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Californication (TV post)

Californication is the story of Hank Moody, a writer and semi-recent import to The Golden State straight from The Big Apple. The show follows down-and-out Hank through his sordid encounter, one-nighters and massive cases of writers block. He hates LA, loves his daughter and screws things up with his on-again, off-again significant other constantly. He generally means well, but trouble seems to find Hank no matter what.

In season two, Hank meets Lew Ashby (played by Callum), an eccentric record producer whose wild life of excess puts Hank's to shame. Lew offers Hank a business proposition, and the two forge one hell of a dysfunctional friendship in the process. But dysfunction works for them.

The IMDB page: Californication 2007 - ?

Series creator Tom Kapinos (past works consists of Dawson's Creek and... that's about it) has written 13 of Californication's 24 episodes. A few directors who've worked on the second season include series star, David Duchovney (best know for his character Fox Mulder in the X-Files series), David's brother, Daniel Ducovney, a John Dahl, who also directed the episode The Oath for the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica.

Madeline Zime (Mia Lewis) is probably best know for her role as Grace Sheffield in The Nanny, and Evan Handler (Charlie Runkle) appeared as Harry Goldenblatt in Sex and the City.

Cast / Characters:

David Duchovny
Natascha McElhone
Madeleine Martin
Madeline Zima
Evan Handler
Pamela Adlon
Callum Keith Rennie

Hank Moody
Karen Van Der Beek
Becca Moody
Mia Lewis
Charlie Runkle
Marcy Runkle
Lew Ashby

Year: 2007 - ??

Runtime: 30 minutes


IMDB rating:
8.7/10 (194 votes)

Genre: Comedy / Drama

Keywords: Female Nudity | One Word Title | Sex


2008 Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography for a Half-Hour Series (Pilot episode)
2008 Golden Globes to David Duchovny for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy

2008 Eddie for Best Edited Half-Hour Series for Television
2008 BAFTA TV Award for Best International
2008 Artios for Outstanding Achievement in Casting - Television Pilot - Comedy
2008 Emmy for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series
2008 Golden Globe for Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy
2008 Satellite Award David Duchovny for Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical
2009 Golden Globe David Duchovny for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical
2009 Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing - Short Form Dialogue and ADR in Television
David Duchovny

68 user comments

When I nearly gave up on US TV shows Showtime came along with Dexter and Californication. The latter is one of the rare TV experiences where after every episode you long for more.

Not only is it funny and far from prude but also romantic (this coming from a guy)! True love has never been depicted so well.

Character development is outstanding and Duchovny is doing a great job. His performance feels so natural that it makes you feel that Hank Moody is not far from his character.

Callum Keith Rennie as Rock god Lew Ashby grows on you with every episode. All in all a MUST see!

You can find all the comments here.

Callum Quotient: About 30%. He's in all twelve episodes of season two at some point or another.


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    Hank: I accidentally went down on her.
    Lew: What? How do you accidentally go down on someone.

    Lew: We drove out here together in a piece of shit Mustang that didn’t go in reverse anymore. I was gonna be a Guitar Hero, she was gonna design my stage clothes. I ended up producing; she ended up alone, all the time. She wanted the house… I wanted, uh, the freedom. Sure as fuck got it. Now, I drink what I want, snort what I want, fuck what I want… All I want is her.

    Lew: Back to work, assholes. We're makin' Rock History here. Act accordingly.

    Lew: Whip it out, Moody! One girl, two cocks, ultimate showdown!

    Lew: Heyheyheyhey, no one's judging, no one's judging, baby girl. Some of my favorite humans are sluts.

    Lew: You look like ass!
    Hank: That's funny, because I feel like ass! Ass that's been rid hard and put away wet.

    Lew: Little bit of hate fucking? Always good for the soul.

    Hank: Alright, repeat after me: I will never.
    Lew: I will never.
    Hank: Ever.
    Lew: Ever.
    Hank: Fuck Mia Again.
    Lew: Fuck Mia again.
    Hank: Thank you.
    Lew: Jesus, just sayin' it get me wet.

  • The names of Hank Moody's books ('South of Heaven', 'Seasons in the Abyss', and 'God Hates Us All') are all names of albums by the metal band Slayer.

  • Shooting golf balls out over the canyon? Yeah, totally Callum's idea.

  • Originally, Lew was only supposed to appear in a few episodes of the season, but wound up sticking around for all twelve.

