:That Hurts!”
Charlie: “I’ll rub it I’ll rub it..”
Marcy:Don’t touch it…
Scene fades.
So…my first reaction was to think “aren’t you glad you didn’t have to discover BDSM in this awkward a fashion.” Uh…for those of you who didn’t. I think at some level it resounds for most of us because we all started somewhere.
My second reaction was “Holy shite…safewords. Ball gags. ‘Master/slave’ with a slash that was pretty much audible. The slip on ‘it,’ which Marcy catches.” This is not a passage written by people who saw BDSM once in a movie. This is people who know the language. And they’re exposing an American audience to it (albeit largely the same fairly sophisticated audience that watched Weeds and Dexter).
Still, even though the scene was silly and somewhat disparaging, I thought it was good. The idea that moderately normal people might introduce these things into the bedroom to “mix it up,” was at least put on the table, and if it was poked fun at…well that’s what the show does. Comedy increases familiarity which makes things which are strange and scary not so strange and scary.
So…amusement for the week. Something serious next, but I haven’t posted for a while, and I thought I ought to start with something light…

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