Sunday, August 12, 2007

John From Cincy: The rules of the game

Spoilers for the "John From Cincinnati" season (series?) finale coming up just as soon as I grab my jump-balls...

I can sum up my chronological reaction to the finale roughly as follows: Wow. Huh? Whoa. Wha? Um, okay...

On the one hand, we get the majesty of John and Shaun surfing their way down from "Cincinnati," perfectly edited and then scored to Bob Dylan's "Series of Dreams" (which at one time was being considered for the show's theme song). It's a sequence at once so beautiful and so fist-pumping that I've already watched it at least as many times as I revisited The Sermon At The Motel.

And we got a character -- Linc, of all people -- finally start to make some headway in deciphering John's echolalia-riddled speech patterns. (So that's what "If my words are yours, can you hear my father?" means! Thank you!) And we even kinda sorta explained (I think) the point of Mitch's levitation: he's been floating away from his family for years, and it's not until he recognizes this, swallos his pride and asks for Butch and Shaun's help in getting down that he can truly put his feet on terra firma and engage with the world and his loved ones again.

On the other hand, we come to the end of the season -- and, I suspect, the series, for reasons I can elaborate on one last time below -- with no greater understanding of John's (and Milch's) master plan. The episode just keeps piling on the subplots and characters in a way that seems less in service to the story (whatever it is) than to Milch's desire to, say, squeeze in Jerri and Dwayne, or to give cameos to old buddies like Keone Young (aka Mr. Wu, as one of our Hawaiian visitors), Peter Jason (aka Con Stapleton, as the car salesman who, it's implied, may be John's "father") and Bill Clark (aka the real mind behind "NYPD Blue," who pops up as the Imperial Beach chief of police with the sickly dog). And even Linc only can get so far with John.

I don't think Milch is blind to how the audience is reacting to all this, nor to the notion that this would probably be his last opportunity to tell us much of anything about these characters. He has Linc berate John into giving him a straight answer about what he's supposed to do (which John turns into another chance to play parrot), and has Mitch bark out a line like, "I need to know what this is about!" And then there's John's list of way the bleep out of left field pronouncements about what will happen to many characters in the future, which I will reproduce here rather than attempt to explain, because the Dr. Smith thing in particular just hurts my brain:
"Dr. Smith comes back 20 years younger from Cincinnati. Cissy gets knocked up. She's bigger than Leona Helmsley. Earth puts Dickstein on retainer; Daphne keeps his head straight. Jerri meets a slew of new harelips. My father forewalls (four walls?)Barry's bar. Dr. Smith trains Dwayne and Ramon. My father freelances in Cass' camera."
As I said in my column the other day, it's like John is reading from Milch's outline for the theoretical second season, but it doesn't do much, if anything, in helping us decipher what happened in the here and now. (For all I know, Garret Dillahunt was just busy getting root canal work the week this was filmed and Milch made up the "20 years younger" thing as some bizarre explanation for Dr. Smith's absence from the rest of the episode.)

A commenter to Friday's post complained about my desire for explanation, saying "Irreducibility, & non-conformity to existing concepts and frameworks are kinda the essence of the miraculous." And, look, I understand the whole notion of God working in mysterious ways, as well as the one about proof denying faith, etc., etc. But I'm not one of the Yosts, or Vietnam Joe, or Barry Cunningham, someone who's experiencing John's miracles directly; I'm the viewer of a television show. I don't need John to tell Linc "I'm an extraterrestrial from the planet of Grapthar's Hammer, and I'm here to inspire your entire planet to take up surfing because we really dig watching it," but I need something to keep me engaged during the stretches in between the grand moments like The Sermon, or John and Shaun's return, or Bill's belated trip up the stairs, and a few hints about the grand plan might help.

