Californication (TV series)
|Created by||Tom Kapinos|
|Opening theme||"Main Title Theme from Californication" by Tree Adams & Tyler Bates|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||72 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||David Duchovny
|Running time||28 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Aggressive Mediocrity, Inc.
Totally Commercial Films
And Then... Films
|Original run||August 13, 2007 – present|
Californication is an American dramedy television series created by Tom Kapinos. The show debuted on Showtime on August 13, 2007 and follows Hank Moody (David Duchovny), who is a troubled novelist who moves to California and suffers from writer's block which complicates his relationships with his longtime girlfriend Karen (Natascha McElhone) and daughter Becca (Madeleine Martin). Californication's other main characters are Moody's best friend and agent, Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler), and Charlie's wife and then ex-wife Marcy (Pamela Adlon). A recurring theme in the show is sex, drugs and rock and roll, all of which are featured regularly. The show has been nominated for and has won several awards, including winning one Emmy Award (nominated for two others) and one Golden Globe Award (nominated for three others). Californication has aired for six complete seasons.
Series overview 
The series revolves around Hank Moody, a novelist plagued by personal demons. He blames his longtime writer's block on reasons ranging from the hedonism of Los Angeles to the departure of his girlfriend Karen. Hank constantly deals with the consequences of his inability to say "no" to drugs, sex, and alcohol while trying to show his family that he can be a good, responsible, caring father to Becca and a monogamous partner to Karen.
The show was renewed for a second season on September 7, 2007. The season 1 finale, titled "The Last Waltz" (in homage to Martin Scorsese's concert film), originally aired on Showtime on October 29, 2007. Season 2 began filming in April 2008, and was underway as of June 2008. The premiere episode of season 2 aired September 28, 2008. The first season was released on DVD in the US on June 17, 2008. Showtime renewed Californication for a third season, which premiered on Sunday September 27, 2009 at 10 pm.
The show is laced with rock culture references. It frequently alludes to Warren Zevon and featured Henry Rollins in a guest appearance; and some episode titles, such as "Filthy Lucre" and "Turn The Page", allude to album and song names (Sex Pistols' "Filthy Lucre Live" and Bob Seger's "Turn the Page", respectively). The name of the movie made out of Hank's "God Hates Us All" novel, "A Crazy Little Thing Called Love" is named after the song with the same name by the rock band Queen on their album, The Game. In addition, Hank's lawyer in season 4 is called Abby Rhodes. Also, his first three novels, "South of Heaven", "Seasons In The Abyss" and "God Hates Us All," are all named after Slayer albums.
Season One 
Season 1 (August 13 – October 29, 2007) followed Hank and the other main characters in the months leading up to Karen's planned marriage to Bill, a Los Angeles publisher. Hank wallows deep in self-loathing following the release of A Crazy Little Thing Called Love, a drastically altered and watered-down—yet commercially popular—movie adaptation of his most recent novel, God Hates Us All.
Hank spends most of his time drinking and not writing. One day he picks up a younger woman in a bookstore; after they have sex, he discovers that she's Bill's 16-year-old daughter Mia. Mia proceeds to harass Hank during his visits to his family, and she uses the threat of illegal sex charges to extort stories from him that she passes off as her own for her high-school creative-writing class.
Hank's father's death triggers an alcohol-fueled binge and a sexual encounter with Karen. After the funeral, Hank stays in New York to finish a manuscript for a new novella. But upon returning to L.A., he believes the original copy to be lost when he is carjacked. Mia had previously copied the original, and now she takes credit for it herself. On Karen and Bill's wedding day, Hank chooses to accept the situation, but as he and Becca leave the reception, Karen runs out and jumps into his car, presumably to resume their life together.
On June 3, 2008, Showtime released the season-one soundtrack Temptation: Music From The Showtime Series Californication, which features music from the original series. Included artists are The Rolling Stones, Peeping Tom, My Morning Jacket, The Doors, Tommy Stinson, Bob Dylan, Harvey Danger, Madeleine Martin, Gus Black, Mexican institute of sound, Warren Zevon, The Heavy, Champion, Steve Earle, Elton John, and two original tracks created for the show by Tyler Bates and Tree Adams.
