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Television
John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV


Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

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?


11 Comments:

at 6/11/2007 12:59 AM Blogger Barb Hudson said...

IT SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
at 6/11/2007 6:11 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

No will not watch John in Cincinnati.

Watched the previews. Looks really bad. Shame this took the place of "The Sopranos". I'm considering getting rid of my HBO now that there is nothing to watch on the Channel.

 
at 6/11/2007 4:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent show! I can't wait until it's "On Demand" later this week to watch it again.

"Filling" the Sopranos timeslot isn't like filling Friends timeslot, or Seinfelds, The Sopranos may have had that slot - when it was on - but really, because of it's schedule, most weeks somethign else was on.

John is the cause of the miaculous things that begin to happen to the Yosts, and I can't wait to find out why, or how!

 
at 6/11/2007 4:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

some interesting characters. slow moving first episode. will watch a few more before i pass final judgement. hoping for the best!

also, watching the surf scenes in HD is pretty cool.

 
at 6/11/2007 8:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

watched john from cincinnati. Didnt like it at all.

 
at 6/12/2007 12:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It could have f'ing used a few f'ing more f-words. 'Cuz that's how people f'ing talk. It's f'ing real, you know, you f-er?

 
at 6/12/2007 4:54 PM Blogger Michael said...

First of all, the show was awesome...one of tthe greatest pilot episodes that has graced HBO's airwaves, and that's saying a lot.

Secondly, the people who didn't like it are probably the same mainstream idiots who took three years of people talking about the Sopranos before they started watching it and claiming they loved it. Sheep, basically. To say that now that Sopranos (which has been getting more and more stale over the past few years) is off the air, there is nothing to watch on HBO is just plain retarded.

These kinds of people are only comfortable with the types of shows that they've seen before. Too intellectually dull to embrace something original.

 
at 6/14/2007 8:22 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Intelligent television does not use profanity in every sentence -- it loses something.

Not sure where this is going -- a bit slow -- nothing to compare to other HBO series like Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Sex in the City, or Big Love for that matter.

I say it's gone after 6 shows.

 
at 6/15/2007 9:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll watch a few more episodes but wasn't really blown away. The characters come across as sleazey self absorbed whiners. Maybe, I just can't grasp the passion of surfing. The stakes don't seem high enough. If John from Cincinnati wants to help someone, why pick these people?
Also, are people really that put off by the use of off color language? I'll agree that bad language can often be a tool of poor acting, but I didn't see any of that here.

 
at 6/21/2007 10:56 AM Anonymous Wendy from San Antonio said...

The "stars" of the show TOTALLY OVER ACT. Especially Rebecca D. I think she is terrible in the show. It is almost unwatchable because of her. I am still undecided on the show. I love Butchie's character. I like everyone's but Mitch and Sissy. Get rid of those two speed up the pace and they may have a hit.

 
at 8/15/2007 11:11 AM Anonymous Sandy Winnette said...

I love the show..my husband and I think it is great.
We love the sopranos and never missed a show..these writers are great and with John? I think it is very spiritual and the intuitive side is great, but..I am one of those psychic personalities.
Love it..will miss it..and for those of you who dont get it..you will in time. There are over 70% of the people who have intuitive spiritual experiences and we get John..
love him and cast..

 
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