R.I.P. Dear 'John From Cincinnati'
August 14, 2007 9:32 AM
OMG, HBO, which has drummed into our heads for years that it’s not TV, it’s HBO, can pick the most disconcerting times to prove that it is just as crassly ratings-hungry as the TV from which it seeks to distinguish itself.
One day after “John From Cincinnati” ended its first season, the pay cabler whose business plan is rooted in giving assorted niches of subscribers a reason to renew, declared “John” dead, thus removing one of the two reasons OMGreppi currently buys HBO. (“Entourage” is in a slump this season, but it still has moments in which it makes the monthly HBO bill bearable.)
There will be no second season for the inscrutable, palpable and oh-so-watchable surf-spiritual series in which the famously reformed and demanding producer David Milch seemed to say that redemption and/or the opportunity to clean up one’s act or wipe clean one’s slate comes at us from some most unexpected directions and in most inexplicable forms. But all those willing to grasp the opportunity will be rewarded even as they are tested and teased.
OMGreppi was hooked on “John” from the first scene to the last. She understood the dialogue even less often than in Mr. Milch’s mesmerizing “Deadwood,” the equally iambic and profane project that also seemed to test HBO’s sense of adventure and get reduced to an iffy commitment for two movie-length codas.
But every scene – slap-sticky, blackly comedic or flat-out dramatic – was accompanied by an emotional thrum not found anywhere else on TV (or HBO).
OMGreppi will miss it and the cast that was made in Milch heaven mightily. And she has tried but can not again force herself to feel the “Big Love” that is retreating from Mondays to “John’s” Sunday night slot starting this weekend.
If it’s not “Deadwood,” or “John From Cincinnati” (or the “The Wire” returning this fall) on Sunday night, it’s not HBO, it’s TV that’s being bettered elsewhere on cable this summer.