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Michele Greppi believes half the fun of TV is talking about it -- whether it's whining about the lame-ass finale for the once-beloved "Veronica Mars" or gushing about the kick-ass coda of "The Shield,' which lacked only one last face-to-face at which Mackey could have -- deservedly -- gone postal on Shane. Enter OMGreppi, which will focus on things that were said or seen on TV in the previous 24 hours or so that had Ms. Greppi exclaiming or muttering "omigawd!" at her 24/7 television set.

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OMG



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.

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Comments (49)

AdMan:

bad acting + thin plots + soupy pseudo-spirituality = bad ratings.

good riddance.

DK:

"I'm looking at YOU!" Yep, I gonna miss this show too! Bad call HBO!

Thank you for expressing the feelings that are so very similar to mine on this project and its fate, Michele. I was very moved by the show and found myself hanging on to every confounding audiovisual nuance, and the news of its demise is an extreme disappointment. At the same time, your eloquence on the subject is comforting. When the day comes that I need an epitaph, might I leave instructions for my wife to contact you?

Cheers -- Roger D.

crawler:

One cannot but wonder (may one?) if HBO might have borne Milch some resentment for his abandonment of 'Deadwood,' as, honestly, did I.
It is equally possible (though perhaps not as likely) that the HBO Powers really believe 'John' belonged in one?
If the stories about Milch are to be believed, he has a whim of iron, and a creative willfulness only approached by David Kelley when his plots spin off into untenable and unrenewable orbits. But a place where it's not tv should welcome a man like Milch and his most tortured, heaven-storming iambs. He puts things in actors mouths that must make them nearly mute with admiration and sheer gratitude.
But for now, it seems that the truth lies in a line of tetrameter: It is TV. It's HBO.

Hawaii Bob:

Yea, right, floating surfers. We see it all the time here in Hawaii. Alooooha John :)

EL:

you should watch "Flight of the Conchords" - brilliant!

b:

I'm not as sad as I will be when the Wire ends...or when The Shield stops filming---but I will miss the once weekly amassing of acting talent...and the strange attraction to a story I never quite understood....

David McCarthy:

Enjoyed the show, watched every episode, I still think they made the right decision. Milch has some great qualities...but not everyone from Sylvia Costas to Al Swearingen to Shawny and Mitchy speaks with the same patter and (somewhat HBO expanded) vocabulary. Let's get him thru rehab..and then if he wants to team up, I will help him write his next series.

Seth:

The show had grown on me. I think it needed a second season to really make it.
Too bad. I am seriously headed to Showtime instead. Weeds is great and I hear the other shows are too.

RAE:

Hated John from Where?
Dumb show , dumb title, dumb idea.
Hate, Big Love...I would not even have sex with his many wives. Dreadful concept.
Loved Deadwood, Rome, The Wire, "Flight of the Conchords.
HBO has lost many viewers, not as good as Showtime's Dexter, Weeds, Brotherhood!

OP:

I totally agree OMGreppi. I am moving next month and doubt I'll renew my HBO subscription. It seems like Showtime is the last bastion of hope for creative, edgy shows for which HBO once carried the torch.

Paul Jeannides:

Great show, too bad Not enough sex and physical violence Americans like alot of ass kicken and moaning and growning, Sopranos proved, Promos were to weak, we all were waiting for Butchie to have his way with Tina and let loose, some of the abuse he took from Cissy. Freddy Should have kicked some ones ass just acting tuff doesn't show you can take one on the chin, he could have been more like Charlie Utter the character he played in Deadwood. Bill Jacks should have popped that cop to get arrested, not for directing traffic. Milch had a huge hit, he's knows what to do, looks like he was playin with this series, seein if a softer show would take hold. Great job Dave put somemore gravy on the next one. Paul Jeannides Gary Indiana

DannyB:

I watched every episode with anticipation I would finally know what the heck was going on. They teased that all answers would be revealed in the finale? Not so. What the??? Though I was addicted to the weekly train wreck there was no payoff..I'm glad its gone and I'm off to "John from Cin" rehab..

drefuss:

Exactly. And, this was a brilliant show with highly developed characters. I've never seen a show go forth with actors that knew their characters so well. I watched each show 2 or 3 times, studying the dialogue. It was like reading a good novel and talking to the book club or class about interpretation. Why is that something that so many can't handle. We are so used to the boob tube and slobbering while we watch the tv watch us that we can't recognize art. Until another space in time John!