In fairness, even if we don't know the purpose or mechanism behind John's miracles, at least we've seen tangible results over these ten episodes. The Yost family, once a damaged, splintered group with little more than a name in common, have been healed. Butchie's clean and sober, Cissy has forgiven herself for molesting him, Tina's back in town and not completely unwelcome (loved the moment during the parade where the entire Yost clan joined in unison to insult the jerkoff who was hassling Tina) and Mitch has gotten down from the air and back in the game. Linc has a conscience, Cass a purpose and, in one of the best, most touching "character unburdens his soul to an inanimate object" Milch monologues ever, Bill got the courage to go up that damn spiral staircase and make peace with his wife's death.

(Maybe it's just my difficulty in translating all Milchspeak, but I hadn't realized until he got up there and we saw the hospital bed that Lois was ill even before she fell down the steps; why would you put an invalid up there?)

To recycle another line from Friday's column, what an enthralling, frustrating, amazing show. I can't explain it, but I'm going to miss it.

Some other thoughts on the finale:
  • So here's why I think the show's not coming back: it's about as expensive as "Deadwood" (minus the period sets and costumes but plus even more reshoots and overruns), but with at best a quarter of the buzz and critical acclaim. (Even I, Blurby McBlurberson, have been guarded in my praise throughout, and most mainstream critics just gave up after the first three or four episodes.) "John" was created in the first place as HBO's alibi for cancelling "Deadwood," but that's not relevant anymore. (If anything, cancelling "John" increases the chances -- however slightly -- that those "Deadwood" movies might get made some day, in that Milch won't have anything else on his plate. I still will only believe the movies are getting made when the review screeners cross my desk, though.)
  • Best payoff to a set-up that didn't seem like a set-up: Shaun returns to Mitch and Cissy's house and asks Cissy to make him a "peanut butter and butter" sandwich. Cissy, stunned, asks, "Not tuna?" Maybe you should've asked him how he liked it at some point, huh, Cissy?
  • So, is Con the car salesman John's father, some other celestial being, or just an eccentric guy who happens to throw around John buzzwords like "Zeroes and ones"?
  • Anyone care to offer an interpretation of the final shot and line? I've replayed it a half-dozen times, and best I can make out it's, "Mother of God, Cass/Kai." Huh? (I kept going back to make sure it wasn't "bless Kai," which it's clearly not.) On the plus side, Keala Kennelly's got some moves on the board.
  • Speaking of Kai, nice little moment where she thanks Ramon for taking care of Butchie during his long time in the heroin wilderness.
  • Liked Bill's running commentary on all the participants in the parade ("Here's a drug casualty, he thinks his car's normal... Here's the homosexual in the hybrid... look at the breasts on these women. This country is doomed.")
  • Couldn't care less about Mr. Wu and our other visitor from Hawaii. Freddy and Palaka have discussed their impending arrival enough that it's not a completely out of left field development, but it still felt completely extraneous.
What did everybody else think?

49 comments:

Dan Coyle said...

I think my head hurts.

And Keana Kenally should continue acting, because she's cute as a button and hot on toast. ;-)

TuckPendleton said...

Alan -- was right there with you, fist pumping during the Dylan song. Which I'm glad didn't get used for the main titles, because I really like the main title song, and I can't imagine a better song to go over John and Shaunie surfing in.

So torn over this show. On one hand, it's the same feeling I had with Friday Night Lights, where you almost don't want this one fantastic season blemished by a sophomore-jinxed second one. Of course, I can't wait for the 2nd season of FNL, or (hopefully) JFC.

Then again, on the third(?) hand, my girlfriend got me to watch 'Catch and Release' this weekend, starring our favorite Sheriff Bullock, and if JFC's cancellation paves the way for a couple of trips back to the Gem Saloon, I'd kinda like that too.

Oh well. Not bad problems to have I guess. Now if we can just get Murray to manage to John's new surfing career...

curious george said...

I don't know, Alan, instead.

Zumone said...

I just got my "John From Cincinnati" decoder ring in the mail. It says "Buy more ovaltine". What does your decoder ring say?

