John from Cincinnati

HBO (ended 2007)


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John from Cincinnati Fan Reviews (36)

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  • John from Cincinatti was a series that had potential.

    As with Deadwood, which I actually liked, I was unable to grow a bigger interest that would have enabled me to remember to watch every Sunday. I was there, after The Sopranos finale aired (which people blame for John's decreased ratings), to watch John from Cincinatti.

    At first, I thought that it was a decent series, although I expected a lot more. I found the cast and characters to be excellent and the writing to be, somewhat, above mediocre. I really enjoyed John's character but I stuck with him until episode three. Believe me, I really wanted to watch (after previews of John meeting thugs). But, I just could not remember that week and that inevitably made me forget the series entirely.

    I thought this series would become another "smash hit" by HBO (all those previews before it premiered). I am very disappointed with HBO in cancelling this series. The final episode (which I have not viewed) drew over three million viewers, more than some episodes of Deadwood, and Deadwood was very expensive, and I'm sure John from Cincinatti isn't that expensive to produce. This time, I'll remember to buy the DVD. John from Cincinatti is another example of HBO's waning "glory days". I apologize, John.
  • Save JFC Postcard Campaign

    I really like "John From Cincinnati" and want to do everything I can to try to get a second season. So, along with some other devoted fans, we are starting an postcard campaign.

    The postcard campaign is being hosted by at:

    Here you can vote for your favorite postcard design and learn more about how to contribute. We are working with an environmentally friendly printer who will print and mail the postcards for us. You can also help by making a donation at to

    Also, feel free to come by TheSnug and join in the discussion. We learn so much from each other! See you there.
  • A very wordy show that confuses but entertains

    Set in a surfing community and around the Yost family, their friends and colleagues, this is an odd show. It seems to be about a Jesus figure intersecting into their lives (not that it's apparent straight off) showing them miracles and making them float. It's main problem however is that the characters spurt a load of words that aren't straight to the point and sometimes very cryptic. I had a hard time understanding what characters were getting at, what was this dialogue about. Other hurdles consist of excessive swearing (especially by Sissy who needs anger management) and a teenage kid that can't act.

    Despite these faults if you stick with it, it's an entertaining show, and you'll gradually sink into the very simple story as it unfolds and more characters come into play. The character of John himself is an odd character who at first just seems mentally disabled to everyone but in fact is more than that. His babbling only makes sense in portions and is mainly copied from other characters words, that's until he starts mentioning his Father's word of course.

    The other characters are all oddballs themselves but learn to appreciate one another with John around. You also get Cromartie from the Terminator TV series pop up here as a Doctor, one of the straighter characters. And in all honesty that is what this show is all about, Character, and if you can't get on with this characters its probably not for you.

    Final note, the music they chose for the show is kick ass - the main theme tune in particular I wouldn't mind owning. In fact I wouldn't mind owning the full soundtrack album if they licence it for release.
  • Drama about a dysfunctional Southern California family galvanized by the sudden arrival of two strangers. In Imperial Beach, California, the dysfunctional Yost family intersects with two new arrivals to the community.

    This series was crazy, funny and very cool to watch. I loved watching this series but I guess they didn't plan to air it for long or the ratings wasn't that good because it last for about one season. But it was good while it lasted. To anyone who go looking for this series good luck but I suggest you try the network who created and air the series first. I'm glad I watch this series because it helped me when I was bored or just waiting for something else to come on. Can't wait until the next new series from the network that aired this one.
  • I really love the show but the last episode of the season didn't make much sense to me at all.

    This show is great on so many levels. I wonder why they had to end it the way that they did. I think I understand the concept pretty well but a lot of stuff still confuses me. I hope that they will come back for a second season so we can discover more secrets about "Cincinnati". I want to know more about John and what will happen with the Yost family. About Shaun and Butchie. They have an exceptional cast and I don't want that show to go to waste like some other shows. I really want this show to be successful.
  • The people if Imperial Beach find their very lives changing with the arrival of John from Cincinnati.