ADam:

OMG - as in Oh-My-God - what were YOU watching? Hooked from the first scene to the last? Yeah, I was too.... I was hooked because I thought EVENTUALLY they would get around to telling us what the show was FREAKIN' about!

Amy:

The problem is people are lazy and not willing to put a little thought into TV viewing. There was plenty to understand, there was a payoff...you just have to be willing to open your mind and figure it out. This show was the most well done, smartest, thought provoking, interesting, beautiful, etc...thing on TV in a long time. Myself and countless friends have loved this show from day 1. What a shame that HBO is backing down so soon. Many great shows had very poor ratings for more than their first season.

LauraCR:

Why in the world would they cancel this show? I don't know Butchie instead. The fact that we were unsure of what was taking place and what the show was about is what kept me watching. Rebecca De Mornay was irritating as hell, but great in her role. Brian Van Holt was hilarious. I hope he gets another great role on a show that lasts. And of course "John" . . . Austin Nichols did a great job with his character is not hard too look at either.

After canceling "John from Cincinnati" AND "ROME", which were two of my favorite shows on HBO, I am giving up on HBO. I don't want to waste my Sunday nights getting into a show that HBO is inevitably going to cancel.

Two very bad calls, HBO.

Kaye Moore:

I hate when HBO cancel's the best "out of mainstream" shows and insult to injury is that I am paying for them to cancel the shows I watch. So I am paying $12.00 a month to not watch HBO. Looks like the only show I will be watching on HBO is The Wire when it comes back. What happened to HBO's cutting edge?

RJ:

OK I'm happy our punishment for not supporting The Wire is over.

We get it...Can we get Deadwood back now?

Because Showtime has got Weeds, The Brotherhood, Sleeper Cell, The Tudors, Dexter and The L Word.

@AdMan: It sounds as if you watched more than one episode. Wasn't there anything about "John" you liked?
@DK:Nice to know OMGreppi is not alone.
@Roger D.: Epitaphs 'R Us.
@crawler: Reading your comment was akin to watching "John," or "Deadwood": Couldn't give a fluent translation, but it shore sounded purty and smart. OMGreppi has fallen for men who offered less.
@HawaiiBob: A little bit of floating didn't hurt ice cream's appeal or ruin the ending of "Gladiator." ;)
@EL: Tried "Conchords," just don't get it. OMGreppi doesn't fall for men who won't/can't do comedy for mature audiences.
@b: Don't tell "The Sopranos," but "The Wire" was sooooo much its better. As must-see as it is, "The Shield" is sort of like "Big Brother": throw everybody into The Barn and see who comes out alive at the end of the season. Sometimes you hope it isn't Vic, but the most watchable seasons have been when an overzealous (Forrest Whittaker) or civilizing character (Glenn Close) or weaselly wiener (Walton Goggins) actually made OMGreppi root for Vic.
@David McCarthy: His !@#$%^&*!@#$%^&* people will call your !@#$%^&*!@#$%^&* people.
@Seth: There's at least one more season in the adventures of the apocalyptic post-nuclear family. Cissy quits smoking. Mitch comes back to earth. Kai and Butchie and Tina attend PTA meetings together. .... You get the idea. "Brotherhood" and "Big Brother After Dark" are the only Showtime originals loved here.
@RAE: See response to Seth. Don't most of Showtime's series reek of trying too hard????
@OP: See response to RAE.
@Paul Jeannides: The only character OMGreppi wanted to see have sex was John (on whom the most violence was committed) and that was because, well, you know, um, OMGreppi wanted to see if he was any more, errrr, equipped for carnality than he was for taking a dump. And did you by any chance file via BlackBerry?
@DannyB: No payoff? I actually had a warm and fuzzy glow after the finale? Even in hot and humid NYC, warm and fuzzy felt really, really good.
@Drefuss: All together now: "I've got my eye on YOU."
@ADam: Are you related to AdMan?
@Amy: See reply to Drefuss.
@LauraCR: See reply to Drefuss. As long as "Deadwood's" two two-hour episodes and "The Wire" are in the wings, HBO is, alas, in OMGreppi's house.
@Kaye Moore: See reply to LauraCR instead.