Jesus did it? John is a mermaid? Don't eat Tuna? All the world is Shakespeare's Tempest? John from Cincy rhymes with Da Vinci?

How about this show reminds me of Carnivàle with surfers?

John said...

Really a lot going on there. The bit with the car salesman was most fascinating--he definitely seemed to be controlling John in some way (or intending to, anyway), and with all of the many lines of John's he threw in there, it seemed clear he was another guy from Cincinnati.

So strange, so strange. 9/11/14 ... Dr. Smith, 20 years younger ... mother of God, Cass/Kai. Some clarity, but too much confusion. Not sure if I want it to come back. I suppose I would watch more, but it might be impossible to move it forward in a satisfying way.

Andrew said...

I'll watch it if it comes back. I won't weep if it doesn't, although I will miss it. I'll buy the DVD when it arrives. I'll probably make an annual routine out of trying to make sense of it.

dez said...

After the last ep, I said I wouldn't watch a second season, even though I've mostly enjoyed this one. But after that surfing sequence, I would definitely be back for more if HBO gives it to us. I want to know more about John's Father's words and Cass/Kai and all the other incomprehensible stuff.

Dennis Wilson said...

I wonder what David Chase thought of this episode...

Toadmonster said...

I might try to write more about this later, but for now – I thought that this episode was amazing. This is the first (that is, only) episode that’s made me really want the show to keep running. As you suggest, though, Alan, this episode being so full of payoffs goes hand in hand with so many previous episodes having too little. This: we come to the end of the season … with no greater understanding of John's (and Milch's) master plan I think is just wrong; I thought that the episode clarified a great deal, even as it did add new questions or alter previous ones. Certainly a lot of new stuff was added that seems bizarre or nonsensical, but a lot of previous weirdness has also been resolved. So John’s just laying out the next batch, whose resolution will then further the divine master plan to the next step. I mean, in theory the story has to move forward, so we get a new set of events whose nature and meaning will remain unknown to the characters but who will be drastically changed by them, etc.

I still think, on balance, that the calls for clarification are misguided. You’re right that the dazzle of the miraculous wore off for the viewer after a couple of episodes, and it was really only in the sermon episode and this one that we got real clarification and development of any ‘bigger picture’. I think there’s a lot that the show does badly (and I do mean a lot – I’ve been very ambivalent about the show throughout its run, and have come off of most episodes thinking that the execution is irredeemable, but like I said, now I’m not so sure). The season could’ve maybe been structured differently so as not to have half of it amount to bridge episodes, and, though I usually hate this word, there was a lot of filler (e.g. Palaka getting sick). Part of what’s happening with the seemingly-arbitrary addition of new characters is Milch showing us the growth of this makeshift community, but it still seems haphazard too often (or too slow to pay off).

While these are real problems that should be solved, I don’t think ‘tell us what the hell is happening, David Milch!’ is a good reaction, in part because I don’t know what people are asking for. Your response to my comment picks up on part of what I mean – a lot of people have been saying ‘come on, John, just tell us you’re Jesus/John the Baptist already!’ as if that would add anything to the show or our understanding of it. So, okay, what then? If the audience were told about ‘the grand plan’, it would be self-defeating, because what’s the point of playing events out in the show once we know in advance what their meaning is going to be. But I do think we have some sense of their meaning. Do we want John to say, “I was sent by God as a catalyst for the formation of an authentic human community, in which we finally recognize that our essence lies in our coexistence, in preparation for Armageddon; also, Shaun will be a divine agent, and the internet is a big part of it because of how it’s restructured human communication”? Because I think the show has told us that. Exactly because they’re within it, the characters can’t decipher what John means, but because we’re not – because, as viewers, we see things they don’t – we can better understand John’s words and the surrounding events. I’m not sure what the middle way is between telling us where everything is going in specifics, and letting things unfold as they happen. I think the show could move faster, but I don’t think its story or themes have been indecipherable.

ooda said...

