Are You Watching John From Cincinnati?
After Tony Soprano exits TV tonight -- dead or alive -- "John from Cincinnati" ventures into HBO households. Obviously, HBO thinks very highly of "John from Cincinnati," from "Deadwood" creator David Milch, to debut at 10 p.m., after "The Sopranos" finale. It takes over "The Sopranos" 9 p.m. Sunday slot next week.
So let the debate begin: Is "John from Cincinnati" the next great thing for HBO, or all of television? Some reviewers think so. On the other hand, Tom Shales of the Washington Post calls the latest from the "Deadwood" creator nothing but dead air.
I've had the benefit of seeing the first three shows. I found them interesting, but not compelling. I'll watch the next couple to see what we learn about this mysterious, mystical guy named John (Austin Nichols) who shows up out of nowhere at the Southern California surfing border town of Imperial Beach. And to see if the three generations of the Yost surfing family ever figures out that John is the reason for weird things happening -- Mitch (Bruce Greenwood) levitates, a dead bird comes back to life, etc. (Gee, I was hoping "Homer from Louisville" would have a similar magical impact on the Reds after his Friday debut, but the bullpen relapsed Saturday night into the same old same old.)
John, the character, is fun to watch. He's a confused infant in a grown-up's body. (Is he an alien? A Christ? Mentally retarded?) In tonight's show, when he rides in a SUV, he sticks he head out the window into the breeze like a dog. Most of what he says he repeats from what he's just heard. I figure he'll change the lives of the Yost family because they'll alter their behavior after hearing him repeat their statements about wanting to get high, or kill someone, etc. But I'm not sure this new Mork from Ork, in a TV drama about the surfing culture (certainly not mainstream America), will have wide appeal. HBO's "Deadwood" and "Rome" certainly had cult audiences, but they didn't captivate the country like Tony Soprano & Co.
John's favorite line, when he doesn't know the answer to a question, is: "Some things I know, and some things I don't." Will "John from Cincinnati" be the next must-see "Sopranos?" I'm not sure it will, but it could catch on in a summer filled with nothing but reality TV. So I guess this John from Cincinnati should just say, "Some things I know, and some things I don't."
I want to hear what you think about "John from Cincinnati." After you watch, post your comments and reviews here. I'm curious to see what people think of this one. Did you like it? Like it enough to watch again?