John from Cincinnati is a drama, set against the surfing community of Imperial Beach, California, that aired on HBO from June 10 to August 12, 2007. It is the result of a collaborative effort between writer/producer David Milch and author Kem Nunn, whose novels have been termed surf noir.
It was cancelled after one season.
Tropes from Cincinnati:
- Ambiguous Disorder: John seems to be challenged or autistic in some way, but of course it's hard to tell since he probably isn't human...
- Arc Words: "The End Is Near".
- Arc Symbol: The stick figure.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Yosts.
- Catchphrase: "Some things I know, some things I don't," replaced by, "I don't know. Butchie instead."
- Fantastic Noir: Fantastic Surf Noir.
- Fun with Acronyms: The series title is abbreviated as JFC, which also stands for Jesus Fucking Christ. This may hint at John's true identity.
- Genre-Busting: The show is by turns a family drama, surf noir, and religious allegory.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The episodes are titled "His Visit, Day One", "His Visit, Day Two", etc. The pattern breaks with the third episode, which is "Day Two Continued"; the 10th and final episode is "Day Nine".
- Magical Realism/Urban Fantasy: The film takes place mostly in the "real world," but with supernatural elements, such as spontaneous levitation and John's seemingly magical powers.
- Messianic Archetype: John.
- Mind Screw
- No Ending: The show was canceled without any resolution.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: As with Milch's other works, characters speak in dense, almost impenetrable language, which worked in a period piece like Deadwood, but seems strange coming from a bunch of modern surfers.
- Speaks in Shout-Outs: John communicates almost entirely by repeating phrases that other characters had already said.
- Surfer Dude: Naturally, given the setting.
- Trouser Space: John's pockets seem to contain whatever small item he needs at the moment without ever being refilled.
- Weirdness Magnet: The Yost family, Lampshaded more than once.