Here's the thing. Even though I lost track during parts of the show (it's the kind of show where if you're not watching closely, there's no point watching, al a The West WIng, Rome, and The Wire), I was glued to the screen for the entire thing. I loved every reference to Cincinnati that was made.

I almost feel like anything I say now about the plot is irrelevant, as it's almost like a take what you get kind of show, where the eye of the beholder is key.

I just hope the show gets a second season, because even though I can't really explain it, I love the show, and it's just relaxing to watch the show. At least I can take solace that with HBO having a poor lineup at the moment, it at least gives John from Cincinnati a fighting chance.

*hang-ten*

Undercover Black Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ooda said...

With the whole spiritual (read: vague) nature of the show, can you even really tell?

Jeff said...

Are there any notable Bible passages, like chapter 9 verse 11-14, that might relate to this show? I'm not a Bible guy but the thought came up last night.

Pandyora said...

My reaction to this episode was mixed, like my reaction to the entire series. The opening surfing scene and Bill’s monologue were both highlights.

I found the Stinkweed “parade”, however, to be a lowlight. I have a strong personal dislike for climactic scenes in which a character orates in front of a crowd of cheering anonymous people. They always seem cheap. Plus, I’m not sure what the upshot is supposed to be – people will understand God’s word if it’s better marketed? Stick figure t-shirts help spread cosmic insight to prevent future terrorist attacks?

Also, it may have been the Milchspeak, but did we finally find out what happened in the haunted hotel room? It sounded to me like Butchie may have played a role in the molestation of Barry?

Also, first Al Swearengen and now Meyer Dickstein, what is up with Milch and revelatory blow jobs?

TC said...

So, 9 11 14 was on the shuffleboard court. Any chance that was the reveal/confirmation that the Snug Harbor was the "ground zero" for John's reckoning?

There appear to be some answers in the new "Inside JFC" on hbo.com: http://www.hbo.com/johnfromcincinnati/inside/index.html
Especially, Milch's description of Linc's speech.

mas said...

Anyone else feel like the "10-Off" at the bottom of the shuffleboard could refer to one season (10 episodes) and off the air?

Valerie said...

I enjoy this show. And I love that the writers can keep the mystery going. I have this fantasy where the writers meet every week to discuss how long they can keep things building or how much they could add to the pile before they start running out.

If that car salesman is John's dad then John is definitely not Jesus. But I would buy that they are a family of prophets.

I still think Sean is the Jesus character.

Edward Copeland said...

OK -- 10 episodes. My final verdict: The ending didn't justify the means. For all the quirky performances I loved and moments I enjoyed, it didn't add up to a cohesive whole. I've read allusions to the trouble on the set and I can't help but feel that has shown through on the screen. (Greenwood vanishes for three episodes, the Dr. Smith thing) Why bring on Howard Hessemann at the last minute and do nothing with him? I think it's time to put John From Cincinnati to rest and get to work on those Deadwood movies before it's too late. I feel Milch owes us this now after this bizarre and seemingly pointless enterprise.

Rickey Henderson said...

So we're left with just as little knowledge of what's going on in the show as we did at the start. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one to shy away from narrative density, but this was just overkill. The Dylan song "Series of Dreams" was brilliantly used however.

Gish said...

What I got out of the episode...

-The Apocalypse is coming on 9/11/14 and will have something to do with the Middle East.

-The Yosts were visited by miracles and plenty of people were witness to this.

-It is the responsibility of all the surrounding characters to spread the new gospel of the Yosts, with Linc leading the way as he is the best salesman.

-Linc understands his new responsibility but softsells the religious aspect because he knows "half their customers" would head for the hills.

-The rest of the series would be about how the characters handle their new responsibilities.

I felt like almost everything was made clear and for the first time I am actually hoping for a second season. Am I reading too much into this? Do people disagree with what I wrote here?

Valerie said...

Gish: I agree with you.

dez said...

