Ch:Cariou | Freelance Economist & Researcher (PhD) from Nantes + Asst Professeur at Sciences Po Rennes. | View selected work.Here, I collect and annotate materials for my courses and projects, I talk about my course on new media and social media and I present my sketches and my projects.
It’s no secret that Californication has outstayed its welcome. A show that started out full of energy and wit has become more and more tired each year, with rehashed, predictable plots forked out every season, tweaked slightly enough to make it feel new. Last season is particularly worth mentioning as the lowest point in the series, and after watching it I really didn’t think I could sustain one final season. The good news is, I did manage to sit through it. In one day, actually. The main reason for this is that I’m the sort of guy who likes to see shows ‘till the very end, and quite frankly, I think there are worse ways to spend a day than marathoning Californication. Despite it’s predictability and ever-growing stupidity, there’s something charming about it that will ensure I will remember it fondly in years to come.
This season finally takes Hank Moody (David Duchovny) to the television business, being hired as a writer on a network sitcom tripe “Santa Monica Cop”. It seems like the show has brought Hank to just about every possible medium, it seemed only fitting that the final season would see him take a stab at television. After the horrible rock-star/musical themed season 6, the TV thing comes as much more watchable; a huge part of that is due to one of this season’s main guest stars Michael Imperioli (best known as Christopher from The Sopranos) as Hank’s new boss/friend Rick Rath. Anyone would’ve been easier on the eyes and ears than Season 6’s Tim Minchin, and it’s an added bonus that Imperioli is a complete pro. He makes for a reasonably interesting and more importantly, tolerable character.
There isn’t much thickness to the TV business plot; it’s really mostly filler and a way to introduce some new characters. It is interesting though that the very things the writers room seem to make fun of about network television are some of the same traps that Californication itself falls into. I would call it “meta”, but Californication isn’t that clever of a show. At least, it’s not anymore.
One of the other main guest roles this year is Heather Graham who shows up as a woman who Hank had a one-night stand with twenty years ago, and more importantly is the Mother to Hank’s first son. It’s something that struck me as a silly plot twist originally; the idea of Hank having a 21 year old son who he’s never met, but then again, knowing Hank Moody as well as we do by now, it feels very plausible indeed, at least within the realm of overly-exaggerated Californication universe. Graham at first seems to be no more than one of Hank’s alternate flames this season. Yet another woman who will distract him from what he really wants; Karen. But what I began to realize is that she puts Hank to the test. She shows up with news of his son, and she’s all flirtatious and such, but in the end (after a few rocky parts), Hank comes through for her and his son, in a way that seems much more mature than the Hank we used to know.
And on the subject of his new son, Levine, that’s the main reason for him showing up too this season; to let us see how Hank has grown as a character. Levine is one of the worst characters the show has produced. He’s loud, he’s stupid, he’s morally wrong most of the time, he’s terribly unfunny and, worst of all, he’s disappointingly but not surprisingly two-dimensional. Despite all of this, Hank almost immediately steps up to the task of being this man-child’s father. He seems to genuinely care for the boy and he even goes out of his way to make him happy. It’s not everyday Hank Moody does things for other people, but in this season, he seems to do a lot of it. He’s growing up, and that much is obvious.
I guess you could say the main sub-plot of the season revolves around Charlie and Marcy’s relationship being put to the test. As broke newlyweds (again), they are forced with some difficult decisions to make, and the biggest test of their relationship to date comes in the latter half of the season when ex-husband Stu shows up and offers a million dollars to sleep with Marcy. It’s a ludicrous plot, but again, it’s nothing we haven’t come to expect on a show as silly as Californication. It offers few laughs and even fewer surprises, but it’s still nice to see the couple come through it strong in the end. As expected, pretty much every character gets their happy ending this season. Hank, after years of on/off pursuing Karen, finally puts his deepest thoughts into a love letter and we can only assume wins her over for good this time; Levine finally knocks his hooker habit and finds a nice girl; Julia is set up with Hank’s boss Rick, while Stu seems to live quite contentedly with his Marcy replica sex-doll. Even Becka shows up in the final two episodes to announce that she’s marrying that Rossco guy from last season. It’s all terribly uninspired and cheesy, but it kind of works.