This was a show that was impossible to literally understand without additional reading about David Milch's intentions for the series. Fortunately that information is readily available in the thoughtful episode commentary on the official HBO website. Reading those essays is time well spent.

Never exactly shy about challenging his audience, in "John," Milch is building on themes that reach from profane to political to cosmic. As viewers drown in a sea of meaningless "ones and zeroes," John offers us a fresh vision of redemption that is both timeless and prophetic.

While I'm disappointed there won't be a second season, I'm certainly not surprised. In fact, I'm grateful and amazed that HBO had the courage (and high regard for its audience) to produce the show in the first place. After all, can you imagine the pitch meeting for this series?

patience:

I loved JFC; it was an interesting mix of the flawed and spiritual. It was also nice to see a show not built on sex and violence alone… it was the suspense that kept me coming back. I just don’t think there was an easy selling point for the show. The advertising never made the show seem watch worthy …I caught it on accident- and was hooked…

It needed more time to create a buzz... too bad.

Candi:

Finally not some stupid sitcom, fianlly a show that makes you think, that makes you laugh, a show that made me anticipate the next episode. No wonder it was cancelled. I guess most Americans want stupid reality shows and sitcoms. Goodbye HBO, John was the only thing keeping me around.

Why is it that everyone that claims you need to pay attention to understand John From Cincinnati always stops short of actually explaining it?

Although attention span has nothing to do with it, let's for the sake of argument say that those that enjoy JFC were simply paying more attention.

So, enlighten us. What exactly was it about? What was it that made JFC a good show?

Instead of wasting your time insulting viewers who actually were paying attention (and realized the show was a randomly comprised series of scenes, loosely tied together by a drug induced stream of thought), why don't you take your terrific brains and study the thematic content of The Wire.

Rod:

Yeah, I used to like John from Cincinnatti, Carnivale, Deadwood, The Sopranos, Rome, The Wire, and now they're all gone with not a good ending in sigth for any of them.

At least they ended Six Feet Under with an excellent Grand Finale. Sex in the City also ended fairly well.

Big Love is starting to get interesting with all of the consiracy going on. They'll proabably cancel that one also.

HBO used to have a lot of great new movies on their lineup. I used to like their opening sequence with the little city thing. I look around at Showtime and really see the ones I want to see but I only have HBO and Starz. I hate the way that HBO plays the oldies that a lot of people have no interest in over and over again. They could have continues the series mentioned above and at least had a following. I suppose as long as they get their money they really don't care about the concerns of the people that support them.

HBO must have had some say in the CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox lineups also. A lot of good shows were cancelled on those networks. I wonder what would happen if we all just cancelled HBO and switched over to Showtime. It's pretty bad that I have to read about cancellations in a blog instead of hearing it from another source.

ronnie:

A show for people with imagination.. AND NOW ITS GONE!!! What the F? Please find a home to air this show!!

Iffy:

I thought it was an interesting show and i wanted to see more seasons.my only problem is it really didn't explain Johns origin,oh well

julie:

I looked forward to each episode ind I'm sad it was cancelled.
Nadum. I think the show was about the possibility of something bigger, that watches over us

james fairs:

It figures.

If there are two things that Americans have truly lost, thay are the abilities to value the inscrutible, and to accept those who seek meaning and wisdom from all that life has to offer.

The demise of 'John' is simply a marker on the 'Goodbye America' road.

jf

Brad:

Seriously pissed that they didn't at least give it one more season. The acting and writing were excellent.

ron:

I have watched the show from the start and Loved it.It was a great show that kept you guessing.Whoever made the choice to kill the show is an idiot.I guess they will make another bullcrap reality show or something.TV programing is going downhill fast.I hope that the rest of the series will be released on dvd because i will buy it!

Pat Palmer:

I am very upset that HBO is not giving John from Cincinnati a chance. Nor only do I love it but so do a great deal for my friends. They did no promote it at all and we all found it accidentally and told each other about the show. Summer is a terrible time to try new shows because most people are too busy to look for them.
I hope they will reconsider and continue the show.
I will ust have to switch to Showtime and Weeds and the L word.