Gish: I agree with everything except the Apocalypse prediction. I think it might refer to something else, though I'm not sure what.

I'm glad Zippy returned to Bill at the end. Now he's got two telepathic birds to help out.

In terms of the show's message: I don't think it's wrong that some want more straightforward answers to what's going on in the show. If God and Jesus can give easily comprehensible messages via the Bible (not always, but many times), then so can Milch :-)

BigTed said...

I think I can give an explanation (if not THE explanation) for the final line.

When John first met Cass, he confused her with Kai (because they both represent the "elemental female" -- and also because he hadn't ever met a lot of girls before). So when he uses the name Cass-Kai, he's just echoing his earlier speech, as usual. By Cass-Kai, he means Kai, but in a way is saying she represents the universal idea of femininity and motherhood. (Sort of like Mary does in "The Da Vinci Code.")

As for the rest of the sentence -- throughout this show, there's been a question of who exactly is supposed to be Jesus. Was it John, or Butchie, or Shaun? I think John is now saying that Kai and Butchie have conceived a child, and that child will be the holy, messianic figure of the show. (To be born, if not in a manger, then a cheap hotel room, with a lot of wise guys standing around outside.) That child will redeem mankind, probably with a specially blessed MySpace page.

Anyway, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Rebecca said...

I hate to be a sourpuss, but I watched the thing from beginning episode to end and this is what I think: David Milch has either gone off the deep end, or he's fallen off the wagon. He meandered through the truncated final season of Deadwood, and he's given HBO another truncated season of personal references that are just gibberish to the rest of us.

That said, the surf scene with John and Shaun was beautiful, made more so by the choice of music, and the conversation between Linc and John sitting in front of the motel was the first conversation I've been able to make sense of: and it was complete and total self-interpretation, that might mean something else entirely to someone else. That was the whole gist of the entire series: you could read whatever you wanted into all of it, because none of it was really aimed at the audience.

If I were HBO, I'd think long and hard before giving Milch any more money. And I say that as one who has admired and revered the man as a modern-day Shakespeare.

Anonymous said...

I think John is an alien and that he took Shawn up to his spaceship and the reason Mitch keeps levitating is that they're tryin to suck him up into the spaceship.

Toby said...

One thing that might have been cleared up with a second season could have been the fascination with the power lines in the distance. John was fixated on them several times, and it appears the Chemist (Howard Hesseman) was as well.

I'm not even sure they were power lines. From the vantage of the Chemist's view, it looked like the skeleton of a future arena off in the distance. Maybe that might tie in with the references to being in cages?

I don't know.... I was transfixed by the show but it still made my head hurt.

But at least it did so in a good way; I wasn't rolling my eyes and complaining that they were making it up as they go along like I did with 'Twin Peaks'.

Still, I wish there was some sense of true closure, some finality with a wrap-up, acceptance on the part of Milch that this would be the last time he got to show us this world.....

drake leLane said...

the structure that both John and The Chemist kept focusing on was the Imperial Beach Radio Towers, where much of the signals of the area are broadcast/relayed from. I guess since LSD opens the doors of perception, The Chemist is able to fix in on the source of John's messages.

On the Cass/Kai "mother of God" front, both of them slept with a generation of Yost (Cass with Mitch, Kai with Butchie, ) so isn't it possible that they're both preggers with another little Yost? It would fit that scene better into a look at the future.

drake leLane said...

Back to radio tower thing, it's actually an FD-10, of which there are only 14 in existence (7 in the US.) They were made to detect, monitor, and plot the location of Soviet submarines and other radio emitters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

They're also nicknamed Elephant Cages or Dinosaur Cages, which has me thinking again about something the used car salesman (John's father) said. "Manuel, get a cage on this thing" (speaking about the El Camino.) Or is that a common used phrase in the car sellin' biz?

fr.novumorganum said...

re the line "mother of god cass/kai"

both cass and kai have had sex with a a yost (mitch and butchie), seems pretty clear to me

fr.novumorganum said...

you know, if you look at that stick figure man on its side it looks more like a space-ship...

the fiinal episodes made me move away from a theological interpretation to a more, well gaia paradigm...aalmost like the paradigm in 2001/2010...the universe telling us to evolve so we don't kill ourselves off

Dan Coyle said...

