Californication (TV Series 2007–2014) Poster

(2007–2014)

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10/10
must.watch.
dajes_s23 January 2008
I can't talk about this show enough. It's just genius. I mean, it's so good it survived 75% of the advertisers pulling off after the pilot because of all the boycotts these sad little organizations were doing. It also survived a lawsuit by Red Hot Chilli Peppers on some crap about the name of their song and the name of the series.

Well, Californication got nominated to 2 golden globes and won one even though it's a series that doesn't cover a big age range. I'm just afraid Hollywood will screw up as it always does and pull the show off the air.

So, I'm telling you people, watch the the first episode and you'll know what you're missing. This series is a gem.
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9/10
Absolutely Excellent... Nothing Like It
tpaladino17 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Its hard to explain everything that this show has going for it, and if the pilot is any indication, we are in for a fantastically brilliant series.

I've watched the pilot about 10 times already, and it is just as good as the first viewing. It is a remarkable balance between love, regret, loneliness, debauchery and moral value, the likes of which I have rarely seen.

Duchovney's character has this amazing combination of I-don't-give-a-f**k attitude (stemming from his obvious depression and regret over his ex and several other things), conceit, vulnerability, bitterness, and misogyny, while simultaneously being utterly moral and upstanding, especially in his desire to do the right thing for his ex and daughter, as exemplified in the final scene when he rushes to crash a house party that his daughter is attending and literally carries her out of there when he saw her smoking pot with some boys.

It is a remarkably refreshing change from the usual 'cool-parent' liberal permissive attitude that one has come to expect in these situations. And coming from a character like Hank (Duchovney) its especially redeeming. He is an amazingly complex character, and Duchovney pulls it off flawlessly.

The writing is nearly perfect, as is the casting and acting. The soundtrack is as brilliant and evocative as anything I've experienced thus far in television or film, and it all comes together in a hilarious, poignant and extremely entertaining package. Love it and looking forward to more.
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10/10
Intelligence, wit and sex in one place!
theladydragonfly18 September 2007
This has to be one of the best written shows in years. It has so much going on and generally speaking, this is a recipe for disaster. The name tells you this is going to be about sex, drugs and rock 'n roll, and it is. It is also about love, tenderness, trying to keep kids from growing up too fast, dissatisfaction with life and settling for what you think you want.

The dialog pacing is flawless and the humor timing is spot on. Things come at you out of nowhere, delivered in Duchovney's signature deadpan to great effect here. The writing does credit to the English language, albeit it well salted and peppered with expletives. The very best part of this show is that the characters felt well fleshed out from the first 5 minutes and they have continued to feel real. The relationships in the story line are valid and authentic.

In short, it just gets better and better. I find myself watching one of the rebroadcasts nearly every evening and enjoying it more each time.
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9/10
I Did Not Want to Like This Show
MRavenwood25 June 2009
Maybe I missed something, but the promos of this series made it look like one long ad for a freewheeling guy living a hedonistic Hollywood lifestyle. That's SO not what Californication is about, and frankly, it's a stupid title. There is definitely a high volume of disreputable behavior, and the show is not for kids, but there is a good story here. Hank Moody (Duchovney) is a Los Angeles-based writer whose long-time girlfriend, with whom he has a child but never bothered to marry, has left him. The whole series is about his desire to win her back, his writers' block at the loss of his muse, and his role as a father all in the context of his emotional instability. Duchovney's girl-getting eyes have the same effect on every female opportunity that comes his way in the story as they do on his millions of female fans. The series calls for a bit of a stretch, asking the audience to believe that his power to attract women never once led to an indiscretion while he was living with his non-wife. I loved the characters and although it is not realistic, it is an interesting venue for the observations made about what destructive behaviors women are willing to put up with. It also gets very far away from the Jerry Seinfeld, man-child type characters that are romantically inept. Hank is a ladies man AND a man's man. He's the lovable bad boy with a heart of gold. For those concerned about content for kids: DO NOT WATCH THIS SERIES. There is constant language, smoking, sex, frank discussions about sex, drug use viewed as acceptable, nudity, and references to all forms of adult themes. But the story line is not as prurient as all of that suggests. Hank is a family man who engages in behaviors because he has no brakes to stop him i.e. his family living with him. He doesn't actually LIKE the behaviors and wants to marry the woman who left him and spend more time with his daughter. Great acting by the entire cast --and a *really* tall cast it is!
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10/10
awesome new duchovny series
smokeonit122 July 2007
i really loved the pilot!

