Californication: Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot (13 Aug. 2007)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Comedy, Drama
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 1,400 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 3 critic

Meet Hank Moody, a depressed writer with a writer's block who has a daughter, an ex he wants back and lots of casual sex.



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Title: Pilot (13 Aug 2007)

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Episode cast overview:
Nun / Heather
Man on Cell Phone
Tattooed Millionaire
Miriam T. Green ...
Alison Mei Lan ...
Hot Woman
Drunk Kid
Michael H. Barnett ...
Gawky Dweeb


A one-night-stand causes writer Hank Moody to be late in meeting his 12-year-old daughter Becca at home, much to the disgust of ex-girlfriend Karen. Then, a romp with a hot bookstore shopper will upend Hank's life in ways he could never imagine. After Becca sneaks out to a party, Hank and Karen go in search of their daughter. Later, Hank and Karen have a heart-to-heart where he admits he wants her back, but she reveals she's engaged to another man and is moving on. Written by Showtime

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

13 August 2007 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Seven advertisers, including Burger King, Finish Dishwashing Liquid, CRC, Cadbury, Flight Center, Ferrit, and the Ministry Of Economic Development all pulled their advertising from the show after this pilot aired in New Zealand. See more »


After picking up Becca from the party, Hank and Karen have a glass of wine together. The camera shows Karen pouring herself a glass of wine and then Hank's. The camera switches to Hank and then back to Karen, where she is shown pouring her glass of wine again. See more »


[first lines]
Hank Moody: [to Jesus] Hey, big guy, you and me. We've never done this before but desperate times call for desperate measures. My name is Hank.
Nun: Hello, Hank.
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References America's Next Top Model (2003) See more »


Written by Mike Patton, Dan Nakamura
Performed by Peeping Tom
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User Reviews

He ain't Fox Mulder anymore, that's for certain...
9 September 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

It looked like poor old David Duchovny was destined to be associated with Fox Mulder forever: not only did his plan to leave the series during its last two seasons to focus on his movie career backfire (nothing of substance came around, so he returned for the X-Files finale), but even before he took the role his most notable screen appearance had been a guest spot on Twin Peaks as a cross-dressing FBI agent. It was gonna take something radical to shake off the US government, conspiracy theories and the largely platonic love story with Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). Fortunately, that something came in the shape of Californication, Showtime's new hit comedy with so much sex, drugs and rock 'n roll (at least judging from the first episode) it makes Sex and the City (on which both Duchovny and co-star Evan Handler appeared) look a bit sheepish.

The heart of the show is Hank Moody (Duchovny), a writer who's experiencing a mid-life crisis: his one hit book, God Hates Us All, has become a cheesy romantic comedy starring Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (go figure) and he can't think of a decent subject for his next project. Also, his ex (Natasha McElhone), is marrying some other guy, with their 12-year old daughter Becca (Madeleine Martin) caught in the middle, and his agent (Handler) is suggesting he write a blog. How does he deal with his problems? Smoking lots of cigarettes and sleeping with every woman in sight.

The purest joy of Californication comes from the writing: acerbic, poignant and funny. The show's creator, Tom Kapinos, who previously worked on Dawson's Creek (hence the Katie Holmes joke), uses his characters to spit venom at any topic, mostly sex-related. There are no taboos, as proved by the very first scene: Hank enters a church, puts out his cigarette in Holy Water and starts talking to the Almighty before receiving oral sex from a nun ("Sweet baby Jesus, Hank is going to Hell"). As it turns out, it's all a dream, but the sheer irreverence of the whole thing, complete with Gospel version of "We Can't Always Get What We Want" on the soundtrack, is what stands out in what could have been another sanitized sitcom. Surprisingly, given Kapinos' background in teen dramas, Becca comes off as the most stereotyped of the main characters, though not as heavily as James Woods' on-screen daughter in Shark. Besides, why nag about her when everyone else is just fine, especially Handler who gets to be even more outrageously amusing than he was in Sex and the City.

And there's Duchovny: uninhibited, fearless, shameless and charismatic as hell. He's not afraid to show he's aged since The X-Files ended, and he's also very happy to play Hank as the anti-Mulder - a down-to-Earth, self-loathing, womanizing loser. Of course, like most movie or TV losers, he has an offbeat charm that makes it impossible to hate him and justifies the Golden Globe he won for the first season.

Funny, sexy and provocative, Californication looks set to be, alongside Weeds and Dexter, the ultimate proof of Showtime's ability to rival HBO. Based on this episode alone, the other 11 of Season One are gonna be a treat.

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