Posted by on August 21, 2007 in Television | 0 comments

Dear Mr.

is easily one of my favorite shows of all time. As a matter of fact, we are
re-watching all three seasons right now, keeping a chart for the use of the
work c*cksucker. That is actually how we refer to the show (i.e. “Hey, let’s watch
the third episode of C*cksucker after dinner tonight.”).

It is a
well-documented fact that you are a genius. But John From Cincinnati was a
colossal failure.  You should have
christened it Driftwood, because it will forever be known as the The Show That
Killed Deadwood
.  You had to know that
regardless of the fact that your new series was nothing like Deadwood it would
forever be compared to it. The nail in the coffin is that you killed a
brilliant show, only to replace it with a far inferior product.

understand that John From Cincinnati was your baby, your dream project. Wait…no
I don’t. Did you initially only envision three seasons of Deadwood, or did you
end that series in order to get John From Cincinnati on the air?

I loved
NYPD Blue, which you created and wrote almost every episode of.  Those characters, in that setting, speaking
your language? Amazing. And your Shakespearean dialogue worked brilliantly on
Deadwood. But it simply distracted from the actors, story and cinematography on
John From Cincinnati.

It seems
as if this was your recipe for a 10-episode bucket of JFC:

  • Add: 6 recycled
    actors from Deadwood
  • Toss in: 6
    sentimental favorites from the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s (Luke Perry from Beverly
    Hills 90210
    , Ed O’Neill from Married with Children, Mark-Paul Gosselaar from
    Saved by the Bell, Jennifer Grey from Dirty Dancing, Rebecca De Mornay from
    Risky Business, and [with a wink wink/nudge nudge] Howard Hesseman from WKRP
  • Mix in: 1
    real-life world champion surfer chick (Keala Kennelly)
  • Spice it up
    with: 2 seasoned character actors (Bruce Greenwood; Double Jeopardy & I,
    ) and (Luis Guzmán; Traffic & Magnolia)
  • Sauté all into
    the most bizarre television show scenario ever

To be
frank, the six actors from Deadwood served as painful, frustrating visual reminders
of what we’re missing.

Mr. Milch,
I am an educated viewer, fully and willingly able to suspend my disbelief. I am
currently obsessed with a show where the villain is a moody cloud of black
smoke, for crying out loud. And I love the supernatural more than most (hello,
my cats are named Mulder & Scully). But in my opinion, John From Cincinnati
introduced and crammed far too many elements before allowing the series to

John from Cincinnati = Jesus

I am
convinced that the religious angle of the show was one of the strongest paths to
its demise. If I had to guess, I would venture that most of us who tuned in to
your new show were Deadwood fans; people who were acclimated to and enjoyed the
sex, violence and foul language for three seasons, and who would not
necessarily label themselves as devout or particularly religious. And we were
more than familiar with your favorite themes of redemption and salvation. But
to presume that we would view John as a living, breathing,
surfing incarnation of Jesus Christ was a stretch and a risk.

You don’t
need to redeem yourself. You’re David bleeping Milch. But when I read that you
are already planning a new series about a police drama set in the Vietnam war
era, I reacted with mixed feelings. On one hand, you have proven with both Hill
Street Blues
and NYPD Blue that you bleed law enforcement blue, but on the
other hand…it is a sign that those long-overdue Deadwood movies may never get

When John
From Cincinnati
was canceled, I was relieved. You might argue that at least I
watched all ten episodes, but now I have that one hour a week back to spend
watching something that doesn’t make me scream at the television in anger and

- Jo

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