duchovny comes across very authentic as a writer in his midlife crisis. divorced and unhappy the daughter suffers the most under the separation. for my part it wonder if the classification as a comedy is right... it's very sarcastic... there's some scenes that are funny but most of the time it's more a drama than comedy...

the series has a lot of potential and it's not a 100% clear where it might take us if it gets picked up. let's hope showtime has the guts to give duchovny a chance to show of his talent. for my part i loved his performance and that it would be good thing to have him back on a TV series.
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9/10
Funny, witty, and wry!
yossarian10014 August 2007
Duchovny is perfectly cast here as Hank Moody, and delivers his witty and wry lines with tongue firmly implanted in his cheek. Playing a talented but dysfunctional writer in the middle of a mid-life crisis, Duchovny's character is spot on. He can't pass a whiskey glass or a skirt and they even throw in a Porche for him to drive, in case your mind drifts. Only this is his mid-life crisis so we can laugh at it. It's OK. Natascha McElhone, having survived the Hungarian Revolution on The Company, gets to do something fun this time. This is good. She's both talented and HOT!

I laughed pretty much through the entire first episode and I'm looking forward to just how badly Moody...yeah, a guy having a mid-life crisis named Moody...can screw up his life this season.

I am so IN!
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9/10
Duchovny's Back and He's Got the Goods!
gpadillo18 August 2007
I can't remember when I laughed so steadily from start to finish of a new show. Family Guy? Perhaps. In Californication Showtime has one of its strongest hits . . . ever. The writing is bitingly crisp, intelligent and fresh. Duchovny's delivery has the timing of a master comic actor and his portrayal of Hank is winning. As with the very best of comedies, beneath the bubbly surface of Californication is a show that in a single episode reveals richly drawn characters of depth and purpose. Hank's lecherousness, womanizing, wry wit and in-your-face bluntness succeed only partially in covering up a complex (or perhaps merely complicated?) man who appears to be facing all of his mid life crisis's at once. Every note in this comic symphony was perfectly struck and I look forward to getting to know Hank - and the rest of his gang - better as the weeks go by. Bravo Showtime!
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9/10
Fresh, witty entertainment
cptnspoon1915 September 2007
I just watched the pilot on-demand and I have to say I am thoroughly impressed by this show. David Duchovny was a pure gem to watch as the sardonic and hapless writer in the surreal realm of Southern California. The dialogue is top-notch, the plot is thick and juicy. Hank is a deep, 3-dimensional character that we seldom see on television. Though he is definitely damaged, there is something in his tribulations that audiences can relate to. His difficulty in writing is a situation I have felt many times when I sit down at the keyboard. Similarly, I empathize with his relationship problems. The problems he faces are problems that real people face brought to life in a very funny, unique way.

With this show, Weeds, The L Word and Dexter, Showtime is becoming the new HBO. That being said I really hope this show keeps the spark that made the pilot so good for the full run of the series.
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10/10
Wonderfully entertaining!
csuttie19 September 2007
I am greatly enjoying this show and hope it will run a very long time. There's something about this show that seems so real. It makes me laugh, it makes me think, and it brings something to the table for everyone. It has emotion, sex, passion, hard times, and complexity. Hanks character is absolutely great, and all the other characters are developing very well, and becoming very unique. I also enjoy Nip/Tuck, but this show is like a much more tangible version, with more depth, and somewhat on Valium (as it is much less over the top!). I believe that anyone can relate to this show with all this depth, diversity, and complexity. I highly recommend this show to anyone, and I am in love. I will definitely not miss an episode and look forward to buying the DVD releases in the future. Bravo to all parties involved with this series!
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10/10
Funny, cool, one-of-a-kind show for adults!
cynsunshine10 October 2007
If you have Showtime and you're not watching Californication, you're definitely missing out. I'm so glad I watched the first episode because I was hooked within the first five minutes and haven't missed an episode yet (I think it's up to 8 episodes now). I'm getting Showtime for free right now but just because of Weeds and Californication, I would probably continue paying for it after my free time is up.