Okay, what's more confounding, this or End of Evangelion?

DISCUSS!

Gish said...

Just got word from a colleague that John From Cincinnati was officially canceled.

Dark Tyler said...

Oh well. Stories like this never really end, anyway.

If it is, indeed, true, then I will raise a glass to this show, because it was unlike anything I've ever seen on TV, and because it made a hard-core atheist like me look at the whole concept of God with different eyes.

Thank you, David Milch, for this amazing experience.

Anonymous said...

To answer the cass/kai question: there's a scene towards the beginning where butchie pulls up to the hotel after picking up Shaun and john at the beach. Kai walks out and says to cass- hey chick, and cass responds "its cass, kai" john is standing out there and repeats it at the end. He's referring to cass.

Dennis Wilson said...

Just heard from an industry buddy that HBO has gone ahead and officially cancelled John from Cincinnati.

Which leads me to wonder, since the announcement came less than 24 hours after the season finale, just how long ago was this decision made?

ooda said...

Yeah, just read that. Must have been a while ago, but kept quiet so that they wouldn't get the inevitable viewer drop-off that usually comes a result.

Alan Sepinwall said...

It's official, per The Hollywood Reporter.

I still doubt the Deadwood movies will ever get made, though. Sigh...

drake leLane said...

I heard about the decision to cancel last week so I think they've known for at least a couple weeks.

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping for a DVD release with some sort of extra featues/commentary...

dez said...

Meanwhile, HBO is yet to make a decision on the fate of its other freshman series that debuted this summer, the comedy "Flight of the Conchords."

Ack, take my boys off the bubble and renew the show, HBO!!

Good to see in that same article that "Burn Notice" has been picked up for a second season. One never can have too much Bruce Campbell :-)

Mr. Bad Example said...

I'm really going to miss this series, and I find it odd I can't quite point out why...

You can really interpret pretty much anything about a song's lyrics, but anyway, I thought I'll give you Dylan's lyrics to Series Of Dreams... That was as beautiful an opening sequence as I've ever seen on TV:

I was thinking of a series of dreams
Where nothing comes up to the top
Everything stays down where it's wounded
And comes to a permanent stop
Wasn't thinking of anything specific
Like in a dream, when someone wakes up and screams
Nothing too very scientific
Just thinking of a series of dreams

Thinking of a series of dreams
Where the time and the tempo fly
And there's no exit in any direction
'Cept the one that you can't see with your eyes
Wasn't making any great connection
Wasn't falling for any intricate scheme
Nothing that would pass inspection
Just thinking of a series of dreams

Dreams where the umbrella is folded
Into the path you are hurled
And the cards are no good that you're holding
Unless they're from another world

In one, numbers were burning
In another, I witnessed a crime
In one, I was running, and in another
All I seemed to be doing was climb
Wasn't looking for any special assistance
Not going to any great extremes
I'd already gone the distance
Just thinking of a series of dreams

John from Delaware said...

How many television shows, or anything, get you pumping your fist and screaming with excitement? The opening "surf" sequence with John and Shaunie beats anything I've ever seen on television. Also loved the used car salesman spouting John-like dialogue (or was it John all along spouting his "father's" words?), the Yost family insulting the perv, John and Cass shouting "Stare me down" and frightening people away, Ed O'Neill's final scene (with Zippy returning), OK . . . I'll stop. That Milch (and John) made us care about all of these lonely, burnt-out, tortured souls was the genius and soul of the show.

jbaucsks said...

