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Thread summary:

John From Cincinnati HBO show not promising, show is based on Christianity, depressing, bad acting, cannot compare to Sopranos, Six feet under

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Old 07-15-2007, 11:37 PM
 
Location: Warwick, NY
1,173 posts, read 5,409,491 times
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I have just sat down to watch my make-or-break episode of John From Cincinnati.

I've tried to be fair, watched the first episode right after The Sopranos finale. I got some weird stuff and a lot of yelling.

OK, I can deal with that.

Second episode, more supernatural stuff, new yelling characters. Third, fourth, fifth.... just a lot of bitterness, regrets, and yelling.

Not one character in this show is appealing in any way. They're all jerks, morons, or goofballs. The bleakness of the sets is just overwhleming. Everything is like the people, beat-up and seen better days.

I'd like to think there's something redeeming about the show but after six episodes I'm in mortal fear that JFC is developing into a preachy morality play as if David Milch looks down from his Holmby Hills mansion and thinks he's in a position to illuminate we peons below to the mysteries of the universe. This show is a hairshirt and as I watch episode six all I see are venomous or confused people with the common trait of being boring. Entertainment this isn't.

Am I missing something here? Anyone else watch this show?

Last edited by Jason_Els; 07-16-2007 at 01:12 AM..
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:17 AM
 
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I watched the part of the first one and didn't like it. I do have HBO "On Demand," so I figured I might sit down and give it a try again some weekend. I have to admit, it doesn't look promising.
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason_Els View Post
Am I missing something here? Anyone else watch this show?
I don't think your missing anything. The show has become more annoying with each episode. Tonight's show was unreal. The characters aren't quirky they're just depressing. And what was that scene about in the apartment parking lot?

After Six Feet Under, Sopranoes and Deadwood this show is a real letdown on Sunday night.
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Old 07-16-2007, 01:10 AM
 
Location: Warwick, NY
1,173 posts, read 5,409,491 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerlily View Post
I don't think your missing anything. The show has become more annoying with each episode. Tonight's show was unreal. The characters aren't quirky they're just depressing. And what was that scene about in the apartment parking lot?

After Six Feet Under, Sopranoes and Deadwood this show is a real letdown on Sunday night.
Why was there a corpse in that scene?

I'm truly not dense. I keep trying to follow the plot but my brain just wanders to other things. JFC doesn't hold my attention.

I can't see holding on to HBO for just Big Love, which I like enough to wait for the DVD but not enough to carry HBO. Entourage is coming apart, Deadwood's dead, and Rome has crumbled.
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:19 PM
 
Location: New England
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Gotta put your thinking cap on for JFC. The show is gold, but it requires thought and imagination.

{i}>>>>John's big speech in last night's episode... at first I thought it was The Sermon on the mount.... On second thought, not the Sermon on the Mount, but rather, the opening passage of the Gospel of John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

My though is that JFC is not the messiah, but is the messenger, e.g., John the Baptist. Note that when he tells Kai to "See God," it's Shaun - back from the dead - we see skating.

BUT, and I'm sure this point has been made before, "Shaun" is the Anglicized version of the Irish name "Sean" - a form of the name, you guessed it - John, so maybe they're the same guy? Monadism, anyone?

>>>>next weeks preview , JFC says sean will not be with us for much longer.. or something in that context..

Shaun is the Christ figure, the one who dies for the redemption of others. Shaun has already "died" once, maybe he's going to ascend to the heavens soon?

Thoughts on Cass's Camera:
In his sermon, John refers to The Word and Cass's Camera almost interchangeably, which led me to dig up this:

"Cass" is a familiar form of Cassandra - From the Greek Κασσανδρα (Kassandra), which possibly meant "shining upon man", derived from κεκασμαι (kekasmai) "to shine" and ανηρ (aner) "man" (genitive ανδρος. In Greek myth Cassandra was a Trojan princess, the daughter of Priam and Hecuba. She was given the gift of prophecy by Apollo, but when she spurned his advances he cursed her so nobody would believe her prophecies.

And this::
A camera is a device used to capture images, as still photographs or as sequences of moving images (movies or videos). The term as well as the modern-day camera evolved from the camera obscura, Latin for "dark chamber".

Cass's Camera, then, is just another term for the light that JFC/John the Baptist and Sean/The Messiah are bringing to a dark world.

Other just completely random impressions (some of which contradict my impression that JFC is not himself the messianic figure:

John: "My Father runs the Mega-Millions."
Jesus (John 14:2): "In my Father's house are many mansions"

The whole of John 14 is echoed in throughout the episode:
" Thomas ('Joe is a Doubting Thomas') saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?"

"Judas ('Judas Priest is my Father's son') saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?"

"Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" and "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" bring to mind, ""You will not note my-Father's-Word, nor remember Cass's-camera, but you will not forget what we did here." I'm also reminded of how JFC begins: "If my words are yours, can you hear my Father?"

Finally, and here I'm getting real stupid, but when Tina makes Shaun - and Cissy - tuna fish sandwiches, didn't anyone else flash to "loaves and fishes?"

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the Power of God."

-1 Corinthians 1:18, written on the side of The Surf Shack, in the mural.


Finally, the boy who plays Shaun Yost is not a hollywood type actor. He descends from the Fletcher family, which JFC has based the Yost's family on (imo) Shauns real name is Greyson Fletcher, he is a ranked pro skateboarder. His father is Christen Fletcher (the real life Butchie) who pioneered throwing ariels on a surfboard in the late 80's and in the early 90's. His grandfather is Herbie Fletcher (the real life Mitch). The Fletcher family history may could give this show a run for it's money.

