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John From Cincinnati – Episode 10 (“His Visit: Day Nine”)

Posted by g3tech on August 13, 2007

So there was this multi-part documentary series that aired about the American Musical on PBS a while back. And there was this one segment that stuck with me, about Hal Prince recalling when Andrew Lloyd Webber approached him about directing Cats. And Prince listens to his spiel and says something along the lines of “Andrew, is there something I don’t get? Is this about Queen Victoria, and she’s the main cat, and Disraeli and Gladstone are the other cats, and there are poor cats, and am I missing this?” And Andrew Lloyd Webber looks at him and says, “Hal, it’s about cats.”

I bring this up because I just spent 10 weeks watching John From Cincinnati, listening as David Milch has gone through his spiel and built his story about an other-worldly messenger delivering some divinely inspired gospel to an unlikely recipient. And after all nine weeks of buildup, I’ve watched the final episode, and the only thing I can conclude is: God’s message is apparently suggestions for a new branding campaign for Stinkweed. I mean, I’m sure there’s probably more to it then that, and I’m just not getting it, but I’m also fairly certain that that — the “not getting” it part — doesn’t rest entirely on my shoulders.

Anyhow…Shaun and John return, surfing in on a wave. Where have they been? “Cincinnati,” Shaun says, though he’s pointing up to the sky when he says it, which means that either the kid either really sucks at geography or he had some celestial experience. Butchie whisks Shaun off to see Mitch and Cissy, while John and Linc have a heart-to-heart about what the hell this is all about. I’m not sure Linc understands things any better than I do after John’s explanations, but he does latch onto the bright idea to adopt the stick-figure symbol for a new line of Stinkweed clothing and hold a parade, featuring the Yosts, to deliver God’s message of love and community and competitively priced surfing accessories.

And what of the Yosts? Well, Mitch levitates again, this time in front of Cissy, and everyone spends most of the episode gawking at him. Finally, Butchie and Shaun help him down, and it’s nice to see that family put together again. Cissy even smarts off to some mouth-breathing pervert who says something ungallant to Tina. That was unexpected.

Wrapping up other loose threads: Cunningham no longer feels ashamed of who he is. Freddy is out of the direct-to-market pharmaceutical business. Dickstein gets his hummer from a suddenly friendly Jennifer Grey. Bill finally ventures to the upper room of his house to wrestle with his own demons, whereupon Zippy returns to him. And John delivers another monologue about Dr. Smith returning from Cincinnati twenty years younger and Cissy getting pregnant, which is either an epilogue or a preview of Season Two. Or maybe it’s just about cats.


No Responses Yet to “John From Cincinnati – Episode 10 (“His Visit: Day Nine”)”

  1. Hiya! *grinwavies*

    I tried to watch this show when it first began and couldn’t get through the first epi. The previews for it had made it seem as though it would be vaguely Twin Peaks-ish, and that intrigued me. However, I just found it dull and slow moving.

    My husband stuck with it however, and tivoed it every week. He found it was better to watch it in fast forward, skipping over the boring parts, and hitting play when something important happened. Believe it or not, you are able to understand what’s going on and get the gist of things with this technique, all the while avoiding the unbearably tedious stuff.

    John From Cincy has been canceled, btw, the folks over at HBO finally wising up. http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/08/14/television.john.reut/index.html

    I would suggest, if you haven’t already started watching it, to check out Flight of the Conchords, also on HBO. It’s hilarious!!


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