Is it a certaintey that it said Cass/Kai in the final words, because I thought the last line was, "Mother of God casts Kai". If this were the case it could mean that Tina and/or Cissie gets in between Kai/Butchie's newly found relationship and sets her apart. There are, however, a ridiculous number of definitions for "cast".

Question: If the car salesman is in fact John's father, how does he fit in the mix? Didn't John say his grandfather said "listen to your father", but if they did listen to his supposed father wouldn't they have bought a mustang instead of the El Camino? Also what's with the El Camino, did that come up before?

Overall, in my opinion its a very confusing show with little substance. If anything the main substance is confusion. I've never seen a show like this before, and although I'm not a huge fan...I would definitely watch a second season just so I could sleep better at night.

dez said...

Also what's with the El Camino, did that come up before?

"El camino" is Spanish for "the road" (Babelfish translates it as "the way"), which fits symbolically with the show.

Anonymous said...

I began watching this show because I think Brian Van Holt (Butchie Yost) is a total babe...
Also an ironic scene is where Mark-Paul and Luke are standing on the pier discussing Luke's character's buyout from the company, and I realized, it's Zack from "Saved by the Bell" and Dylan from "Beverly Hills 90210", where have all the years gone!?! I will truly miss this show...

Ben said...

I am glad someone found some meaning from this show. I watched about 3 full episodes and got bored with it. tuning in every week just did not provide enough of a payoff like rome or deadwood. Even the bummer of the final season of the sopranos kept me wanting to watch on. while I loved the title character with his often humorous ramblings I just could not get into these characters at all. as for the cancellation i can't say I am at all suprised. it is time to bring back the Deadwood protests and light a fire under HBO's overpaid executives buts again. lol

Nick said...

This is good...kudos to Proso

"JFC Fans: HBO!
HBO: What?
JFC Fans: Are you sitting in your Avenue of the Americas office, thinking of blowing off your head with your gun you got back from Lisa Kudrow’s “Comeback” trailer? Have you completely run out of whatever let you put up with David Chase for 8 years…do you feel that everything you ever touched in your entire life, you turned to shit and mud? Are you ashamed, HBO, that once when Chase was on one of his bullshit retreats and you were loaded on acid you went ahead and produced “Comeback” and the second season of “Extras”? Have you wanted to kill yourself every day since, HBO? And not even known it? And turned yourself into the worst ball-buster known to TV fans, so no one would be with you, and you wouldn’t have to be afraid that you’d ever do something like that again. That’s how ashamed of yourself you were? (HBO breaks down and sobs) Do you think now your loyal fans, which you loved so much and tried to make a life for, now you turned around and hurt their feelings so bad by canceling “John from Cincinnati”? (sobbing, HBO shakes her head yes) Do you hurt so bad, you want it to just quit and be over? Everything? (HBO nodding yes) Well, let me tell you about our offer, HBO. We prefer you don’t. We wish you wouldn’t. Our offer is: keep going, feeling just as miserable, or worse. Hold the gun under the spigot and turn the water on. Spare your loyal fan base finding you dead in the kitchen. And as a bonus, you’ll also receive … their love. Act now, HBO. Baptize that fucking pistol! And bring “John from Cincinnati” back!"

Mike said...

Wow well I tell ya I didnt have much hopes for this show after the finale of sopranos stunned us,. But I tuned in an man was I glad. What a mind bender. it really makes you search your thoughts, and dig deep interpret in your own way, not have it dictated to you. Im sure this would never be a a popular show, I feel sorry for those who just cant dig into the task it places upon the viewer/ IN the end, and it was near, a family was reunited, and Johns Fathers work was both covered and vague, and maybe thats the way it should be.

Anonymous said...

The speech John gives to Cissy is worded in such a way that I think it is possible that Cissy in her drug haze thinks she abuses Butchie and it is her guilt that has caused the separation between the two. That would led to the importance of her acting performance to be so shrill and flighty to reinforce how that would have caused Butchie to shrink from his mother rather than the abuse causing him to shrink. That was my theory at the time.