DATELINE: HOLLYWOOD: October 28, 2001

Going to California

Going to California is a program, a la The Sopranos, except featuring a couple slackers from Massachusetts on what some over educated Ph.D. candidate will no doubt argue is actually a "quest"/"grail" myth set in 21st Century America in his doctoral dissertation at USC.

Actually, Going to California is a tale along the grail line of stories - kind of the slackers meet the beats -- as it is about two 20 somethings, Henry "Hank" Ungulow and his buddy Space who head out in search of their "friend" Cassidy (shades of Neal drifting into Dean Moriarity in On the Road, lost now on a country mile in his Cadillac because Space fucked Lisa B -- or something like that -- the good thing about Grail tales is the end product means little -- it is all in the chase.

The theme song for Going to California says something about them going to California and then suggests "Let's get lost along the way."

These two take the song as their guiding principle in life, and judging from the rate the weekly hour comedramas are creaking along, Space and Ungulow will pull into the Golden State in time for the Sunset of their lives. Now that's either a genius Hollywood strategy to let the show run on forever and ever, or they are in deep and serious negotiations for product placement with the Triple A (Automobile Club of Southern California for those of us who are not on our way here).

See, to actually go to California from Bum Fuck Massachusetts, one would not, even illogically, follow the path of these two unless one had the good people at Guinness on the line talking about what it might take to really sew up that "World's Greatest Slacker" title.

Perhaps they (the creators of this enjoyable series) felt they really need to do an episode devoted to an ice race over the Rockies on Black Ice and Orange Sunshine (with Guest Freak of the Week "Brother Jorge" the last remaining member of the Brotherhood), which explains why the two musketeers took off on the Southern Route to the Promised Land -- they'd be making the trip in Winter and they don't want to waste all the driving in the ice and snow which the Northern Route by the time they dropped at the foot of the Rockies -- but Henry and Space have, much like a couple of geeks chugging Robitussin DM to reach the "Third Plateau" as they follow a third rate Star Trek Convention around the country in full Klingon Warrior garb have taken a route which is not only illogical -- it's down right delusuional.

A normal person making a trek to California from the East Coast would take roads like I-70 and I-44 and I-40. This pair of Dufi took the side streets in a meandering, months long journey which, to date, has taken them to Memphis (guest weirdo: some football player in a dress) where they briefly got caught up in the gay/cross-dressing/transexual world, and New Orleans (guest weirdo: Bud Bundy in a role with two super slutty sisters), where they met a bizarre family (and almost found Cassidy), fought in some Mississippi Civil War Enactment and then were on to a Nudist Colony in the Florida Keys (Guest Weirdos: lots of regular people who got naked for scale and Henry said the best line of the year which had something to do with "Ungalow's Bungalow" and we found out Space is a "grower not a showwer).

Now hang on ... if you are headed to California and are anywhere in the country and even vaguely on the right track, you don't end up in the Florida Keys. This week they've finally moved North a bit and stopped for the weekend to take a bunch of Ecstasy with a bunch of topless models.

Which is why I, like many others, will watch it until the bastard sons of Ungalow and Space start their own show called Going to California in Search of the Fathers We Never Met, because by then the two lunk heads will really have gotten lost along the way ....