11 April 2014 9:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

At times “Californication” feels like the series Showtime never got around to canceling. So the fact the raunchy comedy has reached a seventh and final season characterizes it as a survivor, despite its excesses and occasional bad impulses, much like its flawed protagonist. Alas, the swan-song episodes (and the pay service made all 12 available in advance) is emblematic of what’s been fun about the show but also the balancing weight of what’s wrong with it, including a slightly cloying aspect to the central relationship that makes it hard to care about its outcome.

Part of that has to do with a fundamental problem: A good chunk of “Californication’s” allure for the pay-cable audience has been the way self-destructive writer Hank Moody (star and producer David Duchovny) beds an assortment of spectacular women. So Hank’s pining for Karen (Natascha McElhone), the mother of his daughter, invariably has »

- Brian Lowry

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