Last night, the Showtime network debuted its new series, “Californication,” starring David Duchovny. The main character, Hank is a writer who has a published a book called God Hates Us All. Unhappy about the film adaptation of his work, struggled with his young daughter, and missing his ex-girlfriend, Hank is troubled by a bad case of writer’s block.

The opening scene of the pilot shows Hank enter a Catholic Church,* smoking a cigarette. He drops the butt in the holy water font, walks up to the altar, and begins a conversation with Jesus on the crucifix. A nun approaches him, and Hank begins telling her about his writer’s block in foul language. The nun responds that she would normally tell him to say the Lord’s Prayer as penance for his cursing. In this case, however, she decides to offer him oral sex. Hank puts up his hand to block Jesus’ view as the nun begins to perform the act. At this point, he wakes up with another woman, revealing the church scene to be merely a dream.

If this is what passes for “edgy” at Showtime, we’ll take a pass on the upcoming season of “Californication.”

*NB: We have since learned that the church used in this scene is actually St. Vibiana’s, the former cathedral for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. This raises serious questions about the propriety of using a building which was once consecrated for the setting of a trashy program. The Catholic League will follow up on this matter.

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