I've never seen a show quite like this...the humor totally rocks; I especially love how witty it is, like when Hank says something like, "Shrivel me testes". The characters and their interactions are top-notch and I enjoy every minute of it.

I totally enjoy (most of) the actors, especially Pamela Adlon, who plays Marcie; she's mostly a voice actor (cartoon boys, mostly) and I love seeing her in an on-screen role; we need to see more of this talented woman! Sometimes I'm shocked at how hardcore the show can be and I LOVE THAT about it. It keeps me on my toes and is rarely predictable (even though whenever you see a hot chick you just know Hank will be doing her within five minutes...not the most realistic, but hey, it's a TV show with a title that includes the word, "fornication")!

I hope there is a Season 2 for this awesome new show...any many more seasons beyond. If you don't have Showtime, wait till Californication comes out on DVD and get it right away!
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A solid new comedy series with top drawer performance from Duchovny
DVD_Connoisseur11 October 2007
From its controversial opening scene to its excellent finale, the first episode of "Californication" sets the tone for the series. Stylishly directed by the always-reliable Stephen Hopkins, the pilot is thoroughly entertaining adult comedy. Watching the first episode reminded me a little of a modern Blake Edwards' production.

The cast are excellent, especially David Duchovny as the seedy Hank Moody, a man whose mid-life crisis is on display for all to see, from his Porsche to his constant bed-hopping.

The script is sharp and the whole show exudes quality.

Recommended.
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9/10
A review of what used to be my favourite comedy.
MovieAddict201620 February 2013
"Californication" was once a promising comedy, something that spoke to my love of classic rock, English, Bill Hicks, Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson-style self-loathing.

I wanted to write a bit of a rant, however, on why this now may be the worst comedy on cable.

This season is better than last, but that's not saying much. The sexual hijinks and gross-out factor is getting insulting. Last episode has Charlie basically getting raped by a drunk woman up her butt (haha! it's funny because it's anal!), which is pretty disgusting (how funny would it be if the genders were reversed?). Female-on-male rape can be kinda funny just due to the novelty of it, but it has to be handled well, and in this episode it's just dumb and sleazy. Meanwhile the Sex Pistols guy is making out with a couple hotties, the Russell Brand dude is talking about drugging his wife so he can screw another girl, and Hank is trying to get into Maggie Grace's panties while cracking jokes about bodily fluids on the floor and butt-****ery. It isn't funny or clever anymore.

A big appeal of S1 was that Hank, while a womanizer, still respected women. He had that whole "Hell-A" rant about how the city corrupts its women. He loved Karen and Becca and often found himself in sexual scenarios where he tried, but failed (his relationship with the adulteress, for example).

But now, he's taking oral sex from drunk grieving widows behind tombstones and his apathy is sort of comical rather than earnest. The show has developed little trademarks for the characters (I can't quote Hank's - it involves profanity) that is turning it more and more into a silly sitcom. It's no wonder that Hank seems to be appealing more to the masses now as a character, since he is essentially turning into a caricature - a sort of idiot manchild that Hank in season one would have railed against. They've basically "Crazy Little Thing Called Love'd" Californication, and viewers of the show will understand what I mean by that.

Also, as much as I love Runkle and how pathetic he is, his relationship with Hank has become more ridiculous than ever. In the early seasons Hank had a brotherly relationship with him, but they were still pretty straightforward with each other. Runkle still acted respectfully around Hank, to preserve his status as an agent, and inquired into his personal life when he thought he had hit rock bottom. (Remember in the pilot episode how he asked Hank whether he was OK, needed help, etc.? Told him to get it together?) Now, Runkle is basically just the butt end of jokes when Hank is around. And he doesn't seem to care much about his friend's spiraling out of control, such as when he brings him pot to his rehab center.

