Amidst the long-awaited return of The X-Files, the wrapping up of Californication, release of a music album Hell and High Water, and producing as well as starring in the new NBC television series, Aquarius, David Duchovny’s work ethic has gone into overdrive. The show’s host, NBC, is also using the show as a tester to determine how profitable it would be to allow viewers the ability to binge-watch the series. Despite all of his recent hard work, the comments regarding Aquarius’ May 28 premiere suggests that without Duchovny playing the lead role, the show itself is as good as cancelled.
The NBC drama, Aquarius, depicts Duchovny as World War II veteran and Los Angeles homicide detective, Sam Hodiak, whom, being an observer of youth during the 1960s, naively believes he can save the world, but the world has already gone way passed its saving point. The primetime television series, Aquarius, afforded Duchovny the opportunity to become a character that he has never played before. Instead of his well-known role as a sex-addicted novelist, whose strong, witty, linguistic abilities always led to him disappointing the two people who mattered most, Duchovny’s new character, Hodiak, is less transparent, more complicated, and not so easily understood.
With sincerity, the X-Files actor said that he did not intentionally wander from his usual make-love-not-war type of character by playing the straightedge police officer with a crew cut wanting to fix the woes of the nation. Hodiak is Duchovny’s least articulate character he has ever played. He is unable to fight with his words, so he resorts to using his fists to make his feelings known.
When Aquarius’ character, Hodiak, was presented to the 54-year-old actor, he welcomed the challenge with a high level of interest and an excitement to be able to show viewers that he is more than able to play someone completely opposite of what they would expect.
As much as people wanted Aquarius to be good, after its NBC debut, the less than impressed viewer responses proved that if not for Duchovny’s involvement in the show, it would have inevitably been cancelled.
The story itself is a little weak, but the concept is rich in potential. Rather than being the main focus of Aquarius‘ plot, the show incorporated the Manson story within the subplot, leaving viewers a bit perplexed about why Manson was even mentioned at all. As huge as the Manson story was, it makes no sense to mention it without having the intent of telling the whole story–beginning, middle, and end. Throughout the series, the Manson name is just thrown around at random and it just reads as unnecessary.
Aquarius’ portrayal of the 60’s seems to have given more of a comedic effect with actors wearing bad wigs and dressing like today’s hipsters, rather than a real portrayal of hippies in the 60’s. Instead of making the viewers feel as if they traveled back to a time where the U.S was filled with protestors for peace as well as social and economic change, everyone seemed to be out of their comfort zone and confused about what era they were living in.
The common response given by viewers regarding Aquarius concluded that the show would not have stood a chance if it were not for Duchovny playing the role of Hodiak. Anybody else who would have attempted Hodiak’s character would have failed miserably, due to how boring the character really is. The only thing that keeps the viewers watching is Duchovny himself.
After Netflix introduced the option to binge on the entire first season of its hit series House of Cards to their subscribers, it was only a matter of time until television networks followed in their footsteps. NBC might have made a mistake in their decision to use Aquarius as the tester for binge-watching, since audiences seem to feel that the show would be as good as cancelled if Duchovny had not been involved, but only time will tell. All in all, Duchovny has proven his acting abilities include an impressive range, and he is an actor that demands attention when on the screen. Whether his NBC series gets high ratings or not, he has already landed himself a number of newly devoted fans.
Opinion By Kameron Hadley
ScreenRant: NBC Using ‘Aquarius’ to Collect Binge-Watching Data- Will it Change Anything?
HNGN: David Duchovny Talks New NBC Drama ‘Aquarius’ ‘X-Files’ Reboot and Burgeoning Music Career [HNGN Interview]
ArkansasOnline: NBC lands David Duchovny in age of Aquarius
Feature Photo Courtesy of Olivier Laurent’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Photo Courtesy of David Shankbone’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License