• 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
  1. Californication tries to poke fun at the hypocrisy and delusions of Hollywood, but it doesn’t have enough wit or sense of place to be very convincing. Mostly the series comes off as male payback for "Sex and the City," a series that often belittled men and treated them as sex objects.
  2. 100
    Californication--the best new TV show in a year.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    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.
  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
    A narcissistic writer bemoaning the Hollywood that overpays him? Color me fascinated
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    80
    Duchovny is as rakishly appealing as any cad can be.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  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. 80
    Californication is reasonably charming straight out of the gate, and as the story progresses, the intelligence of the writing gains traction.
  15. 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.
  16. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    60
    At first blush, anyway, Californication isn't necessarily a bad place to be, but unless the series finds viable avenues to pursue beyond wallowing in Hank's self-pity, it'll be Showtime subscribers before long who wind up feeling screwed.
  17. Martin kills as a 12-year-old who is old beyond her years. I might watch just for her. As comedies go, Californication is a bit of a downer, and not just to fans of "The X-Files."
  18. 40
    What's most puzzling about Californication is that much of the time it resembles a soft-porn film.... This kind of cheesiness is all about what the camera sees, rather than about the story and what the characters are feeling.
  19. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    40
    Californication doesn't have the courage of those movies' ["Shampoo" and "Blume in Love"] convictions. It acts like it wants to tell the story of Hank's comeuppance, his growth from obnoxious man-child to real man, but it can't bear the thought of the audience not liking Hank (and, by extension, Duchovny) right out of the gate.
  20. We don't feel anything because nothing is revealed about Moody except that he is depressed, profane and a writer. (We don't even know whether he is a good writer--all sorts of bad writers get upset about how their movies are made too.) And that, I'm afraid, is not enough.
  21. 20
    Angst is saved for the final two minutes when Hank is alone, driving at night or sitting in the dark, supposedly brooding over his inability to...what, fit one more lay into the day? Because it’s a false dilemma this dishonest, unfunny, dispiritingly crude show presents.
  22. 80
    Duchovny possesses the engaging comic empathy skills to make his Left Coast libertine decidedly witty and likable.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 277 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 97
  2. Negative: 12 out of 97
  1. 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 of provocation (some will always be offended by sex Full Review »
  2. Jun 28, 2011
    1
    Why did D.Duchovny do this awful show? The shows entire purpose is to desensitize people to smut and portray scumbags as everyday people. It's messed up.16 year olds hitting on and sleeping with an older men, cursing for no good reason, women throwing themselves on him (who look like porn stars by the way). The unrealistic premises are laughable and border on ridiculous. Every character is pretentious, and annoying. The sex scenes get old after seeing them 10 times an episode. No wonder Duchovny became a sex addict and threw away his marriage while making this show. If I wanted to watch people f**k I'd rent a porno, oh that's right I just did! Full Review »
  3. 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 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 »