I'm truly shocked that Kapinos is still the one writing this show. It amazes me that the creator of season one would allow the show to devolve like this, let alone be the sole person responsible for it.
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10/10
One of the five greatest shows of all time.
dead4754810 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
It's one of the five greatest shows I've ever seen. The writing is absolutely perfect and does a great job with both the comedic and dramatic scenes. David Duchovny's Hank Moody is one of the finest characters ever put to the silver screen and his performance is really what makes the show just so damn enjoyable to watch. The sex scenes were hilarious, and the entire story with Charlie (Moody's agent played by Evan Handler) and his secretary (Bully's Rachel Miner) started off very hot as they indulge in a Secretary-esquire relationship and then got hilarious once they started having a threesome with Charlie's wife Marcy (the hilarious Pamela Adlon) and his nipple gets ripped off and then Marcy actually sleeping with the secretary on her own.

And then, of course, there was the squirting scene when Charlie and Hank have a threesome with a girl they meet at the gym and things get...very wet. So perfectly handled to make the final result gut-bustingly hilarious.

But what holds the show together so wonderfully is the perfect balance of Moody's crazy sex life and the hilarious suplots of his agent with Hank's attempt to get the woman he loves back and try to raise his daughter right. Hank was in love with Karen, they had a kid, never got married and broke up. She's now dating the douchebag Bill and planning to get married. Natascha McElhone plays Karen with an excellent blend of deeply emotional work and an adorable, comedic touch that makes the audience understand why Hank is just so madly in love with her. Their child, Becca, is played by the very young Madeleine Martin with a level of grace and maturity that is incredibly surprising for her age. She hits the comedic notes perfectly but also knows how to deliver some great dramatic work.

Rounding off this pitch-perfect cast is Madeline Zima as Bill's teenage daughter, Mia. We first meet her when Hank picks her up at a book store (not knowing her age) and takes her back to his place for some good ol' fashioned sex. And then, just as he's about to finish, she punches him in the face. And does it again. The shock of this is only increased when we learn later in the episode that she is the 16 year old daughter of the man Hank's love is currently sleeping with. Over the course of the season Zima turns Mia into an absolute bitch who we, although I've always disliked this phrase, love to hate.

It's an absolutely marvelous, unique show that hits every single note perfectly thanks largely to the flawless cast and the expert writing.
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8/10
A Showtime Wonder
aks559225 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I have watched 3 seasons of this show now, and I have to admit it is one of the most well written shows. Along with the nudity and the explicit nature of the show, it most importantly has a beautiful storyline. Its not just one of those shows with sex, drugs and booze. Its also about love, father-daughter relationship, loneliness, infidelity and regret.

David Duchovny is the soul of the show (no wonder he got a Golden Globe for it). He plays 'Hank Moody', the f**ked up, vulnerable, dysfunctional writer. He tries to grapple with his feelings for his ex, played by Natascha McElhone (who is absolutely stunning), and also tries to raise their daughter by trying to be a 'cool dad'. At the same time, he deals with his desire for beautiful women by charming his way through to them and mostly ends up f**king them. His agent Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) helps him with his writing career which just didn't take off after his first book. Runkle and his wife Marcy (Pamela Adlon) are involved in some hilarious sub-plots together.

It is difficult to classify this show in a particular genre as it has everything from dark comedy, sex to family drama. Californication and Dexter have taken cable TV to an all new level making Showtime as good as HBO. I strongly recommend this show for its lovely plot and amazing cast especially David. Season 2 may get a bit boring but please keep going as season 3 is outstanding. The soundtrack is really soothing.

Finally, the show is a must watch and very well scripted. I would like to give it 9 stars most of which are for Duchovny.
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2/10
I know this comment will be bashed, but... awful beyond words.
Hayta_Ismail28 March 2009
Like a kid suddenly dropped in the middle of Disneyland, I don't know where to start.

Make a TV series full of boring, one-dimensional characters, lots of nudity and cussing, and you've hit the jackpot. You'll be number one, you'll make millions. Plot? Hey, we have naked women, drugs and swearing, who needs a plot? Would it work? Of course. The proof is here: Californication.

Where to begin? We have a writer, Hank Moody (yes, the name gives a hint from the beginning) who has problems with the woman he loves. He does love her, but has lead such a carefree love life that it's hard for him to give up. After all, it's California I guess. Every episode, we watch hunky Hank's suffering (he's an artist after all) and the women dying to steal a night (or 10 minutes?) from him.