Season Two 
In Season 2 (September 28 – December 14, 2008), Hank and Karen's relationship seems to be working out, Becca seems happy again, and their house is on the market. Hank gets a vasectomy and attends a party thrown by Sonja, a woman he had sex with in Season 1. A mistake and a fight with an obnoxious police officer land Hank in jail, where he meets world-famous record producer Lew Ashby, who commissions Hank to write his biography.
Too-frequent office masturbation costs Charlie Runkle his job. He decides to go into the porn industry, becomes the agent/paternal-figure of a porn star named Daisy, and spends the majority of his and his wife Marcy's nest egg financing the artsy porn movie Vaginatown (a take on Chinatown), starring Daisy. Marcy goes into rehab for her cocaine addiction, and Charlie starts an affair with Daisy. Hank proposes to Karen on the night they discover Hank could be the father of Sonja's child. Karen decides they can't be together and refuses his proposal, leading him to go back to his old ways—continuing the show's centrality on clandestine sexuality.
Hank moves in with Ashby, who—to Hank's dismay—starts a romance with Mia. Becca finds boyfriend named Damien. Mia's book is a hit and Ashby holds a party in its and her honor, where Damien cheats on Becca and Charlie decides to leave Marcy for Daisy. After the party, Hank sees that Ashby's old girlfriend (The One That Got Away) has finally resurfaced...but when Hank goes looking for Ashby upstairs, he is dying from snorting heroin he had mistaken for cocaine.
Hank finishes Ashby's biography. Charlie ends up working at a BMW dealership in the Valley, introducing himself as Chuck Runkle. Sonja's baby arrives; it is biracial, which proves that Hank cannot be the father. Hank and Karen slowly move toward reuniting. Karen is offered a job in New York and Hank is happy to go back there with her, but when Damien apologizes to Becca and they reconcile, Hank decides it would be wrong to take Becca out of L.A. and stays there with her while Karen starts her job in New York. The season closes with Karen's plane leaving for New York and Hank and Becca walking on the Venice boardwalk.
Season Three 
Season 3 (September 27 – December 13, 2009) began where Season 2 ended. Key elements include Hank becoming a teacher, the various shenanigans he gets into when let loose on a college campus, and his ongoing relationship with his daughter Becca.
The father-daughter relationship between Hank and Becca becomes decidedly moodier as she progresses through her teenage years, and Hank kept questioning his fatherhood ability as he watched his daughter become more like him than he ever wanted. He also continued to complicate his relationship with Becca's mother, his longtime love Karen, with various relationships with females of all ages.
In the season finale, Hank has recurring nightmares of floating in a pool, drinking heavily while talking to his most recent conquests, who are swimming naked around him; Karen and Becca watch poolside. In reality, Mia returns to Hank's home and invites the family to the media launch of the paperback edition of her book. At the afterparty, Hank meets Mia's manager. Also her new boyfriend, he knows of Mia's history with Hank and offers Hank a way out by coming clean to the press about how the novel came about. But as it will affect Karen and Becca, Hank must decline. When they meet again, the men break into a fight and the manager/boyfriend threatens to call the police. Hank hurries home to Karen and tells her that he slept with Mia in season one. Karen breaks down uncontrollably, the argument bursts onto the street, and a police car arrives as Hank is trying to calm Karen. When one of the two officers grabs Hank from behind, Hank belts him and is bundled into the back of the car as Becca runs out to try to stop the police. The final scene shows a dream sequence of Hank in the pool again, drinking out of the bottle. He falls from his seat and drops his drink. The last shot shows Hank sinking while the bottle remains in shot.
Season Four 
Season 4 (January 9, 2011 – March 27, 2011) filming began on April 19, 2010. Guest stars included Carla Gugino as Hank's lawyer Abby; Zoë Kravitz as Becca's new friend who gets her to join her all-girl band, Queens of Dogtown; Addison Timlin as Sasha Bingham, a movie star; and Rob Lowe as Eddy Nero, a famous actor who wants to play Hank's character in a movie. Zakk Wylde, singer and guitarist for Black Label Society and former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, has a cameo as a guitar-shop employee in episode 2, the title of which, "Suicide Solution", comes from the Ozzy Osbourne song. Michael Ealy played a new love interest for Karen in 4 episodes, and Madeline Zima returned as Mia for 4 episodes.
