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John From Cincinnati Season 1 (HBO) [DVD]

4.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Rebecca de Mornay, Greyson Fletcher, Willie Garson, Luis Guzmán, Keala Kennelly
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Hebrew, Norwegian, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 20 July 2009
  • Run Time: 600 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0027FFOCK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,131 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

From the creator of the award-winning series Deadwood comes HBO’s mystical, mysterious and provocative new drama.

Just north of the border, in the tired coastal town of Imperial Beach, California, live three generations of Yosts: surfing royalty turned society misfits. The Yosts’ reign and reputation, once defined in the curl of a perfect wave, has been eroded by years of bad luck, addiction and hubris. But just as things are looking like they can’t get worse, a stranger named John arrives – and the Yosts’ banal existence is lifted into something profound, miraculous and, possibly, universal.

From Amazon.co.uk

The world conspired to give John From Cincinnati a single season run on television screens, courtesy of HBO. And yet, thanks to the endurance of the DVD format, it’s surely ripe for discovery by those who missed it first time round.

It’s from David Milch, the creator of one of HBO’s finest ever shows, Deadwood. This time, though, it’s in the present day, and focused on the Yost family. Described as surfing-royalty-turned-society-misfits, the Yosts are a complicated family whose life changes when a stranger by the name of John walks into town. And that’s when things gets really very interesting, with often quite oddball events following in his wake. Starring Rebecca De Mornay, Bruce Greenwood and Austin Nichols, even in its weaker moments, it’s a fascinating and very ambitious show.

It’s perhaps unsurprising that John From Cincinnati struggled to snare a mainstream audience though, given the sheer audacity of some of its thinking (and we’ve no intention of spoiling it here). There’s such a collision of ideas and subtexts here that it can be sometimes quite a job to keep on top of it all. But put the effort in, and the rewards, just as with Deadwood, are rich. It’s challenging, intelligent television, and even though we only got ten episodes of it, it’s hard not to be grateful for them. --Jon Foster

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Aug. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
California's surfing Josts have fallen on bad times, the family in danger of tearing itself apart. Can young Shaun's skills on the waves revive the acclaim father and grandfather used to enjoy? There are sharp divisions, though, on whether he should be allowed to proceed.

Enter John, mystery man. He seems like a novice angel, despatched (somewhat prematurely) from on high to do good. Those he meets are puzzled by his lack of social skills, his main means of communication repetition of words he has heard (which, in fact, often works surprisingly well).

Slowly but surely THINGS begin to happen, ranging from the strange to the positively miraculous.

Austin Nicholls as John is the main reason to watch, there about him a beguiling innocence. Other performances are also enjoyable, including the mobsters increasingly out of their depth. A major drawback, however, concerns some of the key characters. They are so hard to like, that grandmother especially. The 18 rating is presumably because of their expletives, which many viewers may feel do the series no favours.

Another barrier to enjoyment is the deliberate obscurity, which some may call pretentiousness. Check out the "Decoding John" bonus on Episode 6, creator David Milch attempting to explain to the cast the thinking behind some of the lines they are expected to say. Those around him seem bemused. If they find it hard to understand, what hope for most viewers?

I wanted to like the show far more than I did, but felt it trying to be too clever for its own good. Clearly the series has its strong admirers, they detecting in it matters most mystical and positively wondrous. Others may feel the best has not been made of the undoubted talents involved.

Critics are thus divided, but there is one point on which they can agree. In no way can "John from Cincinnati" be regarded as bland.
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