That's the whole plot. The main character is played by David Duchovny, who proves that any signs he had shown about being a decent actor(on the X-Files) were totally coincidental. Here he has the acting abilities of an average tree. He is a writer but we never see him write or work. (WORKING? LIKE REAL JOBS, AND ON TV? HEAVENS FORBID!) Like all TV characters, his job (e.g. artist, writer, fashion designing consultant, artist, aromatherapy counselor, artist, creative department head expertise fumgubator, and did I mention artist?) allows him to drift all day long, without doing one bit of the work that %99,9999 of the world does.

During his driftings in his fancy car****, he comes across some woman from his past every five minutes. And boy, do they want him back. Apparently Hank has a habit of changing his bed partners more often than his facial expression. Also apparently, apart from his writing abilities, he is so gifted in bed that all women are desperate to have him back. And the ones he hasn't met yet are so turned on by his wooden acting and porny name that... you get the idea. They are all ready to do it right there and then in 30 seconds.

The whole Hank Moody character, in every aspect, is right out of some 14-year old's horny dreams. He has a cool-sounding job that does not require him to do anything, he is rich, and all the women are wet and hot for him. But please don't get me wrong: I don't mean that he is popular, or well-liked among women. I mean women are ready to open their legs for him the second they see him. Yes, even without foreplay. Doesn't this strike as porn to you as well?

America must be full of women who are dripping wet and horny for the only real man: Hank Moody. Those puffy cheeks (which make him look like a Charles Bronson - Santa Claus hybrid, or a mutant squirrel-man), constant smoking, drooping shoulders and never-changing expression must be the biggest turn-on for women. Also, it seems these women have not had any happy relationships at all. Like there are no real men in America other than Hank Moody. The women are all unhappy, unsatisfied, un-everything.

The writers (yes, this stuff is actually written) try to blend in some drama, but it does not go beyond your average soap opera. Hank's gf still loves him and wants him to be faithful. Hank wants it too, and at one point he actually gives up others for her. But somehow, for some unexplicable reason, in every episode she catches him in a rather naughty-looking position with another woman. So finally she dumps him, and he goes to live with another rich-but-not-working guy, rock producer Lew Ashby (whom he's writing a book about). Hank is out of his home and desperately in need of consoling, so we have more excuse to see the token pubic hair and orgasm scene (at least once in every episode).

Other characters include Charlie, the something-producer (who looks very much like a twisted, retarded version of Peter Lorre. Also contender for the most annoying, pointless character in TV history) and his coke-snorting wife, etc.

I have nothing against sexuality, profanity or drug use on movies, or TV. As long as they are in the right context, proving a point. As long as they are a part of the plot. (Like Deadwood, or Entourage) But in this case, they are not. I guess Californication was supposed to be a series about some people's lives, involving their affairs, sex lives and drug habits. Instead, it is a series about sex, with no characters in it. And you may tell yourself it is not so, but there's a name for that: porn.

I'm trying to imagine the target audience for this show. Certainly not kids. There's almost no action, in fact, no story at all; so I'm guessing not men either. Women? Only bored housewives who'll watch any dull fantasy, I guess. Although no fantasies here either: just Hank exchanging dirty implications with women and trying to give the "It's oh so hard to be rich and loved by every woman, I'm sooo artistic and world-weary" look.

I try to find one bit of entertainment, at least one ingredient that works in this hodge podge of a series. Yes, the soundtrack. The songs are cool. That's it.

Final word: I've read quite a few hundred, perhaps thousands of comments on various movies and TV shows, but no show's fans use the word "witty" as often as fans of Californication. It seems to mean: "I love seeing breasts, but I'm too sophisticated to admit it, so I call this 'witty' instead of 'titty' ."

**** Hank has a Porsche but it is always dirty and one of the headlights is broken, yet he never gets it fixed. WOW! How profound. He is soooo artsy, sooo different from the rest of us.
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1/10
The series is boring to death
the_wolf_imdb5 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Well, I have probably not understood "the magic" of this series. I do not see the theme as "controversial". Sex? Marijuana? "Controversial" these days? The Sons of Anarchy are controversial, because they depict "collaboration" of police to gang members, cover-up of murders etc.