Season four picks up 72 hours after Hank is arrested at the end of Season 3 and revolves around Hank's thoroughly destroyed life. His secrets have come to light and the world knows that he penned Fucking & Punching, also revealing that he slept with Mia. Karen hates Hank and Becca is disappointed in her father, so he goes to live at a hotel. Season four follows his new legal troubles, such as his lawyer's attempts to get him acquitted of statutory-rape charges, and the development of a film adaption of "Fucking & Punching", and the various troubles he causes with the production. Other developing storylines include Charlie learning his vasectomy may have been botched and he may have impregnated Marcy, Becca joining an all female rock band, and Karen finding a new boyfriend.
On January 11, 2011 the Californication Season 4 Soundtrack was released. The soundtrack features music in Season Four of Californication. Exclusive tracks include Tommy Lee’s solo version of “Home Sweet Home” and three rock covers from the show’s on-screen band Queens of Dogtown. Other artists on the soundtrack are Shooter Jennings & Hierophant, Eagles of Death Metal, Better Than Ezra, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Monster Magnet vs. Adrian Young, Cracker, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Warren Zevon, and Gregory Alan Isakov. The soundtrack was co-produced by Nora Felder and Budd Carr, the show’s music supervisors.
Season Five 
The show returned to Showtime for its fifth season in January 2012. Creator Tom Kapinos said that the show needed to take on a new direction to stay fresh. The narrative takes place 2 years and 9 months after season four, almost at the end of Hank's probation. Hank has since made New York his home, but he returns to Los Angeles for a business-related visit which family issues end up extending. Karen is married to Professor Bates, 19-year-old Becca is in college and has a new boyfriend, and Marcy is married to Stu Beggs and sharing custody of her son Stuart with Charlie.
Season Six 
Season Six started on January 13, 2013 and features a storyline revolving around Hank penning a musical with a "coked up rockstar" Atticus Fetch, portrayed by Tim Minchin. Maggie Grace portrays Faith, a groupie and a muse to the stars. The season also features Marilyn Manson appearing as himself, a friend of the rockstar Atticus Fetch.
Season Seven 
Showtime announced that Californication has been renewed for a seventh season. Production is projected to begin in 2013, with a return set for 2014.
Main characters 
- Henry James "Hank" Moody (David Duchovny) is an erratic but esteemed writer who frequently becomes embroiled in bizarre, scandalous situations. One reviewer likens Moody's character to that of writer Charles Bukowski. In the fourth season, his daughter, Becca, notes that he behaves like a poor man's Bukowski.
- Karen van der Beek (Natascha McElhone) is Hank's long-term on-and-off girlfriend and mother of his daughter. She is an architect.
- Rebecca "Becca" Moody (Madeleine Martin) is Hank and Karen's daughter. In the sixth season, she says that she wants to pursue a career in writing.
- Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) is Hank's agent and best friend.
- Marcy Runkle (Pamela Adlon) is Charlie's wife, later ex-wife, then wife again, with whom he shares the custody of their son, Stu.
