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'John From Cincinnati': Papa don't preach

Um, OK.

Johncincy__275 So John and Shaun return from what I can only assume is a Laird Hamilton-style surfing tow-in from heaven, outfitted in stylish camo wetsuits.  Shaun has become as incomprehensible as John when asked about where the duo went.  (He replies "Cincinnati.")  John rambles something to Linc about 9-11-14, like he's suddenly read the Book of Revelation and wants to jabber about it.  Cass films the whole scene with her video camera, which has magic Wi-Fi capabilities.  Other hit men come from Hawaii and wander around.  A TV newscaster recognizes Tina from porn.  And Linc convinces the whole family -- John included -- to sign with Stinkweed and have a parade to celebrate Shaun's return.  Mitch stops levitating after the deal is done, which is good because treatment for levitation is totally not covered under Stinkweed's HMO.

And with that, "John From Cincinnati" throws in the towel.

It appeared from early episodes that Linc was the root of all evil, that he was trying to corrupt the Yost family by co-opting their surfing talents into something mainstream and marketable.  And yet, in this episode, it seems as though John favored the family signing up with Linc because it would help get "his father's" word out.  I know there's a group of X Games moto athletes who call themselves Riders 4 Christ, but for some reason I doubt that's what they were going for in "John."

Actually, I take that back -- I have no idea what they were going for with "John."  Or did I just fall asleep during a critical two-minute explanation of what happened and now I'll be forever in the dark?  It's not good for a show to make viewers question if they were actually conscious for the entire episode.

On top of all this, I went to StinkweedUSA.com, a website that was part of the promotional banners in the scene with the parade.  Yep, it's a Time Warner site (check out the privacy policy) -- and there's exactly one mention of Shaun Yost on the whole thing, as far as I can tell, a reference to his "sprained neck" from an earlier episode.  Baffling.  Was the site not updated when the response to "John" didn't go as swimmingly as hoped?  Or is it an indication that there's an entirely parallel story line that was never explored?

Hey, I guess it's like life.  More questions than answers.

-- Ann Donahue

(Photo courtesy HBO)

Comments () | Archives (80)

Many have said it before, but I have to say it again ... PLEASE BRING BACK 'DEADWOOD'!!!!!

Pat W.

Worst. Show. Ever.

I can't believe I watched 10 hours of this dreg. The journey was uninteresting. The ending was incomprehensible. So many good actors gone to waste. However, the bad acting and hot babes did draw me in.

You hurt me, Dave Milch. You did.

Especially, the meeting of minds between Link and John in the season ender. That conversation sucked whatever joy I get from television. It'll take a month of t.v. cold turkey to recover.

Curse you, Milch.

Mitch was still levitating. That is why both Cissy and Butchie were holding him down at the beach

I love this show..different and wonderful

Too bad the rest of the population can't grasp something so different and give it a chance. They always like it in a bow for them

"It's not good for a show to make viewers question if they were actually conscious for the entire episode."

Oh Ann, that's where you are so, so wrong...

Yes the season finale could have played out several different ways. Yes some of the acting in the final episode was off, however the then again maybe it wasn’t…I enjoyed every episode, I find it entertaining mind bending and fun. The plots sub culture is real, the acting is honest. I applauded the effort of those enlisted without prior experience; I think that they have done a great job (all of them, even Ger.)

Thanks for the effort, I can’t wait tell next season “PLEASE”!!!!

This show is completely worthless. HBO needs to cancel John From Cincinnati immediately. The writers of this show should never be allowed to write another television series for the following reasons: 1) The characters and their roles had absolutely no purpose. 2) The writing from episode to episode got worse and worse. 3) The series had no plot and no conclusion to any of the flimsy storylines. It seemed like a Deadwood reunion on a crappier show. The overall worst part of this show is that after each episode, I found myself wondering why I just wasted an hour of my life with this completely pointless show. My only answer was: because Entourage came on right after.

Yeah, ok Mlle... Don't pretend that this show was marvelous and wonderful and that those who didn't like just "didn't get it". There was nothing to "get".

I watched all 10 episodes. It sucked. Period. End of story (thank God!).

“We must listen to our father’s words...”
Our father? Equals god? Read today's reviews. Quick, lazy and silly reference, mefears.

Oh come on. Has the GW sovereignty really poisoned American thinking all that much?

Scanning the various reviews of the season finale today, I have to hope that the series is not finished. It is so entertaining to watch, to interact with... leaving us wanting so much more.

And too many characters? Heck no. We truly needed to see Wu somewhere in the Cincinnati/IB picture... and while he has abandoned his signature “cocksucker” commentary for Hawaiian mobster slang in this latest stratagem, I am ever so enthused to see him surface once more in the Milch genres; happy to wonder where he will emerge in the next phases of the storyline.

Speaking as a hard core fan of both "John" and the fabulous "Deadwood", it is my duty to assert that we need further episodes. I have to wonder if American television audiences (even on HBO) have reverted into some heartbreaking state of pure stupor, lamely waiting to be spoon fed the answers to all plot lines, movies and television narratives. Case in point: the finale of the Sopranos. Are people truly so brain dead as to require that everything be painstakingly clarified, be explained away, in excruciating detail? Think, imagine and add your musings to the saga. It is art, after all. Can’t be considered complete without the viewer’s input.

