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John from Cincinnati 1 Season 2007

Amazon Instant Video

Season 1
(12) IMDb 7.3/10

1. His Visit: Day One AGES_15_AND_OVER

Series premiere. The lives of three generations of surfers are upended by the appearance of a mysterious stranger.

Rebecca De Mornay,Greyson Fletcher
57 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Season 1

Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Mark Tinker
Starring Rebecca De Mornay, Greyson Fletcher
Supporting actors Bruce Greenwood, Luis Guzman, Keala Kennelly, Austin Nichols, Ed O'Neill, Luke Perry, Brian Van Holt, Matt Winston
Season year 2007
Network HBO
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By P. Cox on 21 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD
Much like Carnivale, another HBO series cut down too early, John From Cincinnati is a singular vision and an all-too-rare supernatural drama with a sense of real maturity to it. It is also pointedly surreal from the beginning and, unless you're paying attention, easy to get confused by; characters speak in curious code, frequently referencing past events the audience isn't privy to; an off-the-cuff remark in one episode may not gain relevance until two or three episodes later. Because of this, J.F.C. is a show perfect for DVD. It not only rewards but requires repeated viewings, and in returning to it over, you'll usually find something you hadn't spotted before. It's a David Milch show, and so the writing is of a very high standard, and as expletive-strewn as Deadwood was, especially in the opening episode.

The cast, which ranges from first-time performers and amateurs to seasoned character actors and old Deadwood regulars, are a mixed but entertaining bunch, with Ed O'Neill's tortured ex-police officer Bill Jacks standing out. Fans of The Wire might also look out for Paul Ben Victor who played Spiros, giving a demented turn as twitchy Palaka.

If you don't mind the weird, then this is for you, and if HBO had given it a chance they'd have had something to rival Twin Peaks for in-depth character-driven kookiness. As it is, we'll have to settle for this; a mesmerising ten-episode arc, that, though open-ended, has as many memorable, touching and laugh-out-loud funny moments as many shows that lasted for years.

This is definitely not for everyone, and the 5 stars I've given above will likely baffle some. The show is initially very difficult, but pretty soon what comes across is an addictive story told in a unique manner. Some people will hate it, but those who don't will adore it. A real shame it wasn't given more time by HBO.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By D. P. Cunningham on 21 Oct. 2008
Format: DVD
I don't watch much TV, but what I do watch tends, these days, to be from the US: just a handful of shows, which include The Shield, The Wire, Lost, and Deadwood. My latest favourite is John From Cincinnati, David Milch's follow-up to Deadwood. John From Cincinnati is a wonderful show, sadly cancelled after a mere ten episodes. This doesn't surprise me, as this show, a strange mixture of family drama, surfing, and mysticism, is often difficult to follow and offers no easy answers to its mysterious questions. Deadwood fans will note that many of the cast of that show appear in this one too.

In a sense, John From Cincinnati, is a familiar idea: a dysfunctional family is visited by a strange, stranger, who proceeds by his influence to correct the ills of the family. As the series progresses, this benign influence begins to extend, not only to the surrounding community, but out, it is hinted, to the rest of the planet as well.

The mysterious John Monad (Austin Nichols), with his comically expressive face, described by another character as "A tall drink of water with a poodle hair cut," appears apparently from nowhere, doesn't know how to shake hands or cross a road safely, but is able to produce out of his previously empty pocket, a roll of money, a credit card (with unlimited credit on it), and a phone (with infinite minutes). Strange things happen during his visit: a man begins to levitate, a dead bird returns to life, a brain-damaged boy is healed. John is not able to talk directly about himself or the events he puts into motion. He can only repeat back in variations what others have said to him, creating much Johnspeak: quotable and oft-repeated phrases which he's obliged to fall back on.

Not for the casual viewer, John From Cincinnati demands concerted attention.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Greggiboy on 19 Nov. 2012
Format: DVD
John from Cincinnati is remarkable for a number of reasons. Firstly it is a program that plunges headfirst into a world of inexplicable events and bizarre narratives, throwing out very few lifelines for its audience to hang on to. It gives the air of being already in the middle of a story when we first arrive on the surfing scene of Imperial Beach, California, therefore demanding absolute attention and some initial guess work. Miss a bit, and you run the risk of being significantly left behind.

Secondly, it presents a title character unlike anything you've ever encountered before. John (played excellently by Austin Nichols) is a fascinating and baffling creation, whose origin, purpose and intentions remain totally unclear for most, if not all of these 10 episodes.

Thirdly it uncompromisingly requires thought, questioning, and imagination from its viewing public. You can't watch this half-heartedly, you've got to be invested in order to get anything out of it. It's a challenge both intellectually and viscerally. Repeated viewing is advisable and you'll certainly want to use that rewind button for a few of the more complex interactions.

It's also very well acted on the whole. Rebecca De Mornay and Brian Van Holt are especially effective, while Austin Nichols couldn't be better as the titular `John'. Even some of the surfing pros who aren't professional actors are more than competent.

All this praise is not to say that there aren't some flaws in this philosophical surf-noir surrealist black-comedy drama. The main focus is on the dysfunctional Yost family and the changes to their lives after the arrival of a mysterious stranger from Cincinnati (or not from Cincinnati as the case may be).
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