Interesting scenes:

  • Hank and Lew 'fight'. It's pretty damn epic, not to mention absurdly hilarious.

  • Lew strapped to a bed and gagged. No further commentary needed.

  • The Laurel Canyon golf scene. And there's the KILT. And an ACCENT.

  • Lew and Becca Moody have a heart-to-heart. A rare glimpse at the less sleazy side of Lew. It's pretty damn adorable.

  • This one's a massive spoiler so I won't explain it, but if you've seen the show already/don't mind knowing how it ends, WATCH IT(Again). Callum is absolutely amazing and completely heartbreaking.

Do I want to show this to my parents / friends / co-workers?
Poll #1386392 Californication

Overall rating

Four stars! Two thumbs up! And bunches of internet hearts! <333
Better than expected.
Good, but not great
Why, Callum, WHY?!


No Callum's were harmed in the filming of this show.
Who doesn't like late night pillow fights?
Boys will be boys.
What is this, FIGHT CLUB?!


I laughed so hard that I cried.
Pretty damn funny.
I giggled a few times.
I may have cracked a smile. Once.
Not my cup of tea.

Sexual content

It's called CaliFORNICATION, people. Sexual content is promised at the door.

Sexual violence

Not even a little
Does Fucking and Punching (the book) count?
Yeah, some, suggested
And how *squick*
I had to stop watching

Lew Ashby
Poll #1386393 The Great Ashby

Lew Ashby

Shiny, happy Church-going Christian.
Bad boy who means well.
Bad boy with worse intentions.
Average Joe is average.
Oh, look, Callum's killing people again.

How many people does he kill?

None! Way to go, Callum!
He made her get an abortion...
I can keep count on one hand
I used up all my fingers and toes... Can I borrow yours?
He's probably killing one right now!


Picture of perfect mental health.
Everyone has their off days.
No one's completely sane... all of the time...
He's excentric, not crazy.
Bring on the straight jacked and padded walls.


I should NOT find him attracting... and yet.
Me likey.
Eh, he's okay.


Elton John going down on George Michael in a public washroom? Less gay.
He and Hank were so doing it.
If he kissed a boy, I bet he'd like it.
Eh, sex is sex.
Lew + Women = OTP *cries*

Does he die?
You really want to know? Are you sure? Really sure? Well, then. (highlight to read)

::Yes, he does. Poor Lew.::


Rennie lands multiple roles in one
Vancouver character player gets tips from Duchovny on being the star
Glen Schaefer, The Province Published: Sunday, November 23, 2008

Actor Callum Keith Rennie would blend almost anywhere in his black hoodie, jean jacket and black pants -- well, maybe not so much in the posh downtown hotel where we meet during a break in shooting Shattered, a TV cop-drama pilot in which he stars, but certainly on the street outside.

But there's something memorable about Rennie's on-screen blending over a 15-year career -- it seems longer because he's been such an essential piece of every creative puzzle. He was the romantic foil to Sandra Oh in 1994's Double Happiness, and then a key part of the ensemble two years later in the punk-rock road movie Hard Core Logo. He's bounced between Canada (Last Night, eXistenZ) and the U.S. (Memento) ever since, most recently doing the Vancouver-L.A. one-two this year with David Duchovny in the feature X-Files: I Want to Believe and in TV's Californication.

"You don't want to steal focus, you want to participate in the whole of it," Rennie says of his supporting style. "Maybe that's the Canadian in me. I don't want to step on toes."

He had filmed a couple of X-Files TV episodes back in the mid-1990s, small roles for Rennie, but creator Chris Carter brought Rennie back for a major role in the X-Files feature released this summer.

"He brings a rare quality," Carter told me last spring. "He plays a villain but I think he approaches it with a humanity, actually, that makes the character more than it could have been."

Duchovny and Rennie bonded over several late nights filming a chase-and-fight sequence in downtown Vancouver alleys last winter.

Duchovny told Rennie about his series Californication, about a self-loathing, sex-addicted novelist in Hollywood. Duchovny gave him the first season DVDs and asked Rennie if he wanted in on the second season. Rennie agreed to play a volatile record producer who hires the novelist to do his biography. Originally there for just a couple of episodes, Rennie stayed for the whole season, currently airing in Canada on the Movie Network.