    A show that makes the viewer stop and think.For the intellectual.
    What the show is trying to say or do in my opinion is that there are things in life that are beyond our control and that if we all come together we can solve alot of problems.
    There is so much going on in this show that you have to have watched it from episode #1 otherwise you'll be lost or turned off very quickly.
    Exellent acting all around and of course exellent writing from Milch,Nunn,Mann and the rest of the writing staff.!!!!
    This is a show unlike anything else on tv so be prepared to get hooked on this one.......Dave
  • This is the worst show I've seen in many years.

    I've watched most of this season trying very hard to give this show a fair chance. The show has a fantastic cast of actors but the writing, character development and story are just plain horrible. Most of it just doesn't make any sense. Mitch floating in the air, Bill having conversations with his bird, a bird who has the ability to heal, the whole John character...I could go on and on. I've watched it and tried to like it or make sense of it but it's just too ridiculous. Then there are characters like Cissy Yost, that are so annoying I want to push mute when she comes on because she's always in a rage yelling about something. If ever there were a show screaming for cancellation it's this one. My hope is that Shaun will soon be gone for good.
  • Fabulously Lynchian!

    I wasn't sure I'd want anything to do with a show about surfing. Thankfully, this show is about so much more -- though I'm not entirely sure what it *is* about. But I don't care! I haven't enjoyed a mindf*ck this thoroughly since Twin Peaks first season. Characters die or nearly die, then come back to life. A former cop receives messages from a telepathic conure which may or may not be partially responsible. Another character levitates for no apparent reason. The titular character, with an apparent case of echolalia, all but defies description. This is a thoroughly enjoyable hour of refreshingly original television, and I can't wait to watch it all unfold every week.
  • I don't get it but I can't stop watching it!

    I've watched this from the start but I am totally confused. The Show is Pointless, weird and the woman Cissy, mother of the Yost family is a very bad actor among other very bad actors. I'll be suprised if she ever works again after this show.
    Even with all the bad acting its probable because its so original and i've never seen anything like it before that I keep watching or maybe I just like to see self distruction.
    You have to watch at least one episode yourself, don't worry if you don't get it, you still wouldn't even if you had been watching it from the start.
  • Very Addictive

    John From Cincinnati is a show for one who loves to explore one's own mind. There in lies the entertainment. To see how deep and in how many ways the mind can think. Beneath the rough shell the characters present the audience lies an eloquent universe of human interaction. How will this supernatural being (John) cure our troubles?
  • A stranger slides almost effortlessly into the middle of the dysfunctional Yost family of California surfers and galvanizes the members into changing their whole lives.

    It's been a long time since I've seen anything on TV with this much heart. At first I wasn't sure what to make of it, but soon I was completely enamoured with the Yost family and their intimate circle of friends. There is something so likable about this small group of totally screwed-up people.

    I found the characters to be well-rounded if flawed human beings and the acting exceptional. A surprisingly muted performance from Luke Perry and a truly deep performance by Ed O'Neill as a retired cop, who hasn't been quite "all there" since the death of his wife, highlight the amazing cast of supporting players. But the real stand-outs are Rebecca DeMornay playing the tragic Matriarch of the Yost family with a refreshing lack of abandon and Brian Van Holt playing against type as her screwed-up drug-addicted son. It's nice to see Brian stretching his skills by playing something other than the clean-cut soldier/cop/criminal that is his usual fare.

    The addition of the real-life professional surfers Keala Kennelly, as family friend Kai, and Greyson Fletcher (a fourth generation surfer) as third generation surfer Sean Yost just seem to fit right in.

    Of course one can't leave out Bruce Greenwood, Willie Garson, Matt Winston and the always amusing Luis Guzman, plus a cryptic portrayal of the title character by Austin Nichols.

    All-in-all this show has a depth and a soul that many others seem to lack. Don't get me wrong, it's a very strange program and a bit kooky. From John's magic pants to the miraculous healing of Sean Yost there are weird things happening every time you blink, but everything seems somehow to fit.

    There are other shows out there (including some of my personal favourites) that give you the impression that the writers are making it up as they go along... this is not one of them. Right from the start you get the distinct feeling that this show is on a journey and there is a definite destination ahead and hopefully many stories to live through before we get there.
  • Had high expectations from David Milch (having loved Deadwood), but this show is a train wreck of bad acting and bad dialog... Filled with characters and side stories that no one cares about. HORRIBLE

    Loved Deadwood, loved Carnivale, loved The Wire... Hate this show, despite giving it every opportunity. The main plot line is unveiling painfully slowly and the other plots are stupid, filled with characters no one cares about (the 3 guys are the hotel, the drug dealer and his sidekick...).