Recurring characters 
- Mia Lewis (Madeline Zima) is Bill Lewis' teenage daughter. In the show's pilot, Hank has a one-night stand with her, oblivious to her age and identity. Her pen-name is Mia Cross. (Seasons 1, 2, 3 & 4)
- Bill Lewis (Damian Young) is Karen's ex-fiancé, Mia's father, and Hank's nemesis in season 1. (Seasons 1 & 4)
- Meredith (Amy Price-Francis) is a friend of Charlie and Marcy, who is introduced to Hank in the show's pilot. She and Hank have a short relationship. (Season 1)
- Todd Carr (Chris Williams) is the director of Crazy Little Thing Called Love, the movie adaptation of Hank's God Hates Us All. (Seasons 1 & 4)
- Sonja (Paula Marshall) is a friend of Karen. She has a brief affair with Hank. (Seasons 1 & 2)
- Michelle (Surfer Girl) (Michelle Lombardo) is Hank's friend and, on at least two occasions, lover. (Seasons 1 & 2)
- Beatrice (Trixie) (Judy Greer) is Hank's prostitute friend. (Seasons 1, 2, 4 & 5)
- Dani (Rachel Miner) is an ambitious agent who was formerly Charlie's assistant. They had a brief affair. (Seasons 1 & 2)
- Lew Ashby (Callum Keith Rennie) is a record producer who comes to Hank with a book deal; to write his biography. The character is believed to be based on the real life producer Rick Rubin and the scenes from Ashby's house were actually filmed in Rick Rubin's. (Seasons 2, 5 & 6)
- Janie Jones (Mädchen Amick) is Lew Ashby's long-lost love. (Season 2)
- Daisy (Carla Gallo) is a pornstar. She is Charlie's client, and later his extramarital lover. (Seasons 2 & 3)
- Ronny Praeger (Hal Ozsan) is a porn director and Charlie's business partner in the Vaginatown project. (Season 2)
- Julian (Angus MacFadyen) is Hank's season 2 nemesis. Sonja's husband and spiritual guru. He is the author of The Artist Within. (Season 2)
- Damien Patterson (Ezra Miller) is Becca's boyfriend, son of her English teacher, Mrs. Patterson (Season 2).
- Mrs. Patterson (Justine Bateman) is Damien's mother and Becca's English teacher. She and Hank engage in a brief affair. (Season 2)
- Stacey Koons (Peter Gallagher) is the Dean of the college where Hank teaches. Hank once teasingly called him Dean Koontz. (Season 3)
- Felicia Koons (Embeth Davidtz) is the wife of Dean Koons and a teacher at the college. She and Hank engage in a brief affair. (Season 3)
- Chelsea Koons (Ellen Woglom) is Becca's best friend and the daughter of Hank's bosses, Felicia and Stacey Koons. (Season 3)
- Jill Robinson (Diane Farr) is Hank's TA. They engage in a brief affair. (Season 3)
- Jackie (Eva Amurri) is Hank's student who moonlights as a stripper. They engage in a brief affair. (Season 3)
- Sue Collini (Kathleen Turner) is Charlie's boss and occasional sex partner. (Season 3)
- Paul Rider (James Frain) is Mia's manager and boyfriend. (Season 3)
- Abby Rhodes (Carla Gugino) is Hank's lawyer. Besides business, she and Hank have a short relationship. (Season 4)
- Stu Beggs (Stephen Tobolowsky) is a movie producer and Marcy's boyfriend and later husband. (Seasons 4, 5 & 6)
- Sasha Bingham (Addison Timlin) is an actress scheduled to portray Mia in Hank's upcoming movie. She and Hank engage in a brief affair. (Season 4)
- Eddie Nero (Rob Lowe) is an actor set to portray Hank in his upcoming movie. (Seasons 4, 5 & 6)
- Ben (Michael Ealy) is Karen's love interest. (Season 4)
- Carrie (Natalie Zea) is Hank's girlfriend in New York. (Seasons 5 & 6)
- Kali (Meagan Good) is Samurai Apocalypse's former lover. She and Hank meet on a plane flight to Los Angeles and immediately hit it off. Later, they engage in a brief affair. (Season 5)
- Richard Bates (Jason Beghe) is Karen's old professor, later husband. In season 5, Bates published Blood Mountain, which Stu Beggs bought the rights to turn into a movie. (Seasons 3, 5 & 6)
- Samurai Apocalypse (RZA) is a rapper and business associate of Hank. (Season 5)
- Tyler (Scott Michael Foster) is Becca's boyfriend, disliked by both Hank and Richard. (Season 5)
- Lizzie (Camilla Luddington) is the nanny of Marcy and Charlie's son; she later becomes Charlie's occasional sex partner. (Season 5)
- Atticus Fetch (Tim Minchin) is a rockstar writing a musical with Hank. (Season 6)
- Faith (Maggie Grace) is a groupie and a recovering addict. She meets Hank in rehab and later they start a short relationship. (Season 6)
- Ophelia Robins (Maggie Wheeler) is Marcy's man-hating spiritual guide. (Season 6)
Guest stars 
- Rick Springfield plays a depraved version of himself. (Season 3)
- Marilyn Manson plays himself, a friend of Atticus Fetch. (Season 6)
Critical reception 
The critical reaction for Californication has been generally favorable, with a rating of 70 on Metacritic. However, American critic Nathan Rabin gave Season 1 an "F" rating on The AV Club, calling it "insufferable."
