- opinions formed while-u-wait! -

. television
John From Cincinnati
(WARNING: contains spoilers for the season that just ended, but since I don't really recommend seeing it, you might as well read my review.)
     Coasting on the goodwill he earned by creating three stunning seasons of Deadwood, David Milch could have televised a piece of poo, and I would have watched 13 episodes just to see what happened. Unfortunately, with John from Cincinnati, that's kinda what he did.
     I've read enough interviews with Milch to know that his writing process, at least now that he's not scripting police procedurals, is wildly idiosyncratic: he lies on the floor of a trailer with a pillow, surrounded by "writers" and a typist, barking out lines of dialogue and editing them on the fly as he watches them appear on a large screen on the wall. And he apparently does this without a plan. He just puts characters in a room and lets them interact, hoping something of interest transpires. Which, on Deadwood, something often did. Deadwood benefited from a loose timeline of historically dictated plot points, so it looked like there was a plan -- at least until the end of the last season, which built pressure relentlessly to an anticlimax that still somehow satisfied, mostly because it seemed realistic.
     John from Cincinnati, however, has no such moorings: no plot points, no tiresome "realism." It turns out Milch works better with some restrictions.
     The problem with most of this first (and, I have to imagine, last) season is that nothing really happens. A weird guy shows up to a surfing town, performing miracles or being nearby when they occur, but only about 16 characters seem to exist in this town, and they only interact with each other. Most of the time, when Milch let his characters interact with each other, they just discussed the other characters offscreen. People had emotions, fears, and motivations that were realistic enough, but dramatically it was like the opposite of 24.
     I don't mean the antidote to 24, or a soothing relief from 24. As we all know, most law enforcement officers go their entire careers without firing their weapons, but Jack Bauer draws, fires, and kills people with his gun multiple times an hour. It's retarded. But despite resurrections, levitations, and various teleportations, JfC is narratively so realistic that it's filled with exactly the kind of "drama" as a typical week at the office.
     I enjoyed some of almost every episode, but I can't recommend it with a clear conscience to those of you with HBO on Demand.
. : . . .4.1: . . . . :
8/13/2007 • link0 comments

This blog has moved
John from Cincinnati
Recent Movie Rental Roundup, Vol 1.
The Unicorns and Islands
Nicotine patches
V for Vendetta
Wonder Showzen
Hard Taco Project
rating approximate meaning
10.0Godlike perfection
9.5Mortal perfection
9.0Great! Classic!
8.0Pretty awesome
7.0Good stuff
6.0Don't knock it 'til you try it
5.0Exactly half good and half bad
4.0If it's on sale...
3.0Last resort
2.0You might prefer root canal
1.0Contact could lower your I.Q.
0.0May cause cancer

Want me to review something? Use this box to make topic suggestions:
Review topic:

Recent Suggestions:
[shaving, nicotine patches, girlsarepretty.com]

Universal Donor
UD's Book Reviews
UD's Reference Page
TopTen Reviews.com


Powered by Blogger