"[The writers] had a vague idea of what they were going for, they were writing as we went along, so that was exciting," Rennie says. "It was adult themes, people's dilemmas about art and selling out. What was great was to come up with ideas, say: 'David, you know what might be funny?' Then an episode or two later it's there."

Rennie, a four-rounds-a-week golfer in his days off, came up with a sequence with the two characters smacking balls over the mansions into L.A.'s Laurel Canyon.

"I thought we needed more scenes where we weren't at each other, or that weren't woman-related, just doing something mindless."

Rennie was impressed at how the star set the tone on Californication's set. The two would goof off between scenes by throwing stuff into trash cans, keeping a daily score.

"David runs the show in a great way -- a cohesive, fast-moving thing. Good ideas won the day."

From here. (goes on for a page more about Callum's role in Shattered)

'Californication': Journey to the end of the night (SPOILERS)

The inevitable arrived too soon on Sunday night's “Californication,” as Lew Ashby walked up his final flight of stairs. The clues, of course, had been there all along: the big house, the fancy parties, the guest of honor who never showed. He was Jay Gatsby wrapped in a rock-'n'-roll world. He was outwardly bold while inwardly broken. He was.

Yes, Ashby is now gone, his particular exit coming by way of a drug overdose. Or so we think.

This week, the phone-call postmortems that sometimes occur among my friends began like this: “Wait, so did he really die?” asked the first caller, referring to the tease of a Hank-Ashby conversation in the scenes-from-the-next-episode segment at the end of the show. I hadn't actually seen this when he called, though, as A) my early screener DVD thankfully didn't include this, and B) I tend to avoid scenes-from-the-next-episode segments anyway. I prefer to be surprised. But the ending of this one seemed pretty clear and definite, and let us remember that Hank is a man who imagines and dreams, and we the audience are often allowed into this sliver of his mind. That's my guess here as well. I don't anticipate a true resurrection.

The second postmortem call went like so: “Man, I'm actually kinda broken up about Lew.”

In a weird way, me too.

Even though I've had my issues with the Lew Ashby (Callum Keith Rennie) character and storyline this season, I'd finally begun to dig the guy a little bit, right there at the end. His puppy-dog love for his new buddy Hank (David Duchovny) -– once we wafted our way past the haze of hookers and blow –- had actually grown into something both endearing and funny.

Then on Sunday, he put a Band-Aid to Becca's scarred heart with that sweet speech to her in the bathroom. He went a step further a little later, becoming the fall guy for the Rolling Stone reporter who sniffed Hank as the older man in Mia's-but-really-Hank's new memoir. Never mind that the whole stolen-book storyline has been a big swing-and-miss this season (every time it comes up, I get an uncomfortable “oh yeah, that happened” kind of reflex); Ashby taking that bullet for Hank was one heck of a gesture.

Even Karen (Natascha McElhone) warmed to Lew by party's end, and delivered these prophetic words, which pretty much sum up my view of the Ashby character:

“Lew, it was a truly disastrous party. But you know what? I underestimated you. In the heat of battle, you've shown through, your true colors.”

“Wow, true praise,” he grinned. “I better leave on that note.”

And so he did, going up his stairway to heaven or hell. Downstairs, though, Janie Jones had arrived. Finally. She tried to convince Hank that she'd come for him, but he quickly and excitedly bolted upstairs to tell Lew that she'd come to his house.

And in a tremendous scene between Duchovny and Rennie, Hank clapped his hands excitedly, calmed Ashby's nerves, fixed his hair and provided the ultimate pep talk.

“I'm only going to say this once, so I want you to listen, alright? No matter what you did, don't give up. Do. Not. Give. Up.”
“Because if she loves you, she'll forgive you.”
“You really believe that?”
“I have to. Otherwise there's no point. There is no life without love. Not one worth having anyway.”

Lew was ready. Only, he needed one last hit to calm his nerves. Instead, it stopped his heart.

Even though Ashby's character was so clearly modeled after Gatsby -- thus giving me a hunch that an early death was a real and probable possibility –- I'd long suspected that if it came, it would have been in next week's season finale. But alas, it arrived now and perhaps a moment too soon. You see, I wanted so badly to witness that scene -– Lew and Janie, facing each other again. But then he fell, while his lovely lady waited downstairs. Sort of David Chase-lite? Perhaps.

“There's always a next time,” Ashby said at one point during the party. Until there wasn't.

