Stephen Tobolowsky and Pamela Adlon Stephen Tobolowsky and Pamela Adlon

Jeers to Californication for sucking up to the hand that feeds it — Showtime.

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In the inexplicably long-running smutcom's fourth season, the grotesque Marcy Runkle (Pamela Adlon) is being romanced by big-time Hollywood producer Stu Beggs (Stephen Tobolowsky, aka Groundhog Day's Ned Ryerson, wasting his talent). He convinces her to pitch a TV series to — you guessed it — Showtime, because it's supposedly even cooler than HBO and FX. Marcy praises Nurse Jackie and they visit the cabler's offices, where she's surrounded by posters of Weeds, Dexter, The United States of Tara — practically every Showtime series except Californication and its lead-outs, Episodes and Shameless.

The show-within-the-Showtime is inspired by Marcy's experiences as a genital waxer to the stars, although, as she crassly points out, "I don't do balls." After a shaky start to the pitch meeting, the execs warm to the idea. Hey, it can't be worse than Californication! I'm sure the producers thought they were being "meta," but the result was more "meh"-ta.

Were you shocked by Californication's gratuitous product placement?

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