'Californication' season 3 preview: Kathleen Turner, Ed Westwick, and an homage to 'Shampoo'

californication_lCalifornication returns to Showtime Sunday (10 p.m. ET) for a new season in which David Duchovny’s Hank is effectively a single dad, and, less effectively, a creative writing professor at a local university. While Karen (Natascha McElhone) is away working in New York, Hank will play with three women in what show creator Tom Kapinos calls an homage to Shampoo: He’ll juggle relationships with a talented twentysomething student/stripper (Saved!‘s Eva Amurri); his level-headed thirtysomething TA (Numb3rs‘ Diane Farr); and the fortysomething chair of the English department (Bridget Jones’s Diary‘s Embeth Davidtz), who happens to be the mother of his daughter’s best friend and the wife of the college’s dean (Peter Gallagher).

Other guests this season include Gossip Girl‘s Ed Westwick, who stops by Hank’s classroom for episode 2. “He’s this gay, creative writing student who has a crush on Hank and he wants to know what Hank thinks of his writing,” Kapinos says. “Hank gives him the brutal truth, as only Hank can, and of course, the kid tries to commit suicide.” Rick Springfield will appear as a twisted version of himself in four episodes, beginning Oct. 11. He’ll become one of Charlie’s clients, as Mr. Runkle (Evan Handler) gets back in the agent business. Charlie and his wife, Marcy (Pamela Adlon), will end up living together in their home as they go through a divorce à la War of the Roses, which inspired our favorite bit of casting: Kathleen Turner plays Charlie’s razor-tongued boss, Sue Collini, who sticks around all season. “It seemed like such a long shot,” Kapinos says of nabbing Turner, “but we went out to her, and literally, the deal closed within a day. Sue’s just this ballsy, sexually free woman who’s still hanging on to the Easy Rider, Raging Bull view of Hollywood. Charlie essentially, in a very pleasant sort of way, ends up sexually harassed by her. There’s nothing evil about it — it’s not Demi Moore in Disclosure or something like that. He just haplessly becomes a victim of sexual harassment.” To quote Sue, “Oh, you can play hard to get all you like Runkle. But Sue Collini always gets the weenie.” That, for the record, is just about the only thing that she says that we can actually quote on this blog. It’s going to be a fun season.

Who’s psyched for the new season now?

Photo credit: Jordin Althaus/Showtime

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  • lindsey

    I am. Altho EW doesn’t seem to give Californication any love at all, I think it is one of the best shows out there today. It has everything. Comedy, drama,smart writing, and a great cast. Definitely not a show for people who are uncomfortable about sex though. :-)

  • Tom

    So is Natasha McElhone not part of the cast for season 3?

    • Mandi Bierly

      She’s still on the show. She’ll phone from New York. Then eventually return to California.

  • Tom Kapinos

    Thanks for a great preview, Mandi. Even I’m excited to watch now.

  • Dana

    Californication great show! I love, I look forward to return today!

  • Marta Christjansen

    I love Californication. It’s well written, the dialogue is witty and it’s brilliantly acted by actors who really love their characters. I’m just puzzled as to why EW is ignoring it…

  • Vickie

    It’s been a LONG summer, waiting for Hank and Karen and Becca and Mia and Charlie and Marcy and — I can’t wait to see what’s in store for S3. This is an excellent show, thanks for giving it some love!

  • Leona

    I’m looking forward to the 3rd season of Californication. This season has a really wonderful cast of guest stars. But even with all that, Its mostly Hank that holds my attention

  • Jenny S

    It has been a long summer, I am looking forward to seeing what antics Hank, Karen, Charlie, Marcy, Becca and crew will be upto this season. Should be a fun season! This is one of the best written comedies on tv and certainly doesn’t get enough credit anywhere.

  • lafflady

    I LOVE this show1

  • lafflady

    I LOVE this show! I can’t wait to see the new season. Hank Moody is awesome!

  • Angie

    Just saw the first episode. Loved it. Jason was hilarious – I loved Richard. And Hank was — well, blunt-no filters-Hank. No surprise that the TA echos David’s own academic career – and placing Hank at a table full of academics – clever play. And I can’t say enough about the choice of music for the entire series – it just rocks! I’d like to know who’s behind the picks. Am I allowed to say I have the second episode tucked away in a corner of my hardrive for viewing later? Oooops….just did.

  • Sina

    I love this show. I NEVER thought Davd D was a good looking man until I watched this show. He’s so laid back. But I do NOT believe his TA is 33. I love this show so I will go with it. Can’t wait for Rick Springfield to come on.

  • Sina

    Oh but Becca still creeps me out!

    • Marlene

      No doubt. She reminds me of Wendnesday Adams lol

  • Sabrina

    I enjoyed seeing Rick Springfield on Californication last night, but I have to admit it’s the “Sue Collini” character that Kathleen Turner is playing that I really like. She’s like walking talking Karma coming back to kick Charlie Runkle in the butt LOL

  • llane

    Does anyone else think Kathleen Turner looks like William Shatner in drag besides me?

    • Sabrina

      I don’t understand why everyone is being so hateful about Kathleen Turner? So what if she doesn’t look like Miss America. She’s a hellagood actor and that’s what should matter!

    • Teacher

      She ABSOLUTELY looks like and talks like William Shatner. Shame is he’s 79 and she’s only 56. What happened to her? She used to be so pretty!!! IT’s not being mean…just an honest observation.

    • lin

      i absolutely agree! She seemed to be channeling shatner’s character from the lawyer show he did.

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