The Californication, on the other hand, is more similar to Sex in the City, but there are only two "leads" instead of four, one pathetic, one outgoing. The parts of the series seem almost identical to me: It is series of unfunny sexual debates of "supercool" Duchovny with some random woman, then short sexual encounter with that particular woman, then they got discovered during the sex or shortly after it, then Duchovny tries to cover up the situation, then he wants to "educate" his daughter, and finally he becomes sad and wants to return to his wife. This repeats every part of the series.

If you deduct the sex and sometimes drugs or vomit (ie. "the controversy"), then NOTHING remains in the series. Nothing. There is no progress, no fun, no drama, simply nothing. It is more collection of "short alcohol-inspired sex stories" which are being discussed on colleges than some REAL life story. Duchovny's character is not a writer solving his problems, he is very shallow womanizer with no direction and with no strong theme in his life. If he would try to sell drugs or weapons, he might be at least tracked by the police which could put at least some marginal drama in the series. But he does not cross any line except for common sense and some decency. He is just "too old teenager" with his own daughter. Otherwise he is completely irrelevant.

There is no drama, no catharsis in the series, only endless trip from party to party. If you want to get more reasonable controversy, go for Bukowski. He is miles better than this... boredom.
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1/10
This show is just meaningless porn
sbm161328 September 2009
Why does everyone say this show is so great? Just because there's sex in it? The opening scene of the pilot episode is Duchovony getting a blow-job in a church from a nun. That doesn't bother anybody?

The show wants us to feel sorry for the protagonist, Hank Moody. He lives in LA, he's a writer, he drives a Porsche, he has more sex in a day than I have my entire life, has a great daughter...and we're supposed to feel sorry for him? I will admit the pilot episode is kinda funny but there is more to a show than just the first episode.

There's no plot; just meaningless sex. What happened to the days when TV shows and movies were able to convey a story without sex or violence?
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4/10
Who Cares?
odo543518 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
So yet another LA writer is depressed. So Hollywood, yet again, couldn't remain faithful to LA writer's original story. So, yet again, LA writer seems able to get any woman but his wife into bed as he flits from mansion to mansion. Which of course means that, yet again, LA writer has conflicting emotions regarding his ex. And, yet again, LA writer's daughter is struggling with her emerging sexuality and maybe dabbling in drugs.

I'm sorry, but it all seems to have that ho hum, been there, done that feel about it. Unlike the rest of us, LA writer can well afford a shrink so why doesn't he just see one and sort himself out? (And if he's sold his book rights to Hollywood why can't he afford to fix the headlight on his Porche, hell, why doesn't he just buy a new car? And, yes, I got the metaphor they wanted us to get.)

How often does TVLand seem to display an ignorance of a world outside of LA? And the problems of one obviously-not-struggling-financially writer really don't amount to a hill of beans to anyone in this other world.

If it is difficult to sympathise with the problems of the main character, who cares how well a series is written, or how well acted? Or how fabulous the sets/costumes/camera-work etc. etc. are? Or even how many undressed refugees from the XXX world are bouncing around on screen?

I, for one, don't.
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9/10
It brings laughter and excitement as well as some serious drama
SecretAsset25 July 2011
Being from the United Kingdom I absolutely enjoy American television shows. I appreciate the grandeur and hype surrounding them. However, for Californication I missed most of the build-up running up to the show. From season one onwards, Californication to me was a mystery. I had a vague idea about the plot and what it would involve from the title alone, Cali(fornication) so that would suggest adultery and adultery it contained.

The settings and locale was brilliant, especially with the hand held camera footage of California in the opening music sequence. Having not visited California before or even America for that matter, watching the show like this was like a small holiday for 26 minutes. The storyline, of which I will not divulge, was excellent. Towards the finale of season one, the storyline really hit home for me personally, of which not many films or television shows can say has. The characters in the show were brilliant and top marks to the actors and actresses that played them.

Season 2-4 which followed were equally as good as the first. Character development was good which allowed the viewer to connect to the characters in the show.

