"Back in 1975 “Shampoo” was a farce, a Hollywood sex comedy with Warren Beatty as its promiscuous, ingenuous hero. Showtime’s new series “Californication” is more of a dirge, a Hollywood sex tragedy with David Duchovny as its promiscuous, cynical hero…Mr. Duchovny is not the problem; this former star of “The X-Files” somehow manages to inject some humor and occasional flashes of roguish charm into a boring script and thankless part…“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." - (New York Times) " "Californication," written by Tom Kapinos ("Dawson’s Creek"), isn’t so much ha-ha funny as it is surprising in one particular plot twist and sad in the way Hank longs to get back with Karen, who’s about to marry someone else." - (Pittsburgh Post Gazette) "Seeking the same jaunty, jaundiced tone as Showtime’s "Weeds" — while incorporating attention-grabbing helpings of nudity and sex — the premiere is watchable but not fully arousing, often feeling as clenched, dour and indecisive as its brooding protagonist…Hank doesn’t need to be likable any more than Tony Soprano did, but watching him stagger through the premiere — drinking too much, rudely insulting a fix-up by his agent (Evan Handler) and bedding women who are all inappropriate in various ways — makes it increasingly difficult to care about his fate." - (Variety) " "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. In this series, writer Tom Kapinos can be, if only vicariously, fearlessly and painfully honest with a variety of pretentious people. The aptly named Moody is honest to a fault, except with himself." - (Hollywood Reporter) "David Duchovny’s character descends into "Californication" every which way. He’s a New York novelist of some talent and renown who seldom writes since moving to Los Angeles, instead expending his energy enjoying all the babes this world-renowned babe capital has to offer. At the same time, SoCal’s sun-drenched lifestyle seems to be doing to him precisely what he’s doing to the ladies…Yet the star’s charisma, the droll dialogue, snappy timing and fleetly incisive work from guest performers create a funny, revealing and painfully true moment of the type in which the pilot revels." - (Newsday)"Californication–the best new TV show in a year."(Chicago Sun-Times)"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."(New York Daily News)"The show is not designed to appeal to prudes, but the writing and the acting are too good to be wasted on the prurient."(USA Today)"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."(Boston Globe)"Duchovny possesses the engaging comic empathy skills to make his Left Coast libertine decidedly witty and likable."(Detroit Free Press)"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."(Wall Street Journal)
Compiled by Sarah Outhwaite and Bryon Rudd
The television industry's top news stories, analysis and blogs of the day.
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