Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Flag Next Entry
Yellow head
I don't watch much TV, but what I do watch tends, these days, to be from the US: just a handful of shows, which include The Shield, The Wire, Lost, and Deadwood. My latest favourite is John From Cincinnati, David Milch's follow-up to, Deadwood. John From Cincinnati is a wonderful show, sadly already cancelled, after a mere ten episodes. This doesn't surprise me, as this show, a strange mixture of family drama, surfing, and mysticism, is often difficult to follow and offers no easy answers to its mysterious questions.

In a sense, John From Cincinnati, is a familiar idea: a dysfunctional family is visited by a strange, stranger, who proceeds by his influence to correct the ills of the family. As the series progresses, this benign influence begins to extend, not only to the surrounding community, but out, it is hinted, to the rest of the planet as well.

The mysterious John Monad, with his comically expressive face, described by another character, as "A tall drink of water with a poodle hair cut," appears apparently from nowhere, doesn't know how to shake hands or cross a road safely, but is able to produce out of his previously empty pocket, a roll of money, a credit card (with unlimited credit on it), and a phone (with infinite minutes). Strange things happen during his visit: a man begins to levitate, a dead bird returns to life, a brain-damaged boy is healed. John is not able to talk directly about himself or the events he puts into motion, he can only repeat back in variations what others have said to him, creating much Johnspeak: quotable and oft-repeated phrases, which he's obliged to fall back on.

Not for the casual viewer, John From Cincinnati, demands concerted attention. It is often annoyingly inscrutable, but it is also amusing, tender, and heartrending. The innocent John, contrasts sharply with the very fallible humans who make up the rest of the extended cast, enhancing the otherworldly quality that the character has. This strange white figure has already, at least in my mind, become a TV classic character. It's sad that we'll never see him again.

  • 1
oh that sounds good, I love shows like that. I see Rebecca de Mornay and Luke Perry are in it too. Is it on normal TV anywhere? I don't have Sky, only Freeview.

It was on HBO in the states and I saw it through the wonder of the internet, via a site which has now vanished. Whether any broadcaster in Britain will buy it I couldn't say.

oh well. Maybe it will end up here one day, probably 11.30 on a Monday night or something like they seem to do with all the good US shows.

"John From Cincinnati" is a gem of a show, a treasure, and it's ahead of its time.

HBO, while struggling to reclaim its status as THE cable network for Original Series, had the right instincts when they aired it. Sadly, they lost their nerve and canceled it, even though it had over 3.8 million viewers total. I lay the blame on the biased and disgruntled entertainment critics for its demise (most of whom were still smarting and whining over Deadwood's premature cancellation, and for the unfulfilled promise of the two movies which were slated to wrap up the series) who never gave it an objective shot, and those biased a$$hats buried the most revolutionary and inspiring show that network (or any network) has ever seen.

Please help the Monadistas spread the word about our effort at SaveJFC.net, and help us to bring this innovative and inspiring show back, and to help get HBO back in the game.

I'm told the internet is big.


I read somewhere that the ratings dropped down as far as one million. Credit to HBO for making the series in the first place. Who else would have? I don't know Butchie instead.

  • 1