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Series / John from Cincinnati

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"At best, John From Cincinnati’s Jean-Luc Godard-like working methods lend the show an exhilarating spontaneity and sense of possibility. It’s quite literally a show where anything can happen. At worst, it feels clumsily put-together on the spot by actors groping to comprehend a master plan even a super-genius like [David] Milch doesn’t seem to understand."

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.

The program deals with John Monad, a strange young man of mysterious origin, and the effect he has on a dysfunctional family of professional surfers and their community.

It was cancelled after one season.

Tropes from Cincinnati:

  • 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.