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Old 06-11-2007, 07:21 PM   #1
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'John from Cincinnati' Surf's Up

Quote:


'John from Cincinnati': The Kahuna has spoken

O mighty oracle David Milch. Let's go through your resume, shall we? We have "Hill Street Blues," followed by "NYPD Blue," and then, most recently, "Deadwood." This gives me hope that somehow, sometime, "John from Cincinnati" will pull together and make some kind of sense. Sure, HBO's latest has all of Milch's rat-a-tat-tat mellifluously profane chatter -- which is worthwhile just to listen to, kind of like poetry read aloud -- but anything that's presented under the guise of narrative television needs to be something more than free verse.

Here's the cut-and-dried story told by the pilot: The Yost family, a surfing dynasty in Imperial Beach, California, is tres screwed up. Patriarch Mitch Yost, played by Bruce Greenwood, is a retired surfing legend dealing with a blown out knee, his brittle wife, Cissy (Rebecca De Mornay), and a son, Butchie, (Brian Van Holt) who traded his incredible surfing talent for the vibrant, glamorous life of a junkie.

What's currently dividing the clan is that Mitch's grandson Shaun (Greyson Fletcher) is yearning to test his surfing genes on the professional circuit and needs to get to Huntington Beach for a competition, where skeezy sponsors are swarming. (The fact that this means De Mornay, 48, is presented as old enough to have a teenage grandson defies even my wee math skills.) But all that seems so mundane, right? So throw in the mysterious John of the title, a demiaustistic Bible-alluding Greek chorus (portrayed by Austin Nichols) that follows around the Yost clan, and Butchie's flophouse/no-tell motel being sold out from underneath him to a guy he tormented with a broomstick when he was a kid (and now has a stuffed teddy bear to keep him company), as well as Mitch's possible brain tumor (or surfer's ear, or a Messiah complex, as he hasn't been to a doctor yet to be officially diagnosed, you see) that is causing him to levitate.

The actors, across the board, are engaging -- even the bit players like family friends played by Ed O'Neill, Luis Guzman and Willie Garson stand out with just a few lines -- and the surfing footage is Endless Summer-riffic. So what's the whole of these parts? Is it performance art from Milch or a cohesive story? We shall see.

I live among some surf trash
and other life forms

I am happy they got some tweakers
on this show
instead of just "The O C" nonsense.
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:52 PM   #2
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Yeah, I watched this last night as I was dozin' off but I just thought, oh, another stupid series...I mean, did you watch?
can you really get into any of these characters ? Al Bundy as a frustrated retired detective that attempts continued control of everything and everyone around him...

Bogus surf footage...I mean, when does a 1/2 foot swell become a hardbreaking 8' foot curl...with a 8-year kid doing repeated switchback?

If I'm gonna watch this, Rebecca de Mornay is gonna have show more than just naked shoulders...
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:55 PM   #3
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I'll give it a few more episodes, but it didn't wow me...
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Old 06-11-2007, 08:07 PM   #4
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I stopped watching it after 10 minutes.
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Old 06-11-2007, 08:11 PM   #5
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I watched some of it, but it was weird.
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Old 06-11-2007, 08:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. BAW
Yeah, I watched this last night as I was dozin' off but I just thought, oh, another stupid series...I mean, did you watch?
can you really get into any of these characters ? Al Bundy as a frustrated retired detective that attempts continued control of everything and everyone around him...

Bogus surf footage...I mean, when does a 1/2 foot swell become a hardbreaking 8' foot curl...with a 8-year kid doing repeated switchback?