There has been a backlash from conservative groups who oppose the explicit nature of the program. Conservative columnist Andrew Bolt criticized the program in the Australian newspaper the Herald Sun for the pilot's opening dream scene, in which a nun performs oral sex on Hank Moody in a church. The Australian Christian Lobby’s managing director Jim Wallace also called for a boycott, not only of Network Ten, but all advertisers who advertise during the show, in response to a scene in which Hank and Sonja smoke marijuana, have sex, and vomit. When Network Ten premiered Season 2, the Christian fundamentalist group Salt Shakers led an e-mail campaign against advertisers, requesting they withdraw their advertisements. This resulted in 49 companies withdrawing their advertising, including the show's main sponsor, Just Car Insurance.
Awards & nominations 
American Cinema Editors (ACE)
- 2007: Best Edited Half-Hour Television Series (for "Hell-A Woman", nominated)
- 2007: Best International (nominated)
- 2007: Outstanding Casting — Television Pilot: Comedy (nominated)
- 2008: Outstanding Casting — Television Series — Comedy (nominated)
- 2008: Outstanding Casting — Comedy Series (nominated)
- 2008: Outstanding Cinematography — Half-Hour Series (Peter Levy, for "Pilot", won)
- 2009: Outstanding Casting — Comedy Series (nominated)
- 2009: Outstanding Cinematography — Half-Hour Series (Michael Weaver, for "In Utero", won)
- 2007: Best Actor - Musical or Comedy Series (Duchovny as Hank Moody, won)
- 2007: Best Series - Musical or Comedy (nominated)
- 2008: Best Actor — Musical or Comedy Series (Duchovny as Hank Moody, nominated)
- 2008: Best Series — Musical or Comedy (nominated)
- 2009: Best Actor — Musical or Comedy Series (Duchovny as Hank Moody, nominated)
- 2010: Best Actor — Musical or Comedy Series (Duchovny as Hank Moody, nominated)
- 2012: Best Actor — Musical or Comedy Series (Duchovny as Hank Moody, nominated)
- 2010: Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television — Comedy (Kapinos, Duchovny, Fattore, Dyer, Fusaro nominated)
- 2009: Comedy Episode (for "The Raw & the Cooked", nominated)
- 2008: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series (Duchovny as Hank Moody, nominated)
DVD release 
|DVD Name||Episodes||Originally aired||Release date|
|Season premiere||Season finale||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|The 1st Season||12||August 13, 2007||October 29, 2007||June 17, 2008||June 16, 2008||June 19, 2008|
|The 2nd Season||12||September 28, 2008||December 14, 2008||August 29, 2009||August 10, 2009||August 20, 2009|
|The 3rd Season||12||September 27, 2009||December 13, 2009||November 9, 2010||February 7, 2011||August 19, 2010|
|The 4th Season||12||January 9, 2011||March 27, 2011||November 1, 2011||February 13, 2012||November 3, 2011|
|The 5th Season||12||January 8, 2012||April 1, 2012||December 18, 2012||April 10, 2013||October 17, 2012|
|The 6th Season||12||January 13, 2013||April 7, 2013||TBA||TBA||TBA|
- Season 1 extras
- Commentaries on the pilot.
- Biographies of the 5 main actors.
- 16 photos from the show.
- 4 downloadable episodes, two from the second season of Dexter and two from the second season of The Tudors.
- Season 2 extras
- Interviews with cast members.
- Marcie's Waxing Salon.