Last edited by shuke; 07-16-2007 at 02:29 PM..
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Warwick, NY
1,173 posts, read 5,409,491 times
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Thanks shuke!

So then it does all come down to a Christian morality play. A brilliant idea but one I think that's poorly executed. Milch forgot to make us want to care anything about the cast members. Weird is OK if it is intriguing.

John's speech is more right than he knows. JFC isn't doing well in the ratings. It's not even in the top 15 cable shows.

I understand that they wanted real surfers. The girl who plays Kai is a professional surfer too, but they also are pretty poor actors. The kid who plays Sean is as stiff as his board.

Do you actually like the show shuke? Is it enjoyable for you? I find it so depressing and every single character repulsive or non-entities. I guess what I'm asking is do you think it's worth it to go back and re-watch it all over again for that, "Ah-HAH!," moment where I realize this is genius?

I liken it to The Sopranos finale. At first I was angry and feeling ripped-off but I rewatched it about a dozen times and began to pick-up on the costuming, shot framing, and editing. I came to the conclusion that Tony was whacked but wasn't sure. Then I started reading-up on Holsten's and saw what Chase changed in the restaurant to fit the set and now I'm absolutely positive Tony's dead. It was brilliant work though it took me a long time to see it.

Which is a very embarrassing admission coming from someone who majored in art history.
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Old 07-16-2007, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
5,073 posts, read 6,998,900 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason_Els View Post
Thanks shuke!

So then it does all come down to a Christian morality play. A brilliant idea but one I think that's poorly executed. Milch forgot to make us want to care anything about the cast members. Weird is OK if it is intriguing.

John's speech is more right than he knows. JFC isn't doing well in the ratings. It's not even in the top 15 cable shows.

I understand that they wanted real surfers. The girl who plays Kai is a professional surfer too, but they also are pretty poor actors. The kid who plays Sean is as stiff as his board.

Do you actually like the show shuke? Is it enjoyable for you? I find it so depressing and every single character repulsive or non-entities. I guess what I'm asking is do you think it's worth it to go back and re-watch it all over again for that, "Ah-HAH!," moment where I realize this is genius?

I liken it to The Sopranos finale. At first I was angry and feeling ripped-off but I rewatched it about a dozen times and began to pick-up on the costuming, shot framing, and editing. I came to the conclusion that Tony was whacked but wasn't sure. Then I started reading-up on Holsten's and saw what Chase changed in the restaurant to fit the set and now I'm absolutely positive Tony's dead. It was brilliant work though it took me a long time to see it.

Which is a very embarrassing admission coming from someone who majored in art history.
Agree with all your points. I have enough religion with Big Love. LOL. I thought some of the were poor actors, but didn't realize they were surfers. At least we have three actors from Deadwood. Just realized the guy that saved John was Alma's husband. Kai is the only character I halfway like. I read the Soprano blog that was posted and I agree with it. The tiger wall hanging I totally missed the first time.
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:12 PM
 
Location: New England
786 posts, read 785,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason_Els View Post
Thanks shuke!
Do you actually like the show shuke? Is it enjoyable for you? I find it so depressing and every single character repulsive or non-entities. I guess what I'm asking is do you think it's worth it to go back and re-watch it all over again for that, "Ah-HAH!," moment where I realize this is genius?
Yes, I think JFC is incredibly complex and a real breath of fresh air compared to the normal television fodder. To enjoy, relate to, understand, or just plain hang in there with JFC requires letting go of all conventional expectation. The show exists, much like ancient spiritual scripture or complex poetry, on a whole other plane of experience than that to which we are accustomed; one that requires more than a passing glance to be fully appreciated and/or absorbed. There's plenty of television out there for viewers seeking linear plotlines, straightforward dialogue, clear-cut characters, or tidy endings. What's exceptional about JFC is that if refuses to follow the standard guidelines and doesn't particularly care if that proves confusing. One of the biggest obstacles to the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment is the human need to "understand"; to quantify, explain, particularize, and ultimately control whatever insights may come our way. If it were only that simple. Spiritual insights are more often than not incomprehensible, messy, disturbing, dissatifying, and harsh. But you can bet that once they've slapped you upside the head, they're impossible to forget. Part of what JFC is most likely intended to do is to stir the pot of human consciousness, shake our mental structures, and take us to a higher place. For those of you who've had enough, bon voyage. For the rest who plan on hanging in, may I recommend tossing logic, shifting to the right brain for the next few weeks, and just letting the remaining episodes wash over you like that big fat wave that fills the screen at the top of every show.
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Warwick, NY
1,173 posts, read 5,409,491 times
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And speaking of Big Love, it just got really weird.

I don't know, but if you think so highly of it then I will go back and watch the previous episodes and see if I can find what you're talking about. Thank you on-demand!
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Warwick, NY
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John's history:

Quote:
A day after the first-season finale of "John," HBO on Monday canceled the dark surfing drama but is staying in business with the show's co-creator, David Milch.

Milch, who also created the critically praised HBO drama "Deadwood," is in a process of extending his existing development deal with the premium cable network that runs through August 2008. He already is working on several new projects -The Hollywood Reporter
Sorry Shuke, I stuck with it to the finale and I can't find a single redeeming quality in the show. Cerebrally it's interesting, but I felt no desire to watch it. When the finale came I was searching for a great revelation but found none. AFAIC, it ended with a bust.
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