From here.


r_vecchio posted fic here. (Hank breaks up a makeout session between Lew and Mia and then the boys bicker like an old married couple.)

I commited picspam here. grey853 and waltzforanight did a little picspamming of there own here and here


Season one is available at most retailers. Season two, while not out on DVD yet, is available for pre-order at Amazon.

Final Thoughts:

Come for Callum, stay for the fantastic show and insane yet somehow endearing characters.

I think Californication is definitely an acquired taste. It's gritty and raw, but beneath all the sex and crudeness, the drug use and... yet more sex, there's a great little show with a lot of heart. It's hilarious and heartbreaking, and though I only started watching for Callum, the series really won me over and is now firmly set as one of my favorite television shows.

Lew Ashby is an AMAZING character, and it was a joy watching Callum bring him to life on the screen.

In conclusion: BOOTS! GOLF! KILT! unf!


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 19th, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
Nikki! This is an awesome post! ♥ ♥ ♥

Madeline Zime (Mia Lewis) is probably best know for her role as Grace Sheffield in The Nanny

Right. Yes. That. Was I the only one who felt dirty after finding out? Just asking.

Keywords: Female Nudity | One Word Title | Sex

That's it? THAT'S IT? O.O What about male nudity? JUST ASKING!

You cheated on the pictures! And SMART cheating! \c/

Act accordingly.

♥ ♥ ♥

# Shooting golf balls out over the canyon? Yeah, totally Callum's idea.

It so totally was. In a KILT. ♥

And O.M.G. You put in clips? That's so awesome! Do you have more? I was just recently (like, two days ago) raiding your LJ for clips because I need to make unhurt watch the rest of Californication. Or at least the rest of the Lew scenes. You understand this is important.

The second postmortem call went like so: “Man, I'm actually kinda broken up about Lew.”

In a weird way, me too.

God, yes. Me too. And I read around in websites I don't normally don't give a damn about, like the IMDB forums. The only forum on the internet (to my knowledge) where they get even close to the rudeness and stupidity that's YouTube comments. And, wow, even there. People I don't even know mourned a CKR character. And you know how rare that is. Sigh. (In favour of the IMDB forums, they have a big DD fan there, and she kind of rules the forum. In this case? A good thing.)

And! I missed that second article! Thank you!

Come for Callum, stay for the fantastic show and insane yet somehow endearing characters.

Yesss. \c/
Apr. 19th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)
YAY!!! \o/

Right. Yes. That. Was I the only one who felt dirty after finding out? Just asking.

No. No, you are not. I KNEW she looked familiar when I first saw her and then when I found out where I knew her from, I missed not knowing XD

That's it? THAT'S IT? O.O What about male nudity? JUST ASKING!

I KNOW! Whoever's in charge of making those list should be taken up on charges of FAIL immediately.

I did cheat! HA! But look at the faaaaace! Also? I can get away with it because I come bearing more clips for you? :D I'm pretty sure I linked all the ones I've made there.

And Lew was mourned on facebook. Clearly, the character was all kinds of epic.
Apr. 19th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
I KNEW she looked familiar when I first saw her and then when I found out where I knew her from, I missed not knowing XD

*nodsnods* ExACTly. /c\

I did cheat! HA! But look at the faaaaace!

I knooww. I did! I do! (Awww.)

And ooooh, more clips! You are definitely forgiven. Even if you hadn't been, you know. Already. ♥

And yeah, I remember that facebook thing. Weird things... (But honest, IMBD? In this case? Bigger. They are all kinds of asshole-ish and wanky over there. It's quite fascinating.)
Apr. 19th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
omg, the facebook thing. What's with all the blind people? Spoiler? Huh?
Apr. 19th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)
Right. Yes. That. Was I the only one who felt dirty after finding out? Just asking.

Me, too. First reaction was like "ewww, Gracie's boobies". But when you think about it, she was raised by a woman who was tying to get into her boss' pants for years. ;)
Apr. 20th, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
True true. Then again, The Nanny wasn't really a fucking and punching kind of show. ;P
Apr. 20th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
I bet there was some fucking and punching going on between Niles and CC once they hooked up. Maybe even before that. She might have caught a glimpse of that.
Apr. 19th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
OMG, how much do i love LEW ASHBY?

it cannot be measured by science.

awesome post, thank you!
Apr. 19th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
He is awesome personified <3

My pleasure! :D
Apr. 19th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
Great article.