    The main family contains the worst set of actors ever put on screen -- the dad (a.k.a cue the angry old guy), the mom (oh god is she horrible), the kid (smooth and polished -- like lagged rocks)

    Knowing it was done by Milch made me hang in there, but the casting, the lame dialog, and the uninteresting side stories are killers. I can't fathom this mess getting picked up for another season -- it's actually worse than the Louis CK show
  • Awesome!

    Entertaining absolutely! Thought provoking, positive, it actually has it all........
    I seriously do not bother watching TV.Just turned on the tv to get rid og the quite in the house the first time I saw it, But this show, NOW the alarm is set!
    I honestly cannot wait until the next show! Never thought in my life any television show could get an alrm set in my house!
    To date, I started out watching....we have a group at my house for a John From Cincinnati watch party....
    I will soon require a larger theatre room!
    Everyone loves this show, so for there are 14 friends!
  • The Jury on this series is still out!.......

    I want to love this series I really do, however what really gets me is this may be the show they canned "Deadwood" for! This series cannot even attempt to come close to the level of writing and complexity of "Deadwood" even though Milchy put a bit of the same actors in this series. The characters in this series are not worthy of sympathy. John is pretty much it, I guess I keep watching just to see what he will do. Rebecca DeMonay is one of the worst actors in Hollyweird! She just has no range at all! Bruce Greenwood as Mitch Yost is the only really good actor. Ed Oneil is OK as comedy relief however this whole show is too full of the eccentric and the bizarre to make it really last. I'll be surprised if it get a second season, I think this has to be someones pet project to get much further. The writing is pretty slow and dull as well. Ok yeah not much Good to say about it I guess. Like I always "Its like watching a slow train wreck, you just can't look away"! Come on Milch this can't be why you left Deadwood!
  • Episode 3

    This show is so bad I watch it to rewind and laugh. The writing is so bad that I don't think any decent actor could do much with it. Unfortunately, there are no decent actors on the show. One character had to say her lady part was so hot that is felt like it was cooking on a George Foreman grill, and her chest felt like it was in a blast furnace!!! I laughed so hard I wet my lady under garmets. What a stinker, if this is HBO's answer to the Soprano's, I'm canceling.
  • I'm on the edge of my seat...I'm trying to catch my breath...What is going on!?

    I'm still not sure what is going on in this show, but I can't get enough! This show has got me hooked in a way that I can't remember since the early days of Grey's Anatomy (All you serious TV critics be gentle, I'm in health care). From one episode to the next I have not been able to predict much of anything and I am continually amazed at the level of my immersion in this show. I can't wait to see the next episode.

    My only concern with this show is where can they go from here? Once all of the mystery about what is going on is gone will there be enough left to sustain? I'm trying to think of another show that can be compared with this one, but I'm having trouble thinking of one. There have been others of this caliber but not so unique, or am I wrong?

    HBO has done it again...maybe they'll be able to script a better ending when this one is all said and done (a long time from now I hope).
  • This show is about a family of surfers and there lives and a visiting mystery John.

    I think this show is so great because when your watching it you get hooked on the mystery,Lives,and great humour. The shows characters are some what random and all have there own story,fears,Mysteries.John from cincinnati is really a show which concentrates on family and there troubles and all trying to get on with there lives. I feel the way they have shown johns character is amazing and always makes you wonder who is this character and what is the purpose of john. The show also make me wonder if john is connected to all of the powers ever since he as shown up the family some how have great power. The show gets thumbs up from me and is definitely a must see.
  • This Show Rocks!

    David Milch has really outdone himself this time. I have been hooked since the first 5 minutes of the 1st episode. The actors are superb, the writing is creative to say the least, and the whole thing leaves me staring at the tv after it's over. There have already been over 5,000 posts on's message board and only 3 episodes. Milch has done well in the past, NYPD blue, Deadwood, etc. and I think he (HBO gods willing) really has something here.

    All I can say is watch it- and if you are in to mysterious-multilayered- reality questioning entertainment than you will be blown away by John From Cincinnati.
  • Completely Brilliant Show!!!!