To conclude, if you want to relax after a hard day at work and in need of a laugh then Californication is for you. It brings laughter and excitement as well as some serious drama, which makes this, for me that is, a 9/10.
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9/10
Feline Finger Bang :)
glance_left20 March 2011
Alchemy that blends something of the bodily humours of Burroughs, Thompson, Wolfe and Bukowski but without the cumbersome morbidity their works tend to engender.

There's something mesmerizing about watching the antics of someone artful and intelligent who becomes almost utterly detached from typical social constraints...constraints that keeps the rest of us Joe Blows from acting like a bunch of unbearable mouth-frothing assholes.

Maybe it can only be pulled off within the magic of t.v. land. Who knows, but there's plenty of that magic in Californication. It feels consistently fresh, erudite, infused with energy, and blissfully slovenly...like an animated, ejaculatory Jackson Pollock painting.

i.e. it's everything a Charlie Sheen rant wants to be but isn't: smart, funny and appalling all at the same time.
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10/10
off to California again
RavenGlamDVDCollector19 April 2014
It deserves its top score and then some. I am collecting the box sets, and I've got the first five, and tonight I'm watching Saturday evening treat's Season 3 finale. The series ranks under my Top Choices as Best TV Show, and, indeed, film in general. It's better than almost any movie. I suppose people stay at home to watch this one if they don't have TiVo. I live in South Africa, and DVD is my pleasure of choice. And if you're thinking of adding this to your collection, do! The stories are cringe-worthy if you're watching this with family members, I suppose, so be aware that this is Adult Entertainment, not as a euphemism for pornography, but truly what entertainment for adults should be like. Something to sink your teeth into, and I'm not talking about Natascha McElhone, loads and loads of eye candy, and, yes, this includes Natascha McElhone, although she is the only regular actress on the show that is excused from having to appear in the compromising scenes, of which there are many. If ever there was a film character that makes a good impression, it is Karen, and Natascha will be remembered for this forever. Karen and Hank are so clearly made for each other, they click so resoundingly, that it is ten times more excruciating to see them going in opposite directions.

It is difficult to define Hank. Likable rascal? Who gets into trouble, because trouble follows him on their long, lissome, stiletto-heeled hind legs? Because trouble can't keep their soft, manicured paws off him?

And then there's Charlie Runkle. Evan graduated from a bit part in SEX AND THE CITY to this one, the role he was born to play. Replacing him would be impossible. A special mention also to Pamela Adlon as Marcy - good thing she was elevated to main cast member. Best male guest star, Rick Springfield. Notable eye candy - Surfer Girl, one episode First Season, one episode Second Season. What a pretty girl, with a terrific screen presence, without hardly saying a word. Michelle Lombardo, she sure knew how to fill a barely-there bikini! I also loved Judy Greer as the prostitute in Season One - she returned later on again, in Season Five if I'm not mistaken.

Great fun for the liberal-minded!
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10/10
Incredible show
vividart36 July 2012
Californication is great comedy show. Hank is amazing character, who you have to eventually fall in love with. Its funny show with great one-liners, sex and its just overaly great ride. But what it really is and what it makes one of the best shows out there, is that it is ultimate love story about true love. The mix of the comedy, Hanks character and the love that will last no matter what is deadly combination, which will make you laugh, but will also get you deep under the skin. This show is incredible fun but its also amazing love story for anyone who wants to or can relate to the relationship between Hank, Karen and Becca.
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3/10
TV for the easily entertained.
emmanuelgogarty6 November 2014
A show that guest stars: Marilyn Manson, Tim Minchin, Heather Graham, Rob Lowe and has David Duchovny (X-Files) playing the lead role sounds like an amazing show, right?

The first season is fantastic. It has everything going for it in terms of plot, characters, and witty dialogue. The main character is the writer, Hank Moody, who seems to have reached a peak after the success of his magnum opus: God Hates Us All. After moving from New York to Los Angeles, he has not continued with his writing at all. The show starts with Hank separated from his girlfriend Karen with whom he has a teenage daughter. Karen is now engaged to her new man, Bill, and Hank is trying his best to win back Karen and his daughter, while masking his despair with alcohol, women, and sarcasm.

The story moves at a quick pace with plenty of tense situations that need resolving as Hank gets himself into trouble over and over again as if by nature. Along for the ride is his sidekick agent and best friend, Charlie Runkle.

