Culture Rover

#170 - I Don't Know Butchie Instead

Nancy Franklin and other critics missed the boat, er, the surfboard, on HBO's recently-cancelled film-o-vision series, John From Cincinnati.

These critics wanted the show to hit the same notes as The Sopranos, The Wire, and Deadwood, but what made John From Cincinnati intriguing was that instead of duplicating those shows themselves, it duplicated their efforts to wring something new out of television: in this case, a kind of Shakespearian mystical weirdness.

This has to have been one of the oddest, most disconcerting shows ever made. It sacrificed plot and character for mood and tone, for a sense that there was more to life than the quotidian, or perhaps that the quotidian itself could become excitingly strange and wondrous.

And ultimately, the show maintained a deep hope: that Americans lost on "Imperial Beach" could, somehow, not only find their way toward their own salvations, but also toward some kind of true community. In fact, John From Cincinnati continually hinted that these might be one and the same.

22 August 2007

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