Molly:

JFC was a great show and had become my new favorite. It's a shame that HBO cancelled it. First they cancelled Carnivale and now John - They have finally lost me as a customer...switching to Showtime.

Kyle Walton:

OMG, JFC....Best Show in A DECADE PAST, AND THE NEW ONE TO COME.
Shame on lazy Americans and the suits from HBO.

Mark:

Great show, hope HBO has a change of heart.It was definately better than the last 3 seasons of the Sopranos, at least it had some cohesion between all the episodes

jim:

how do we get the show back on was the best i have seen in a long time

Jennifer:

That had to be the best, most illogical yet comical show I have EVER seen. EVER. It was brilliant. Of course it didn't make it past the first year. Silly us for even thinking it.
Well-Butchie and his antics were all that kept this viewer with HBO, so, farewell, John from Cincinnati, and farewell HBO.
"I HAD MY EYE ON YOU"

Anonymous:

put it back on!

don:

I am sad. I made a lot of nice friends on the show. People who I cared about and wanted to learn more of. I really will miss all of them.

s. perles:

I got my Eye Off You, HBO. WTF??? Ditto what everyone else said above. Thought provoking? Cancel it. Same with Carnival. Showtime Here I come. I hear they keep their series around for at least 2 seasons! You suck.

calligrl:

I want an answer. How do we get the show back on. It makes me sad. It was really lovely if you took the time or had the patience to observe and feel it. And there really isn't anything like that out there. It had substance and just because the rest of the world has been lulled to sleep by watching people act out instead of get help on reality tv.. raised to celebrity levels for thier disfunctions.. or crime scenes that are rehashed on every chanel or shows that make selling drugs or having sex with strangers look edgy..or shows and news programs laden with agenda. This had hope. It made me hope. This show was amazing because it showed us that none of live in glass houses but we are all entitled to something better and I want it back. Someone tell me who we write and I will write.. I want it back and even if it's a handful of people.. I'm glad someone else saw what I saw.. because if you were ready.. you could.. and it was really lovely..

keely:

im sooo sad..... bad choice HBO.. you play the same movies 30 times in a month but cant let a tv play out ..... you guys SUCK

sj:

missing john IN cincinnati!!!!!!!!!!

loved every character, hung on every line, brilliant! ed o'neil was amazing.

better than any HBO series ever, bad call! august is not the month to rely on viewers if that was what it was all about. should be made into a movie...........

Pete,Bay City,Mi:

This is horrible news!!! JFC was one of the most original shows I have seen in years. My coworkers and I literally could not stand waiting to see episodes from one week to the next. This will prove to be a mistake by HBO.

Nancy Monroe:

JFC had incredible writing and had incredible acting. This was a show that your could watch and replay again and again. You never knew where a characters dialog was going to take you. I am amazed at HBO decision. I thought this was a company that wanted to make money. The cynical part of me says "Why?". Why would they take this series off HBO demand. Are they afraid that more people with see it and like it? Someone has made a decision to cancel JFC and apparently they don't want to be proven wrong.

LostKause:

As all things go in the surfing world..... The squares just don't get it, It makes sence that if you have ever watched Hollywood's attempt to capture the surf culture, it has proven that it can't be done. This was a fun show.... sci-fi, meets God, with a real surf town as the back drop.... if you have ever spent any time in the water, you can relate to the people on the show... This is why I liked it so much.... I feel the ones that don't get it(the show) are the same people that thought, " In God's Hands", and " Blue Crush were great surf movies.... Never trust Hollywood, when it comes to anything about surfing...to them it's all about selling cool. Maybe they should move it to the Sci-Fi channel.

I really would like to see this show on another season ..somewhere..jeesh make a movie... or something..go to fox ... hey milch and Kem Nunn...write a novel to finish up the show
m

Betty:

Gear up for grub with a tripleheader of pigskin, including a meeting of brothers in Dallas. Everybody knows it's been a rough year for her, but find out who else had issues

michael:

i want john from cincinnati back on
television. i don't care which station
airs it but i want it back!!!!!!!
at the very least may we have a feature
length film? HBO sucks big time

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