R16: sex scenes, sexual content, drug use and offensive language
This page outlines how the classification criteria were applied. We do our best to discuss the content while avoiding spoilers, but please avoid reading this information if you do not want to learn anything about the content of this TV series.
Date registered: 15/08/2014
Californication is an American drama/comedy series which follows Hank Moody, a New York writer based in Los Angeles. The series focuses on Frank's dissolute lifestyle and many relationships with various women.
Hank has a difficult relationship with his young teenage daughter Becca. Other key characters include Becca's mother Karen, Hank's agent Charlie and his wife Marcy. This series introduces Levon, who is Frank's long lost son, and his mother Julia.
Sexual innuendo, references and sex scenes are scattered extensively throughout all six episodes. The references and innuendo are quite crude, although humorous, banter around the character's sexual experiences. The sexual material is strong in impact and adult in nature. It is usually employed to humorous effect. It takes a degree of maturity to understand and correctly contextualise.
The publication contains several scenes of incidental cannabis use. The publication associates cannabis use with a desirable lifestyle and attractive characters. As such the publication indirectly promotes cannabis use to a moderate degree.
The publication contains regular use of highly offensive language. The language is regularly used to refer to sexual activity. The publication also contains occasional instances of offensive language being used as terms of disparagement.
The dominant effect of the publication is a smart and mature TV series featuring irreverent humour about adult relationships, sex and the effects of bad behaviour.
The unrestricted availability of this publication would be injurious to the public good given the manner in which it deals with matters of sex, crime and highly offensive language. The publication deals extensively with adult sexual material which is likely to adversely affect impressionable children and younger teenagers who are still in the process of forming attitudes and behaviours towards sexuality.
The publication is moderately promotional of drug use. Younger teenagers are likely to have their attitudes towards drug use influenced by this material. Older teenagers and adults are more likely to approach this type of material with a more complete understanding of the law and likely consequence of drug use. Highly offensive language is likely to cause serious harm to children by inuring them to such language and encouraging them to use it for themselves.
The publication is classified as objectionable except if the availability of the publication is restricted to persons who have attained the age of 16 years.
The classification limits the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. However, given the considerations above, the decision is reasonable, justified and the minimum required to prevent injury to the public good.
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