The main downfall in the season is the severe lack of humour. Yes, they certainly try to be funny, but whoever’s laughing watching this crap, I’m not one of them. It’s a real shame that the crude humour has dominated the show for the past couple of seasons. It’s always been a show filled with crudeness and wit, but lately, the wit’s really been lacking. It’s a pity too, because Tom Kapinos (writer of every single episode of the show), like Moody, can really write when he wants to. And there are certainly instances in this season when his wit shines through and Duchovny knocks it out of the park, but it’s only a handful of times to be honest, and it’s not like the early days when the show had much more charm and originality. In spite of the re-hashed plots and the predictable conclusions, this season had enough life in it for me to actually rather enjoy it, especially as it follows at least two seasons preceding that were borderline television suicide. At the end of the day, Hank Moody has been the core of the show, and David Duchovny has made it watchable for years. Californication is ultimately his show, and because of that, I’ll remember it fondly.
40 Years of Cellphone by Fueled (2014). Starting with the DynaTAC in 1974 and ending with a side-by-side comparison between the iPhone 5s and the Galaxy Note, Fueled’s designers and animators crafted the 40-year history of the mobile cell phone. For some it will be a walk down memory lane, for others a history lesson.
Print Me One More Time (2014). Based on an original idea by Yann Cloutier (42 Lignes), printer and teacher at the School of Fine Arts of Bordeaux. Creation of a limited edition poster printed at 100 copies on a 1964 entirely refurbished Offset Heidelberg press. Creation of a film documenting the 50 year-old machine’s printing technique.
New cover Fast Company
Creative Director: Florian Bachleda
Photography Director: Sarah Filippi
Production Manager: Carly Migliori
It’s fascinating to watch the American fashion market.
It’s driven in part by traditional media (print magazines) and digital media. Which type of customer depends mainly on age and income, or a combination of both. Style for the American women is primarily centered around attention and…
A frenchman named Maxime Barbier copied one of my movies, the concept, the idea, nearly scene for scene, and in places line for line. Then he sold that movie to Coca Cola. Then he thanked me on Facebook for the ‘inspiration’.
New Years Eve 2012 I embraced my inner romantic, spontaneously…
The dream of a vintage Polaroid instant film camera that also gives photographers the ability to share photos to social networks has finally developed into reality. Today at CES, Polaroid announced that its long-awaited Socialmatic camera will ship in the fall for $299.
The first time I saw Sentence Drawings by Stefanie Posavec, it was in the first volume of Data Flow. And recently TRinker wrote a post with the R program to achieve these own Sentence Drawings. I jumped at the chance to have fun. Well, okay this visualization is more artistic than functional. But for a rainy Sunday, that’s all I needed.
Sentence Drawings serves to visualize the sentences of a book. And we find a lot on the site of Project Gutenberg. And I have my little piece of program to clean books, separate sentences, recognize words, etc. under Quadrigram. I just had to open R and start with the program trinker.
According to my tests, the result is more attractive for relatively long texts. It is possible to play with several features:
- The length of the segments, here the number of words per sentence in a book;
- The thickness of the segments, although according to my tests, it is better not to play with it except to emphasize a visual effect;
- Points of segments to add the name of a chapter or an act by example;
- The angle of the segments; initially at the end of each sentence, turn right by an angle of 45 °, it is possible to change the angle, go to the left, having a smaller or greater angle;
- The coordinate plane, rather than a Cartesian plane it is possible to take a polar plane, for example;
- The colors of the segments, this may represent chapters / volumes, or people, places, families, groups … text features.
So much for the opportunities Sentence Drawing. I did a lot of tests, here are some results.
Example 1. Laughter. An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic by Henri Bergson. This visualisation gives me a rather nice cover of the book for my iPad version. Vertical version.
Example 2. The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thornstein Veblen. One of my favorite economics books, I have several copies, paper and digital versions. I now have a more sympathetic cover… when I talk to my students. (And I still have not finished my visualizations about this book). Horizontal version.
Example 3. The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes. Also, one of my favorite books. Square version and polar version with one or two colors depending on volumes. I find the last fun.
Example 4. Seduction of the Innocent by Fredric Wertham. The book behind the Comics Code of 1954. (Here I did not find the book on Gutenberg but here and the code is available on Wikipedia.) One day I will make a course on the economics of comics. I begin with a visualization. Horizontal version with colors based on several features disapproved by the comic codes. I took the words in the code, without variations. I made simple.
Well, my day was good :)