And awesome pictures and polls. :D
Apr. 19th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
Oh your icon <3 You have NO idea how many times I've watched that scene, analyzing Hank's apparent strain when he goes to sit on the counter. He winces, has no pants and Ashby's making him breakfast. JUST SAYING.

Apr. 19th, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC)
As many times as I did? Well, maybe even more.

But yeah. I really love that scene, too. Obviously, or else I would not have turned it into an icon. Or at least not used that icon.

I should go to bed. I start making less sense than usual.
Apr. 19th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
Nnnngh. He should take his shirt off and use that accent more. Like, all the time.
Apr. 20th, 2009 01:06 am (UTC)
Ummm. Yes please? :D
Apr. 20th, 2009 12:59 am (UTC)
*smoooooooooooooooooosh* I love Lew so much!!! And you picked all my favorite scenes for "Interesting scenes"! Maybe also the dinner party at Hank's, where Becca does the Satanist thing and Lew thinks she's the coolest ever (because she is). Lew and Becca were always awesome, and Hank/Lew is my OTP. *sigh*
Apr. 20th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
He is lovable! I adore the dinner scene. Especially his little "Hail Satan!". Oh, Lew <333 He really needed more scenes of adorable with The Becca.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 20th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's definitely not for everyone. But as long as feelings for it can be put aside so one can fully appreciate Callum's HOT, then all is right in the world :P
Apr. 20th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
Eeee I have so much love for Lew Ashby! Honestly, I wouldn't have watched any of Californication if Callum hadn't been in it, but it was a good season - kept me sane when my internets went kaput. *g*

Rennie, a four-rounds-a-week golfer in his days off, came up with a sequence with the two characters smacking balls over the mansions into L.A.'s Laurel Canyon.

Naturally. ;)

Awesome post!
Apr. 20th, 2009 04:58 am (UTC)
aaaaaand now I am about to cry AGAIN. WTF. what IS it about THIS show and THIS character that makes me want to sob over all the time?!?! There are many other characters I love and cry over, but not.. every time I THINK of them.


(I enjoy some of your poll questions. ;P)
Apr. 20th, 2009 05:06 am (UTC)
Wonderful post, thank you so much.

I love Lew Ashby. When the show started I was so sceptical that his character will be just an one-dimensional role to let DD look good. But it wasn't. Lew Ashby developped more and more profile and his role was the second after Hank imho. His chemistry with DD was awesome. His last scene in the show really breaks my heart.

In conclusion: BOOTS! GOLF! KILT! unf!

Apr. 20th, 2009 10:42 pm (UTC)
I wasn't into Californication before Lew came in, and I'm not sure I'll watch the next season. Obviously Callum drew me to it - and I haven't been disappointed, far from it. Neither by the range of acting he had the opportunity to give - from goofy-sleazy-dorky-kinky to dramatic-serious-compassionate ::rockstar, blowjobs! bd! kilts! golf! statued! band-aiding Becca! hollywood-bowling Karen:: the interaction with DD was great too. Nor by the show itself - specially loved Becca and also Karen, most of the time. I must admit I was a little too much taken by Lew's arc to pay proper attention to some other characters, say the Runkles - but it was entertaining to say the least.

As for your post, it doesn't disappoint either! I love that you cheated with the pics! and gave us vids to sustain your point (interesting scenes, right!) And all the quotes! Re: awards - Callum really deserved to get one :(
Polls: I was strongly attracted by the Shiny, happy Church-going Christian option, but managed to restrain :)

Callum's interview: ♥ all of it, special mention for "I thought we needed more scenes where we weren't at each other, or that weren't woman-related, just doing something mindless."

And the other review “Man, I'm actually kinda broken up about Lew.” In a weird way, me too. So say we all! *sigh*

Your picspam wins at Lew's love - just wish you'd do more!

All in all, watching Callum in Californication made me happy, and you're so much in love with Lew and with the show that the pleasure is back again full force, thanks!
Apr. 21st, 2009 04:31 am (UTC)
The best role he's done in a long time. Very very VERY happymaking :)

Awesome post!!! <3
Jul. 25th, 2010 07:50 am (UTC)
I started watching the first season and so far I like it :)
Yeah it's...super dirty, but it's funny and interesting.
I can't wait for Lew Ashby in the 2nd season!!
Does he have tons of sex?? God I hope so....
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )



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