In defense of 'John From Cincinnati'
I wonder if I’m drawn to it because of my Cali roots and the constant reminders it provides me of surf, sand and the word “dude.” Or could it be that it’s just a damn well written show with some great characters. My favorite character is family friend to the Yosts, Bill Jacks, played by the erstwhile Al Bundy, Ed O’Neill, who Michael Slezak previously claimed “overacts”. Psh-ya! How can one not overact a neurotic character who converses with his pet birds and suffers from what I presume must be OCD. His performance is right on, I say! Care to rebut, Slezak?
Last night’s episode was pretty wacky, I’ll admit. Turns out Cissy Yost, who ran off her husband, is a totally insane-trigger-happy-crazy-lady, and Shaun’s mom, Tina Blake, is now a famous porn star. And, what? The little surfer boy Shaunie smokes weed! Who knew? Someone should inform that boy smoking out of an aluminum can causes Alzheimer’s!
(By the way, PopWatchers, did you know the show is loosely based on thereal life surfer-family, the Fletchers? So there is a good reason theyselected that really bad actor to play Shaun Yost. According to Slate,real-life surfer Greyson Fletcher (pictured), the third generation ofsurfers in his family, is actually playing himself. The boy’s gotundeniable skills on the water. But maybe he should take a few actinglessons along with fellow surfer-turned-actor Keala Kennelly. Just an idea.)
Even with all the wackiness, last night’s show still provided mewith some quality couch potato time. For the first time in the series,I was actually moved by Kai’s character. Normally, Keala Kennelly, whoplays Kai, drives me B-A-N-A-N-A-S with her bad acting, but last night,I really appreciated her understated performance. She didn’t have awhole lot of lines, but her body language spoke tenfold when reactingto Butchie’s ex, Tina, coming back into town. And the way she calmlyhandled Cissy’s breakdown by taking the gun away and opening the doorto let Butchie and Tina see Shaun as he slept was honorable and reallyallowed me to feel for her character. At the end of the ep, I actuallyfeared Kai was thinking of offing herself with Cissy’s gun. Presumably,that was exactly what David Milch wanted us to feel and think.
Meanwhile, away from the Yosts’ baby’s mama drama, John was spendingtime with Cass, Link’s ex-employee. I have no idea what’s really goingon there, but I’m sure we will find out much more on the next episode.And that’s what makes a show good, right? The constant curiosity. Themystery. The unknowing. In my eyes, that’s what sets JFC apart from all the other shows on the tele these days. I anticipate the next episode.
Do you guys agree or are Ken Tucker and I still completely alone on this?
P.S. The music — Muse, TV on the Radio, etc. — is great on thisshow! Thanks for pointing that out in the comment board of Slezak’spost.