The show employs no subtlety when dealing with adult themes. There is nudity, crass language, drug taking, and hedonism at every turn. It somehow works with a sort of charm that comes with the troubled "writer stereotype". Each episode leaves you eager to carry on; to watch this odd circus act bounce around.

You feel for the pathetic Hank Moody, and there is a hope for him to get his happy ending. The finale of season one is almost perfect. Although it does leave some curiosity as to what could possibly happen next, it has an ending all of its own.

After the first season, there is a sigh in the show, as Hank continues to make trouble around, and for himself. With each consecutive season, the show only gets worse and worse. Any emotive connection that may have been felt for Hank flies out the window as he turns from a troubled, interesting human being to a ridiculous caricature. The show is not for adult audiences anymore, it's for immature giggling teenagers. There seems to be a growing urgency to shock and entertain, and sex becomes the one thing that can just happen for no good reason. If you spot a new female character in the show, Hank will have sex with her, all while acting unsurprised and deserving. It becomes sickening fast.

Charlie Runkle, the agent, also becomes a cartoon character who bumbles along after Hank, making sly deals, getting into embarrassing situations, and saying stupid lines. And oh, he has a small penis. Hank, on the other hand, is the hero who can bed anyone, and they all love him immensely. And oh, he has an enormous penis. The part about Hank being a struggling writer is no longer important, and his troubles with Karen and his annoying daughter, Becca, become a reoccurring banality.

Any heart this show could have had was thrown in the trash. There is something disgustingly "Hollywood" about Hank Moody's character. He is the man with the cool head who can crack wise in tough situations; he humiliates other people and is only friends with the coolest, edgiest rock n' roll types. All women want him, and the men are either jealous or think he's awesome. It gets so ridiculous, that you start to suspect that Duchovny is secretly writing the show all for himself and his ego, or at least has a say on what his character does. If you've ever watched a Steven Seagal movie, you might have an idea of the cocky American hero that Hank Moody does so well. They are not characters at all, but something that kids cheer on while jumping on the sofa.

Most of the guest stars mentioned at the beginning of this review only show up towards the end of the show, as some last ditch attempt to make the series interesting. By then you won't care how it ends because you no longer feel anything for the characters. There's no sense of anticipation, and the series works backwards to how a good show should.

Truly awful.
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1/10
Like California itself, it first entrances and then disgusts
crshtrep6 August 2013
I loved the first three seasons of this show, when it was still fun, well written and even innocent (in a very non-innocent way). Then seasons 4 & 5 came and went, leaving little impression other than "more of the same". Season 6, though, has driven right off the PCH into the ocean. It's cartoonish, lacking any depth or nuance, almost as if the Wayans brothers had decided to make a broad, boorish spoof. In keeping with season 6's sophomoric obsession with all things sexual, at best it's a teenage masturbatory fantasy; at worst, it's an abortion. Sad to see the terminal decline of what began as a truly great piece of television.
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10/10
An excellent treat to a bizarre reality.
ElessarAndurilS4 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I didn't know David Duchovny had slipped into a comedy on Showtime back in the after years of launching from X-Files, but having always thought he had a very good dry sense of humor come through in his acting I was pleased to see "Californication" on Netflix. I found the show to be excellent. I loved that it ended with him and Karen together accepting the imperfection of their relationship since that is so much more real than what romantics sell. Those old couples who make a life together know this truth, that the secret to a long relationship is not changing the other person or a storybook life. It is accepting all their shortcomings and failures and standing by their side in spite of them. If people got married with that reality as an expectation there would be fewer divorces.

The show simply made me laugh, many times unexpected and out loud. Streaming it on my laptop my wife got interested because she had to find out what was making me blurt out laughter unexpectedly so frequently. The stories push the boundaries of reality, but it's a comedy based on the messed up nature of human sexual desires so I expected it to and therefore dropped all judgemental-ism at the start. The extremes were amusing, the child more mature than the parent led to a good place in the story and added to the likability of a character who in trying to do the right thing always seemed to a) make the wrong decision or b) have fate throw it upon him. A good watch, didn't burn out on it like I did Weeds and it let me have an ending where I got to simply smile and move on.

Do the same, great streaming show.
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