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Series / Fishing with John

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"Fishing with John
Fishing with John
Fishing with John
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Fishing with John"

Fishing with John is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: a six-part Bravo / IFC serial of five famous celebrities going fishing with John Lurie in different parts of the world.

These guests include Jim Jarmusch in Montauk, Tom Waits in Jamaica, Matt Dillon in Costa Rica, Willem Dafoe in Maine, and Dennis Hopper in Thailand. Nobody on the show knows how to fish: the humor of the show comes from the conversation, and the seemingly supernatural events (courtesy of reverse video playback and an Unreliable Narrator).

One of the few non-movies in The Criterion Collection.


Fishing with tropes:

  • Breathless Non Sequitur: Jim Jarmusch asks "Would you like to see my penis?" and it immediately cuts to the next scene, giving no indication of what happened next.
  • Curse: They get hit with one in the Matt Dillon episode, preventing them from catching any fish.
  • Faux Death: John in episode 4, and then in episode 5...
    Narrator: I made a mistake! John is still alive!
  • Fishing Episode / Heroes Gone Fishing: Every episode, naturally
  • Giant Squid: The final two episodes focus on trying to catch one. It turns out to have Psychic Powers.
  • Hope Spot: "An 11-inch brown trout is pulled from the icy depths...Unfortunately, it is under the legal limit and must be released."
  • Horrible Camping Trip: The Willem Dafoe episode, which ends with Willem and John dying of starvation.
  • Name's the Same: In-Universe, Matt Dillon discusses sharing a name with the main character from Gunsmoke
  • Advertisement:
  • Narrating the Obvious:
    "These are horses."
  • No Ending: In the last episode, John and Dennis just kind of give up on looking for the squid, the narrator monologues a bit about the beauty of the sea, and the show just kind of ends.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Some of the music in the Matt Dillon episode - particularly the song Matt and John have to dance to to appease the river spirits - have this kind of sound, despite being in English.
  • Title Theme Tune: See the page quote.
  • Trouser Space: Tom Waits puts a fish in his pants, and becomes grouchy. Also averted in Jim Jarmusch's case; see above under Breathless Non Sequitur.
  • Unreliable Narrator:
    "I'd love a bite of your sandwich."

"The Andaman Sea, the Andaman Sea, oogly boogly, the Andaman Sea..."