Go, go ahead, really. Think, imagine, draw your own conclusions. Please. Please, please, please, I implore of you; audience and reviewers, get more creative, please use your head. Please be more critically analytical than that. Please, I beg of you.

And while we are at it, what about that gray skinned guy with the open sores in the background of certain scenes? John seems to see/refer to him rather often, although nobody else does. John has included this poor decomposing creature in more than one scene, in one instance carrying the poor rotten bloke into a situation, himself. Yeah, the decrepit gray guy who has appeared (among other times) in the bar with Shaun drinking iced tea? Only the epileptic could see them... could see him. Isn’t that... couldn’t it possibly be... John’s father? Or is it just some pivotally plot significant, roaming dead guy, in a parallel existence?

And why, why, why... I need to ask; must Jesus be dragged into every religious discussion whenever somebody levitates? Religion, spirituality... what in the world does that have to do with anything remotely Christian?

More, more. Give us even more next season.

To those of you who hated John: You are part of the problem.

And you definitely voted for Bush, at least once.

Loved it, loved it, loved it. If you don't like to think and question and had rather be spoon fed and paint by numbers, don't watch. I hope for a new season full of signs, wonders, and miracles. I am ready to continue the journey.

I hope that HBO gives this show a second chance. I'm actually enthralled with the characters, the acting, and the constant questions. Lots of people didn't like The Sopranos or Deadwood in the first season. I hate to think that we won't give Milch a chance to continue on this crazy journey

Someone on an HBO forum said it best. This was a show you have to feel more than you need to understand. I understood where Milch was going with this.. and it really sucks that it seems most people didn't feel it too. Was it a perfect series? No. But after last night finale, I'm still running through the dialogue in my head... and, most importantly, I'm still smiling. Way to go, D-Milch!

I think the show is great! Sometimes it is cool to just watch a show for the experience of the show. Not everything has to be a contrived storyline with a beginning, a middle and an end.

This show will keep all of thinking for a while about a lot of issues in our own lives. At the end of the day, isn't that what art is all about?

The show made me want to jump on a board and do a curl...and I don't surf.
I thought the acting was excellent and the cast of characters intreging!

I guess HBO will inflict another season?

This is what happens when Art is confused as boring and entertainment is disdained as mere pandering to the base elements of America.

Thanks HBO for paying more attention to authors in need of a long rest, rather than those of us who deserve some entertainment as we need a rest.

A question: Several people said the show ducked, it was a total waste of time, and that they watched 10 episodes. What am I missing? I've never watched more than one, maybe two to see if the first was a bad start, of a show that I thought sucked ...

WOW...all I can say is WOW...the fact that there is this much discussion of the show, from both the pro and the con is PURE PRIME EXAMPLE of why JOHN FROM CINCINNATI was an amazing show...

...there are so many issues this show touches on...religion, politics, society...and the mural created by the interweaving of the different characters is so magnificent, it doesn't even matter that we're all left wondering just what was going on...it's almost as if that's the point...can anyone honestly say they feel comfortable that they know what's really going on in the world WE ALL live in? It's no less confusing that Imperial Beach, is it? I don't think so...

You have a retired cop and a retiring drug lord joining forces to protect a resurrected symbol of purity...an accomplished and successful doctor turning on the politically influences HMO-laden medical profession to help the weak and the poor...a surfer turned junkie and a groupie turned porn-queen redeeming themselves to become part of the most dysfunctional of all-American families...a surfing legend, versed in Eastern religions who levitates...and a live feed to the "big and huge" of the internet...WHAT MORE DO YOU ZOMBIE-AUTOMATON-AMERICAN IDOL/REALITY TV ADDICTED PEOPLE NEED?

What will it take to compel you to come to art for art's sake, and not to be spoon-fed trite garbage while being sold cellular phone calling plans, and chemical-laden junk food? Is having to think, engage your mind, interact with art really such a horrible thing for you to have to do? If so, I'm afraid John may have been more right than any of us realize..."You will all be toast. Getting dusted won't matter."

This show was brilliant...and even if this is the end, at least there was a helping of closure in the final moments of the season finale...but the potential for where the story can go is so limitless, it would be yet another cancellation-sin on HBO's part...don't even get me started on their unjust early-ending to CARNIVALE and DEADWOOD...ROME could've been a bit longer too, come to think of it...why is always the most beautiful offerings are rewarded with a bite on the feeding hand.


Is there anyway we can petition HBO to drop this show??!!?? It at least wated 5 hours of my life during which I kept hoping to make sense of it all.

I am sure all the "new age" crowd loving it have good reasons to do so, but I am personally over my reefer days so not everything makes sense to a clear mind...

Bring back Deadwood, Rome, Wire, or even Carnival. Please?!? or otherwise you would force me to find my hidden stash once again

Here's what I loved...Joe Strummer's song and the opening credits, Kai's fabulous hair, seeing Rebecca de Mornay tromp around swearing like the goddess of menopause, the magic and of love redemption.
What I hated was the drivel, the too-many one-dimensional characters looking like the Deadwood cast needed patronage jobs, the preaching shrouded in woefully inept enigma and the wandering focii.
I don't feel I wasted my time, but I do feel unsatisfied.
If it's picked up for another season I recommend Mr. Milch work with outside writers for a while.

Brilliant, baffling season ... couldn't have asked for more!

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