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John From Cincinnati

1 Season

Season 1
3.7 out of 5 stars (982) IMDb 7.2/10

In the tired coastal town of Imperial Beach, CA, live three generations of Yosts: surfing royalty with a family curse. But just as things look like they can't get worse, a stranger arrives to change their fortunes in this HBO drama series.

Starring:
Rebecca De Mornay, Greyson Fletcher

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Season 1
1. His Visit: Day One
This episode free with ads

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

TV-MA CC Runtime: 57 minutes Release date: June 10, 2007
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2. His Visit: Day Two

Linc looks to infiltrate the Yost inner circle; Shaun competes in a surf competition, with unexpected results.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 48 minutes Release date: June 11, 2007
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3. His Visit: Day Two Continued

Paranormal activity continues to follow the Yosts; Mitch and Cissy take a time-out; John wows Kai.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 48 minutes Release date: June 24, 2007
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4. His Visit: Day Three

John gets roughed up by some thugs; Kai connects with Butchie; Vietnam Joe brings Dr. Smith a new patient; Shaun's adult-film-star mother Tina arrives in Imperial Beach.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 51 minutes Release date: July 1, 2007
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5. His Visit: Day Four

Bill gets a strange mandate from Zippy; Tina lets the Yosts know she's back in town.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 48 minutes Release date: July 8, 2007
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6. His Visit: Day Five

Butchie orchestrates a reunion between Shaun and Tina; John helps Bill and Cissy face up to their pasts.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 49 minutes Release date: July 15, 2007
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7. His Visit: Day Six

Linc's Stinkweed reign is challenged; Dwayne eyes Shaun's online future; Dr. Smith tends to an ailing Palaka; Ramon supervises the building of a shuffleboard court.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 48 minutes Release date: July 22, 2007
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8. His Visit: Day Seven

An ominous message from John strikes fear for Shaun's safety into the hearts of Imperial Beach denizens.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 52 minutes Release date: July 29, 2007
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9. His Visit: Day Eight

Attempting to conjure some courage, Mitch tracks down a reclusive 'chemist' in Mexico; Cissy heads up a citywide search team; Bill loses his feathered medium; Palaka's good-luck gift to Freddy ends up with Barry.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 47 minutes Release date: August 5, 2007
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10. His Visit: Day Nine

Butchie and Kai wake up to a joyous revelation; Imperial Beach plays host to a makeshift parade organized by a revamped Stinkweed.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 47 minutes Release date: August 12, 2007
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Boring on December 22, 2007
Format: DVD
It's unfortunate that the term "groundbreaking" when it comes to television series seems to equate only to pushing the boundaries of sex and violence. "John From Cincinnati" broke new ground in narrative style and tackling the difficult topic of our collective subjective experiences that looked from the outside to be a simplistic family drama about surfing. It is definitely much more than that.

"John From Cincinnati" plays more like a fable than a realistic drama whose characters are simultaneously over-the-top caricatures and profoundly human. They encompass our irrational fears, damaging anger, tendency to cling to the past, and our desire to escape from it and change. These characters ARE us, and we look at them both in their specific niche and set against the tableau of the history of our species' existence ("big and huge" as John describes).

At the center of this is John who is less of an actual character and more of a personification of that which connects us and our own naiveté. He is a narrative device analogous to a Greek chorus. He serves as a reflection of a character's innermost thoughts and desires and strives to connect them to each other. He even literally does this as he imitates them. He stands apart from the rest of the cast to comment on them in his own bizarre way.

The writing is rich in its language and subtle humor. We aren't treated to immediate gratification either (and even the finale creates more mystery than it solves which is unfortunate in this case). Certainly airing immediately after the finale of "The Sopranos" when no one was watching handicapped such a series where continuity is significant.
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Format: DVD
Only the damned can be saved...and that's exactly what happens when John appears one morning, straight out of the blue (or Cincinnati as he'd have it) to tell Mitch Yost (patriarch of a multigenerational family of competitive surfers) to "Get back in the Game."
Funny stuff happens around John. People go up in the air. Things, usually in satisfyingly impressive denominations, materialize right out of his pockets.
The dead come back to life
The living begin to come back to life by both reaching out, and receiving kindnesses from one and other.
As one bemused individual, drawn into the strange and mysterious goings on around the Yost's observes: "There's a lot of quick healers in this zip code."
Love, Healing, Redemption, Spirituality and Slight-of-Hand... Sometimes hilariously, sometimes compassionately, John is the catalyst (think Starman crossed with Harpo Marx) who helps it all happen. I'd give ANYTHING to see the story continue with new episodes! Work with us at [...]
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The excellent writing is often lost beneath the torrents of expletives -- but -- if you can get past that, JFC is totally engrossing. Miracles, mysterious figures, mysticism, surfing! The series was cut short to 10 episodes (from 13), so the series finale is a bit hurried. But the opening sequence (and Bob Dylan music) for that last episode is truly moving, given all that happened on the show's run.

So, giving JFC one star is right enough for those who don't get it, but those that do get it, 5 are not enough.

We won't see more of this show, and maybe we don't need to. It was great for what it was. If you're undecided, rent it. It's worth it.

KBrady
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Format: DVD
This was an absolutely wonderful show that only needed time to find a real audience. Quirky, intelligent, and well written, it was too cerebral to appeal to just the mundane viewer, which accounts for its lack of a huge following. It was also one of the best shows on TV in a very long time. Had HBO had the guts to keep in on the air, as they should have done, it would have developed the proper audience which it obviously needed for the powers that be to keep it on. Too bad it was so far out of the mainstream that the average Joe couldn't see it for the truly wonderful and uniquely appealing show that it was.

HBO needs to rethink its decision to take it off the air and put it back onto its schedule where it belongs. This show deserves every chance to develop an audience. After all, it is a show a bit off the beaten path; therefore, people deserve the chance to find it.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I have to laugh at the desperate desire to make this show something more than it was. Milch, one of the co-creators admitted in an interview that the show was put together too fast and there was not enough respect for the process. It shows. I am thankful for the admission because otherwise I would have to believe the show was confusing for the sake of being confusing and I hate that.

There story is incomplete. There is no beginning or end only a middle unless launching a new clothing line was meant to be the goal. There is very little character development. Characters like the chemist, the young Hawaiian, and the Chinese man are introduced with no purpose while other characters like the Doctor fall abruptly out of the story. I am not sure if the actor that played Shawn was told to be a lifeless robot or he could just not act which is bad since the story revolves around him.. The show's title character, John, would have been better off not being in the story at all. Nichols did a good job with it but all he does is distract.

The purpose of the show is to remind us that we are interconnected no matter how quirky we are or how much baggage we have. To that I say, "Thanks for stating the obvious."

The show does provide some laughs and Ed O'Neil's performance was terrific which is why I am charitably giving this 3 stars. What is really annoying is that there was potential for a great show. Maybe someday someone will realize it and make it the way it should be.
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