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JOHN SHOULD GO BACK TO CINCINNATTI The Final Episode

| posted on July 22, 2010

Much like all of the episode’s I paid for, John From Cincinnati’s (JFC) final episode was a dud, dude. Filled with plot concepts that went nowhere, story lines left frayed, inane ramblings from most all the characters, sub-par acting (surfers being asked to act like surfers – that’s an uphill battle), and characters that I simply don’t care about, the show missed the mark. And I tried, believe me.

I’m probably the only TV viewer in the universe who missed eight seasons of Sopranos, but ponied up for ‘John From Cincinnati.’ Stupid me. I invested in TV’s version of Enron and missed the whole Microsoft quadruple split dealio.

Who is John? No answer. How did baby Yost survive neck trauma? No answer. Why did Mitch Yost levitate? No answer. And why did I pay for this show? No answer.

Nevertheless, when the much anticipated JFC hit the air waves earlier this year, I was determined not to miss an episode. I was going to be the go-to-guy at the water cooler every Monday. Stupid me.

The very first episode left me scratching my head, but still, I was hopeful. All of the “David Milch is a genius” hoopla on the internet had me convinced. I expected there would be some plot CPR or at least a thread that weaves through all of the narrative chicanery. After all, Milch is a genius. Alas, episodes two, three, four, and all the rest just plain left me…thirsty, because I was afraid of the water cooler.

How was I going to explain levitating surfer dad, Mitch, and Jesus-like figurehead, John, who spouts ramblings like a Turret’s Syndrome victim who’s read too much Faulkner? Or how about Cissy Yost sexually abusing her son? If in some coherent way the complexities were more clearly explained by Milch I might have chance. But no. I’m just left with a cable bill – and I’m thirsty.

Who is John? No answer. How did baby Yost survive neck trauma? No answer. Why did Mitch Yost levitate? No answer. And why did I pay for this show? No answer.

To be fair I can’t stop watching JFC. It’s sort of like
Baywatch, or the Cardiff surfer statue. It’s not necessarily bad (ok, Baywatch is bad). It’s just not good, which I imagine makes David Milch happy. The show’s talkative, pretentious manner at times makes one cringe and at other times, as a metaphor for our culture, is quite telling. But mostly it makes me cringe. It’s just not worth the work. Lots to wade through for a lackluster payoff. The final episode was no different.

Apparently, the call has been made; HBO elected to yank the show from the airwaves. Maybe that’s a good thing. Surfers will evade the glow of Hollywood’s spotlight for season 2, but, you know what? I think we might miss having another escapade to complain about.