    I can see why some people would hate this show... Thats because those people don't like to think. But after watching episode one of the series, I completely LOVED it. Such an original and mysterious plot. Some people complain that the acting was bad... They don't know what acting is then. I hate it when people complain when things arn't explained in the first episode... If they are then whats the point of calling it a 'series'. I wasn't a big surfing fan until I watched this. Also Greyson Fletcher (Shaun Yost), In my opinon, did a great job in his first acting gig. If you don't think that, then listen for the quote "He never shows what hes feeling" and rethink your dicision.
  • A drama come sci-fi, with enough potential to overthrow the likes of PRISON BREAK, HEROES and LOST. Tune in, or miss out on an adventure-Its your call.

    As i sat in a VERY chilly Sydney Australia,pondering the merits of local TV, i stumbled upon JOHN FROM CINCINNATI.Instaniously transixed, i am now a fully fledged fan. A little escapism, a little HEROES, with a hint of DEADWOOD inspired dialect.A show with plenty of promise. Please let it run its first season. This is certainly a must see for me from now on.
  • Surfer family gets a visit from a stranger who appears to be a big fan. But when he gets to town strange and inexplicable things happen.

    Mitch was the best surfer of his generation. His son Butchie was the best surfer of his generation and revolutionized the sport. Shawn is the newest surfer in the family, and he seems poised to overtake the legacies of his father and grandfather, which shouldn't be too hard since his dad is hooked on smack, and his grandpa had reconstructive knee surgery years ago. The family ties are very strained and seem to be in disrepair, until a strange fellow arrives: John from Cincinnati. When this "super fan" comes to town looking for Butchie, his odd behavior--and more important to Butchie, his money--is nearly unnoticable compared to the absurd behavior of this lovingly disfunctional family. Then, bizzare and unexplained events start the family on a rollercoaster of emotions and internal struggles sure to hook most viewers into their world.
  • One irratating, boring tv program

    This show is horrible. All the characters are unlikeable. The story stinks. The young boy, its almost like hes in a different show. His timing is horrible and pathetic.

    Im amazed someone didnt take Milch aside and tell him.

    I know no-one can bat 1,000 but this is awful. I tried to give it a chance, Ive watched all 3 episodes, total nightmare
  • Combining the gritty and profane with the surreal and spiritual, John from Cincinnati is a joy to behold.

    Combining the gritty and the profane with the surreal and the spiritual, David Milch's John from Cincinnati is a complete joy to behold. Defying any easy genre classification, it leaves you anticipating the next episode while you relish the one you have just seen.

    The story revolves around three generations of the Yost family, a California surfing clan that includes father Mitch, who has developed the ability to float above the ground; son Butchie, whose career was destroyed by heroin; and grandson Shawnie, the prodigy. At the center of this dysfunctional brood is mother Cissy, brilliantly portrayed by Rebecca DeMornay in one of the best roles of her career. Entering into their world is the title character John, who seems to have supernatural powers and whose speech consists of cryptic phrases and repeating what is said to him. John's introduction into their world is the catalyst that will change their lives and that will drive the show. Who John is and what he is doing is at the heart of this show's mystery. Is he a prophet, a Christ figure, an angel? Or is he merely human, a vessel for something else entirely.
    We know that he can create necessary material items (cash, credit card, cell phone) simply by reaching into his pockets. In the opening episode, a serendipitous series of events in his orbit bring the broken Yost family together. Whatever the answers are, its clear that John is a force that defies easy explanation.

    I found the first episode of this show so absorbing and fascinating that I had to watch it three times to piece together just what John was doing in a very subtle way. And although I love Milch's refreshingly vulgar dialogue, it is the juxtaposition of zenlike spirituality that marks this show as a true original, and possibly the best thing on tv.

    Oh yeah, and the surfing scenes are cool, too.
  • a new guilty pleasure for me since sopranos

    here is another great creation from david milch. even though its not the best, its really great. i love watching the relationships between the family and how john plays a part. we may never see shows like 'six feet under' or 'the sopranos' again but if you were a fan of 'deadwood' like me, give this show a chance. its worth watching.
  • Hmmm...whats happening here? Its worth finding out!

