Californication : Season 1

  • Network: Showtime
  • Series Premiere Date: Aug 13, 2007
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 24
  2. Negative: 2 out of 24

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    Californication--the best new TV show in a year.
  2. The team behind this series--creator Tom Kapinos from "Dawson's Creek," executive producer Scott Winant from "My So-Called Life" and "thirtysomething," and Duchovny himself--makes it easier for Duchovny by surrounding him with sparkling female characters and talent.
  3. There's a lot to love in Californication, from the blowtorch-keen dialogue of creator and writer Tom Kapinos to the way that Duchovny's ever-so-slightly-fading good looks perfectly encapsulate the character's downturn in Hollywood, to a multitude of standout performances in the ensemble cast.
  4. 88
    The show is not designed to appeal to prudes, but the writing and the acting are too good to be wasted on the prurient.
  5. Californication can be unabashedly self-centered, judgmental and off-putting, but it is redeemed by occasional hilarious moments, an appealing father-daughter relationship and Duchovny's skillful creation of a charismatic boor.
  6. Dark comedy suits insouciant Duchovny.... Here he delivers a tousled sort of aw-shucks Huck Finn, lighting out for erotic territories. McElhone, à la Rene Russo, manages to convey the notion of adult womanhood without being either drippy or schoolmarmish about it.
  7. 80
    Californication is reasonably charming straight out of the gate, and as the story progresses, the intelligence of the writing gains traction.
  8. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    80
    The show is sometimes sweet and wry, sometimes crass and vicious, and, though often subtle, it embraces that embarrassing title and flings itself boisterously into a hacky premise
  9. 80
    Duchovny is as rakishly appealing as any cad can be.
  10. 80
    Never mind the clichés, because Duchovny makes his character worth watching, as he swaggers from bad predicament to bad predicament, pretending not to care about his life anymore.
  11. 80
    Duchovny possesses the engaging comic empathy skills to make his Left Coast libertine decidedly witty and likable.
  12. 80
    In Californication, [Duchovny] gets to take full advantage of his low-key comic approach, and the result is irresistible. The rest of the cast matches him riff for riff, especially British actress Natascha McElhone as the disenchanted Karen and young Madeleine Martin as their 12-year-old daughter Becca.
  13. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    80
    Giving us hope are Kapinos' brisk writing and Duchovny's agile performance, conveying smarts, savvy, self-indulgence and sad stupidity in equal amounts.
  14. Californication is a near-perfect match with the established show, a caustic, sharp-edged mix of humor and drama that tiptoes along the edge of disaster but never drops into the looming abyss.
  15. 80
    A narcissistic writer bemoaning the Hollywood that overpays him? Color me fascinated
  16. Despite his nearly affectless face and inflectionless voice, Mr. Duchovny does fill the screen as Hank, forcing us to take his side whether we like it or not.
  17. 63
    Despite the show's flaws--each of the first two episodes ends in an "ironic reveal" that is really just a ridiculous coincidence--its central character could be fascinating if played by, say, 1971 Brando. Duchovny gives off the heat of 2007 Brando.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 320 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 101
  2. Negative: 12 out of 101
  1. Feb 19, 2011
    10
    I don't understand how can you guys don't like? This show is really amazing its fun and sad ay the same time. Its not only about sex, sex andI don't understand how can you guys don't like? This show is really amazing its fun and sad ay the same time. Its not only about sex, sex and sex again it shows us life of a great writer who cant find his place in this life. Its dirty , it contains bad words, drugs etc. But if u don't like it you can just turn the TV off or watch something else, there's no need to write "its bad for children" or something like that. People who don't like him are just jealous cuz they cant "be" with so big count of women. This is it. I said all I wanted to say. Hope this show will be shown for many years :D Full Review »
  2. OmarH
    Oct 2, 2009
    2
    This show is cliched and shallow. It would be interesting if this show did something other than show us the usual cliches about Hollywood - This show is cliched and shallow. It would be interesting if this show did something other than show us the usual cliches about Hollywood - that people drive expensive cars, the women are hot, drugs, sex, etc. The show wants us to feel sympathy for Duchovny's character (I guess), but he's so self absorbed he merely manages to bore me. I don't have anything against showing sex in general, but this show tries too hard to shock and titillate. A misogynist character might be interesting, but the show never reveals what is interesting about this particular drug addled misogynist. Instead, we are left with a cliche - the "down on his luck writer". We never even learn anything about his writing. Full Review »
  3. Jan 6, 2013
    2
    Californication is the kind of show that promotes itself as cool when it really isn't. It vulgar for vulgarity's sake, with a false sense ofCalifornication is the kind of show that promotes itself as cool when it really isn't. It vulgar for vulgarity's sake, with a false sense of provocation (some will always be offended by sex Full Review »