Disappointing, to say the least. I like David Duchovny. I like shows about writers (especially if well written). I like female nudity. I like California. I like Porsches. I didn't like this show.
You can have a show about a basically unlikeable character or characters and, if it's funny enough, get away with it (Curb Your Enthusiam, anyone?), but this show wasn't half clever or funny enough to pull it off.
And if I want to see some hard pathos about a writer self-destructing and drinking himself to death, I can always watch Leaving Las Vegas again (but not without an anti-depressant).
That was my initial reaction, too. Did you stay with it? My guess from your description is no. Because it goes in unexpected directions and turns out not to be about that at all (and the characters get a lot more complicated, especially Duchovny's).
I agree with Michael on all points, although I can see the point about the ending being "tacked on" in case the network pulled the plug on a second season.
Hank became much more likeable as the season progressed, and there are snippets of dialogue which will be with me forever (one of my favorites being his referral to cream cheese as "The People's Cheese," and of course, the infamous "Holy F**knuts!").
As for replay value, I burned my own DVDs from my DVR and just watched the entire season again two weeks ago, and I think I loved it even more the second time around. I will definitely be picking this up in June.
I also love that when Pamela Adlon's character Marcy (Runkel's diminutive but sexy wife) gets drunk, she slips into the voice she uses as "Bobby" on "King of the Hill."
Oh, yeah, Jeff, as a fellow metalhead you should know that the show's creator is one hell of a metal fan. Hank's novels are all named after Slayer albums, and his daughter once got sent home from school for wearing a Cradle of Filth t-shirt...
Is it just me or are there times where Natasha McElhone looks absolutely breathtaking? Those eyes are incredible...
I was looking forward to this quite abit. But i have to agree it was a terrible program. I even stuck through the whole thing hoping it would improve because of Duchovny. But i will not watch it going forward. Rent it first.. if you like it then purchase it. Better safe than sorry.
That's always my advice about blind buys too. For example, I love Star Wars and it's one of the most popular movies ever made but if someone had never seen it before, I'd still recommend that they rent it before buying it.
I did read the rest of your post. "Ventur[ing]" to say that the writing on SatC was "probably" better is hardly praise. (Neither is "palatable", for that matter.) And I'm not sure what difference it makes, since you disliked both shows.