    But isn't that what made LOST so appealing, no one really knows whats happening or what will happen next. The basic plot points were revealed in the pilot episode, spanning from Shauny Yost / Bill's Bird have some type of healing power, Mitch Yost can levitate or possibly fly, and Butchy can possibly see the immediate future (whihc is a possible reason he redefine surfing because he was able to see the patterns of the waves before he made his moves). John seems to be the central character and is characterized as an autistic person, yet still a genius. Its going to be interestting to see how this show unravels so i give it a 9.1/10 for the appeal and catching viewers interests.
  • Promising New HBO Surreal Drama/Comedy/Allegory is Six Feet Under meets Surfing

    This promising new show continues in HBO's tradition of adult-oriented, quirky dramas. It is well cast, clever, easy on the eyes and ears, and explores the surreal dysfunctional-family-flirts-with-transcendence theme that made Six Feet Under so involving.

    The casting is excellent, the dialog witty, the allegory and transcendental hints intriguing, and the cinematography, scenery and soundtrack are easy on the senses. Some of the characters, particularly the uncle, are so extreme and stiff (operatic) that they pull you out of the moment, but nothing that a little time and tuning can't fix.

    The central conceit--the simpleton-prophet visitor--is promising, and well played. Let's hope the writers know where to go with this, and the audience smart enough to rise to the challenge, rather than lazily labeling this challenging show "confusing", and moving on.

    First episodes best lines:

    "If that's a tumor, where do I sign up?"

    "This may be the right time to admit that we don't have a perfect marriage."

    I'll be watching, and hoping this show fulfills its promise and finds its audience.
  • No Sopranos replacement but what can? This is show is still amazing and is worthy of the time slot.

    The first episode left me a little confused about the show and everything that was going on. i wasn't sure if I was going to like it but it piqued my interest so I decided to give episode two a chance. Well I just finished the second episode and I get it. I get what the creators are trying to do here. I understand the show now. I'm so glad HBO decided to give this show a shot and picked up a season. Network TV would never try a show like this. It's shows like this that truly make clear the fact that 'it's not TV, it's HBO.' The only negative thing I have to say is I think not enough people will give the show a shot and it'll end after this season. Hopefully HBO will renew it no matter what and people can get a chance to get into it like they did Six Feet Under.

    P.S. To the WashingtonPost critic who gave it bad reviews: You had the first _3_ episodes and you still don't get it? You'll be eating your words by the end of the season.
  • Hoping that people catch on to John From Cincinnati...

    I was absolutely blown away by the pilot episode of John From Cincinnati. In the weeks leading up to its release, the press was placing bets that this new show, created by David Milch, would never meet "Sopranos" standards. Having no interest in a show about surfing, I didn't expect much. What a surprise! The acting is phenomenal, the dialogue witty and comical, and the surfing shots are extraordinary. Despite many fantastic elements, it will be interesting to see if viewers buy the story - which is almost entirely elusive. The pilot episode outlines the basics - a family of surfers, spanning three generations, are cursed with an amazing gift and suddenly brought together in the presence of a phantasmagorical character named John. Who is this John? - remains the big question. The metaphysical aspects of this series are allegorical tools with no definitive explanations, leaving two possibilities. The viewers will continue watching and interpreting in hopes of "finding out" or they won't bother. Considering the reaction to The Sopranos finale, viewers seem to feel entitled to know...they want closure...they want to understand. David Milch is going to need a lot of bait to hook HBO subscribers now...

    He’s caught my attention!
  • A little WTF mixed with a little shredding.

    I was not expecting alot from this show.
    I'm not frequelty suprised, "John..." is not going to change my life by any means, yet I did enjoy the oddities. The 3 generations of surfers all have issues (no suprise)
    the stranger (never has that word been taken more literal) is going to bring me back next week. I don't know where this show is heading and that is a refreshing change from 90% of the product TV that gets made. Hurray for HBO! It's great to see Ed O'Neill again.
  • Lots of potential that needs work on!

    Lots of potential that needs some working on and that
    They have a gifted cast and really could be a Great show. Yosts family are a bunch of would-be surfers Who's lives are interrupted by the mysterious John from Cincinnatti hence the title. John befriends 13-year old Shaun, who's dad Butchie, the Yosts' son is drug addicted and in debt due to his habit. Hopefully it will improve each and every week. We shall see now won't we?!
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