- 4 downloadable episodes, one from the first season of The United States of Tara and three from the third season of The Tudors.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers filed a lawsuit on November 19, 2007 against Showtime Networks over the name of the series, which is also the name of the band's 1999 album and hit single. They state in the lawsuit that the series "constitutes a false designation of origin, and has caused and continues to cause a likelihood of confusion, mistake, and deception as to source, sponsorship, affiliation, and/or connection in the minds of the public". Pointing to Dani California, a character who appears in both the series and three songs by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (including Californication) as well as confusion when shopping for their album and that of the series soundtrack, the lawsuit asks for unspecified damages, and requests that a new name be found for the show.
Showtime Networks argued that the band did not in fact create the term Californication. They point out that the term appeared in print in Time magazine in 1972, in an article called The Great Wild Californicated West, while show producer Tom Kapinos cites the inspiration as coming from a bumper sticker he saw in the '70s that read "Don't Californicate Oregon". Canadian art-rock band the Rheostatics released an album called Whale Music in 1992, with a song called "California Dreamline". In this song, the word Californication appears in the phrase "Californication, spooning in the dry sand".
Kim Walker, head of intellectual property at Pinsent Masons, states that the band should have registered Californication as a trademark. Instead, the only application for such was filed in April 2007 in the US, by Showtime. The mark has not yet been registered. Walker has also stated:
Successful songs, albums and movies can become brands in themselves. What's really surprising is how few songs and albums are properly protected... The Chili Peppers could almost certainly have registered a trade mark for 'Californication', notwithstanding Time's article. They made the word famous, but it doesn't automatically follow that they can stop its use in a TV show.
If they had registered the title as a trade mark covering entertainment services, I very much doubt we'd have seen a lawsuit. The TV show would have been called something else. As it is, the band faces an uphill struggle.
|This section requires expansion. (March 2013)|
The Season 2 finale drew 615,000 viewers, with a combined total of 937,000 for the evening, retaining less than 50% of its lead-in from the season finale of Dexter. Season 3 steadily gained viewership, and the show was quickly picked up for a fourth season by Showtime.
International distribution 
- Albania – TV Klan
- Australia – Network Ten, Eleven, Showcase
- Austria – ORF
- Argentina – Warner Channel, I.Sat
- Armenia – Channel One (Russia)
- Belgium – Acht
- Brazil – Warner Channel / SBT / I-Sat
- Bosnia and Herzegovina - PINK BH
- Bulgaria – HBO, AXN, bTV Comedy
- Canada – The Movie Network in (English), Movie Central in (English) / V in (French)
- Colombia – Warner Channel
- Croatia – HRT
- Czech Republic – ČT1, HBO, HBO HD, AXN, AXN HD
- Denmark – TV2 Zulu/TV2 Danmark
- Estonia – TV6, SET
- Finland – Nelonen
- France – M6, Paris Première
- Germany – AXN, RTL2
- Greece – Skai TV
- Hungary – AXN, HBO
- Iceland – Skjár Einn
- India – FX, Zee Café
- Ireland - Seasons 1 and 2 available on UPC On-Demand. Formerly on Channel 6.
- Israel – HOT3, HOT3 HD, HOT V.O.D
- Italy – Italia 1 / Jimmy
- Japan – Fox
- Kosovo – Kujtesa
- Latvia – TV6, SET
- Lithuania – TV3, TV6
- Malaysia – Banned
- Mexico – Warner Channel
- Netherlands – Comedy Central, HBO
- New Zealand – TV3
- Norway – TV 2 (Norway)
- Poland – TVN, TVN HD, HBO, HBO HD, Universal Channel, Comedy Central
- Portugal – RTP2, FOX
- Romania – HBO Romania
- Russia – DTV, MTV (Блудливая Калифорния), Channel One (Russia) (Калифрения)
- Spain – FDF
- Serbia – AXN
- Slovenia – POP TV
- South Africa – DStv, SABC
- Singapore - FX (Asia)
- Sweden – TV4
- Switzerland – RTS Un in (French) / SRG SSR in (French and German)
- Turkey – ComedyMax
- Ukraine – 1+1
- United Kingdom – Not currently on any network
- Venezuela – Warner Channel
- Uganda - DStv
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- Official website
- Californication at the Internet Movie Database
- Californication at TV.com
- Californication at Yahoo! TV