If I'm gonna watch this, Rebecca de Mornay is gonna have show more than just naked shoulders...
the kid is supposed to be 13 and is 13, I think

and the kid really does surf

Butchie / I have come across a few like him


I think John and the lotto winner are some how connected and not "regular" people

and I will be looking / hoping for more of Rebecca, also

I will watch a bit more

I am pretty patient
I usually give them 3 strikes before they are out
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Old 06-12-2007, 12:43 PM   #7
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I loved the opening--great music, great visuals/editing. I'm waiting to see if the show will live up to its opening. In general the surfing culture is of zero interest to me so the writing and character development have to be excellent to hold my attention. I was at least amused by the John character, not so amused by the other screwed up, angry people.
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:08 PM   #8
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I read quite a bit online

critics have seen the first 3 episodes

and it does jell a bit more

but not completely

It took Deadwood 4-5 episodes to hit it's stride

But if you are a Milch, Deadwood fan this will not be as satisfying

My guess is that it will be better than "Jericho" and the only reason I watched that is because I got invested in the characters / story line just by catching the episodes

my advice, approached this series with modest expectations and there will be rewards, most likely modest, but if we are lucky there could be a better payoff
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep


It took Deadwood 4-5 episodes to hit it's stride
I didn't make it that far with Deadwood and was surprised that it turned out to have so many devoted fans. I gave up too quickly.

I'll stick with John for a few episodes--the opening warrants repeated viewings at least--and we'll see what happens. I've still got all of this season's Lost to catch up on, too, on DVR and not much time these days for TV so it has to be good.
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:28 PM   #10
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I really want to like this show so I think I'll give it a few more episodes. I'm thinking I should watch the first one again too, maybe I just missed something or I was too tired to pay attention the first time I watched it
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:48 PM   #11
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here is one critic - making a case for giving it a chance

he seems to agree with some of Mr BAW observations, too.
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Old 06-17-2007, 09:59 PM   #12
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John from Cincinnati

Just was wondering everyone's take on this show.. I am baffled at the storyline.. Still trying to figure or get an idea of what it's all about. Is John a alien? Or angel? And what's the deal with the bird and Ed O'Neil's character.. I have watched both episodes and am stumped..

Guess I gotta watch a few more to see if this series is any good..
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:49 PM   #13
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Sorry to bump up this old thread. But has anyone figured out this show yet??

To me its just weird. I keep saying I'm done watching but I sort of want to know what the whole point of it is now!

Deadwood was my favorite show. Looks to me like the writers ran out of ideas when Deadwood was cancelled.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blue Room
Sorry to bump up this old thread. But has anyone figured out this show yet??

To me its just weird. I keep saying I'm done watching but I sort of want to know what the whole point of it is now!

Deadwood was my favorite show. Looks to me like the writers ran out of ideas when Deadwood was cancelled.

yep I am right there with you on this.. I still don't have any idea what the show is all about.. yet I keep watching..
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:05 AM   #15
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what a shame.. folks.. show has been cancelled already...

Say goodbye to 'John from Cincinnati'

LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- The wave has crashed for "John From Cincinnati." A day after its first-season finale, HBO on Monday canceled the dark surfing drama.


"John from Cincinnati," starring Bruce Greenwood as the leader of a surfer family, never caught on.

Labeled by critics as "strange," "weird" and "unlikable," "John" never clicked with viewers despite a strong marketing campaign and such well-known leads as Rebecca De Mornay and Bruce Greenwood.

For the few devoted fans of the show, which David Milch ("Deadwood") created with "surf noir" author Kem Nunn, the mysterious final line in the season finale -- John saying, "Mother of God, Cass-Kai" over a shot of Kai (Keala Kennelly) surfing -- will remain just that, a mystery.

Meanwhile, HBO is yet to decide the fate of its other summer freshman series, the comedy "Flight of the Conchords."

It's been a rough summer for HBO, while basic cable networks have launched a slew of hit new series -- USA Network's "Burn Notice," Lifetime's "Army Wives" and TNT's "Saving Grace," all renewed for a second season.

HBO's upcoming series include the drama "In Treatment," the comedy "12 Miles of Bad Road" and "True Blood," the recently picked-up vampire drama by "Six Feet Under" creator Alan Ball.

HBO is a unit of Time Warner, as is CNN.
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