Duke of Malibu

dukeI love Mary McNamara's writing in the LA Times. She's smart and funny and whenever I see her byline, as in today's review of the TV show "Weeds," I go from skimming mode into a full read. (Though the LAT web site makes it nigh unto impossible to locate her without resorting to the search function.)

Here she is this morning, in fine form, describing Mary Louise Parker's shimmery charm:

"But the show lives and breathes with Parker, who, like Robert Frost's silken tent, remains only loosely attached to this earth. All startled eyes and defiantly vulnerable mouth, Nancy looks as if she lives on a diet of iced lattes, the occasional tortilla chip and the frozen yogurt swirl of her own half-formed thoughts."

But then she goes and dumps all over neighboring Malibu-ite (and Malibu Kitchen regular) David Duchovny's new show, "Californication." Maybe she's right, but another terrific writer (and blogger) has a different take. Here's Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle:

There's a lot to love in "Californication," from the blowtorch-keen dialogue of creator and writer Tom Kapinos to the way that Duchovny's ever-so-slightly-fading good looks perfectly encapsulate the character's downturn in Hollywood, to a multitude of standout performances in the ensemble cast. (A second episode sent by Showtime proved that the quality wasn't a fluke and that "Californication" is going to get a ton of buzz.)

Of course, there might also be some backlash. Duchovny has already joked that people are going to take the gratuitous sex and nudity afforded by Showtime and call the series "The Sex Files" or the "Triple X Files," but he hopes the end result of multiple viewings is that people will see the series as more of an adult dramedy in the style of "Shampoo."

Who's right? Who knows. It'll be all about the ratings, anyway. But as a fellow ocean dweller (who, full disclosure, went bowling in Long Beach years ago with a funny, skinny struggling actor everyone called 'Duke') I thought I'd speak up.

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