Californication: Season 1 (2007)


Season 1

Critics Consensus

Though it might skew too dour for some viewers, Californication benefits from punchy dialogue and an irresistibly charismatic performance from David Duchovny.



Critic Ratings: 30


Audience Score

User Ratings: 187
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Air date: Aug 13, 2007
Air date: Aug 20, 2007
Air date: Aug 27, 2007
Air date: Sep 3, 2007
Air date: Sep 10, 2007
Air date: Sep 17, 2007
Air date: Sep 24, 2007
Air date: Oct 1, 2007
Air date: Oct 8, 2007
Air date: Oct 15, 2007
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Californication: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

This dramedy chronicles the carnal escapades of New York City novelist Hank Moody (David Duchovny), who relocates to Los Angeles when one of his books is turned into a movie and he's pegged to work on the screenplay. His move to L.A. reunites him with his teen daughter, Becca (Madeleine Martin), and his estranged lover Karen (Natascha McElhone), who is Becca's mother and is now engaged. But that doesn't stop Hank from trying to reconcile. It also doesn't stop him from chasing skirts and bedding a bevy of beauties. Later in the series, he gets into a fight with the director of the film based on his novel "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," and attends Karen's wedding. Evan Handler costars as Hank's agent and best bud, Charlie Runkle, and Pamela Adlon plays Charlie's wife, Marcy.

Critic Reviews for Californication Season 1

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (22)

He's a hard candy with a soft center, and Duchovny makes even his hedonism and violent outbursts seem forgivable, if not admirable.

Apr 3, 2018 | Full Review…

Duchovny has some nerve taking shots at TomKat. Were anyone else starring in Californication, the reference to a "crappy romantic comedy" might well have Duchovny's name on the receiving end. He's definitely got that one coming.

Aug 12, 2007 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
Top Critic

A caustic, sharp-edged mix of humor and drama that tiptoes along the edge of disaster but never drops into the looming abyss.

Aug 13, 2007 | Full Review…

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.

Aug 13, 2007 | Full Review…

Never mind the cliches, because Duchovny makes his character worth watching, as he swaggers from bad predicament to bad predicament, pretending not to care about his life anymore.

Aug 13, 2007 | Full Review…

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.

Aug 13, 2007 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Duchovny, back on his old "Red Shoe Diaries" stomping grounds, makes it all work. After a few years away, you forget the amount of star presence he has on TV.

Nov 16, 2018 | Full Review…

Even though Hank is deeply flawed, Duchovny is compelling, as he brings some much-needed humanity to his character.

Nov 16, 2018 | Full Review…

Californication is engaging and fun, albeit in a mannered way. Duchovny deserves a lot of credit for making the show work, as it's easy to see the show not being nearly as charming with someone else in the role.

Nov 16, 2018 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Having only seen one episode, it's obviously hard to predict whether the series will live up to this early promise, but I feel safe in putting the odds in its favor.

Jun 11, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Californication: Season 1

  • Jul 15, 2019
    Sorry to write a review after only 2 episodes but cant bear to Watch any more. Maybe if this is the workd you live in you can watch it and relate. But for me its got nothing to say. Everyones being too cute to get at the core of anything. Its vapid and cringe worthy. Disgusting people, coy, cliche cliche. Only the daughter (not the other - bleeech daughter" is refreshing. Feel Like i need tomtake a shower.
  • Jun 23, 2018
    These are not good people, they're horrible. but it's very intriguing to view.
  • Dec 03, 2017
    David Duchovny found himself a new Character for which he will be remembered for long time. The opening of Pilot is strong and captivates the viewer for this drug/sex/alcohol mixed bag of a writer who is talented for sure in making and worsening the situation for himself. Best part being though the run-time of each episodes make it more crisp and enable it for a concise story narrative.
  • Feb 28, 2017
    I started watching "Californication" because of how tremendously disappointing (at least to me) David Duchovny was in the recent X-files comeback miniseries. Having only known DD from that Fox Mulder role, and being generally a huge fan of The X-Files, I was curious to check out another body of work of his to see what he could bring to the comedic table. While in no way was I disappointed in his performance, I quickly found (after about six episodes) that this show just wasn't for me. For a basic plot summary, "Californication" is the story of Hank Moody (Duchovny), a boozy, sex-a-holic writer who, come to think of it, hasn't actually written anything in quite some time. He still harbors feelings for ex-wife Karen (Natascha McElhone), ends up in quite a tryst with step-daughter Mia (Madeline Zima), yet still manages to be a supportive father to Becca (Madeleine Martin). He's also in constant contact (hilarious and otherwise) with agent Charlie (Evan Handler), who constantly encourages him (in a variety of ways) to get back into the writing game again. After watching the pilot episode, I thought that Californication might offer me something, as it made me belly laugh a number of times and generally kept me entertained by it's willingness to go further on its sexual jokes than any show I've ever seen. Also, Duchovny is perfect for the Hank Moody role, which is infinitely closer to his personality than Fox Mulder ever was. One could argue that strictly in terms of acting, Moody might outshine Mulder. The problem I discovered with the show fairly quickly, however, was that it seemed to be a simple sex comedy week in and week out. I had two problems with this: 1. While not a complete and utter prude, even I was cringing in disgust at some of the things brought up; and 2. That formula just gets old. Had the show really gone for some drama, perhaps I would have stuck around longer, but it seemed to be settling into the same formula each episode: Raunchy sex jokes/situations followed by a pittance of "family/relationship stuff" towards the end of each episode to make you think there is character development happening. I wasn't buying in. So, despite the fact that I was surprised at how well Duchovny brought Mr. Moody to life, the show as a whole just didn't have what I was looking for. It made me laugh from time to time, but not enough (and too many cringes in between) to feel like I wanted to continue.
  • Aug 12, 2016
    The pilot is different from the rest of the season, and it never really goes back to that. The rest of the season is also all over the place, with some bad and some good patches, as well as losing it's edge and most of it's humor. But David Duchovny is solid throughout, even if some of the writing makes the character seem worse, which diminishes the performance. The dream sequences are outstanding! With this also showing that Lucifer could be so much better if they hadn't fired Tom Kapinos, it's pretty much come down to Tom Kapinos needing to write (preferably alone) or else it's not nearly as good.
  • Mar 09, 2015
    The finest single season of television ever.
  • Mar 09, 2015
    Started off strong, then it fell the fuck off about halfway through.
  • Jan 19, 2015
    Weak. The first half or show of this so is pretty good, but somewhere in the 2nd act it all got old. Too much meaningless, unnecessary sex, and it ends pretty terribly. Bad show
  • Dec 30, 2014
    Far far away from a realistic character study, however the characters have their own charm to get you hooked. Without a doubt, David Duchovny keeps the show going on with his charismatic performance running throughout. And ofcourse the sweet L.A. girls and lifestyle shows us Los Angeles from a writer's standpoint. If Entourage shows an exaggerated version of the film industry, Californication is an even more exaggerated take on a writers journey through time with the added Showtime gimmicks seen in all their TV efforts.
  • Sep 26, 2014
    I love this season, I am throughly entertained by the music and sex this show delivers. I have watched the entire season at least three times now. Duchovny plays a sex fiend pretty well. Madeleine Martin is a daughter I wish I could have. I love the acting and characters minus Karen. There's just something about McElhone that I just can't like her character. Marcy who is the agent Charlie Runlke's wife. Is a sexy little "smurf" in this this show. She is waaaay hot for him but we love them as a couple. They are awesome. My hero, Henry Rollins does a cameo in this too.

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