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  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 10, 2007
  • Season #: 1
John from Cincinnati Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 254 Ratings

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  • Starring: Luis Guzman, Luis Guzman, Luke Perry
  • Summary: The lives of three generations of a dysfunctional surfing family residing near the California-Mexico border are impacted by the arrival of a mysterious (and ambiguously supernatural) stranger in the latest series from "Deadwood" creator David Milch.
  • Genre(s): Drama
  • Creator: David Milch, Kem Nunn
  • Show Type: Ended
  • Season 1 premiere date: Jun 10, 2007
  • Episode Length: 60
  • Air Time: 12:00 AM
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 24
  2. Negative: 7 out of 24
  1. 100
    As profane as "Deadwood" and as profound as "The Sopranos," the series strikes every right chord.
  2. 70
    Mesmerizing and entertainingly confounding.
  3. Sometimes "John From Cincinnati" is a muddle, at other times rich drama and divine comedy. And sometimes it's all of that at once.
  4. It's an odd little show, often more David Lynch than David Milch, and after three episodes I'm still not sure I understand it all.
  5. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    The first three episodes of this peculiar series bored me silly with its pretentious mannerisms, and I can't help thinking that many HBO subscribers will tune in and wonder: They dropped Deadwood for this?
  6. The only thing a person can be certain of after watching "John From Cincinnati" is this: Any die-hard "Deadwood" fan interested in keeping the veins in his forehead intact should not bother with it.
  7. 10
    Watching HBO's surfing drama "John From Cincinnati" is like sitting through a bad play at a tiny experimental theater.... In short, if Gary Busey were a TV series, he would be "John From Cincinnati."

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 202
  1. emilyb
    Jul 22, 2007
    Just keeps getting better and I still don't understand it.
  2. MikeC
    Jul 22, 2007
    Best show ever on HBO! For those who prefer to think instead of being spoon fed, this show is fantastic!. Amazing! July 23, 2007
  3. Jan 25, 2012
    No description of this series makes it sound at all appealing. In fact, despite my enthusiasm for surfing, Zen, and Garrett Dillahunt, I didn't watch it until last year, not just because of the bad reviews, but because even the good ones made "John from Cincinnati" sound about as alluring as listening to Cyndi Lauper read the Manhattan Phone Directory through a bullhorn while Dick Cheney cleaned my teeth with a hunting rifle. And I'm not the only viewer the series failed to attract. Recently, I read that less than a quarter of the audience who watched the finale of "The Sopranos" stuck around to check out "John." In other words, the show never had a chance. And that was a shame of the first order, because "John" turns out to be one of the most original, profound, and moving series I've ever seen. Not only is there nothing like it, there's nothing even close enough to allow a cautious, qualified comparison--a descriptive comparison, that is. Even a non-descriptive comparison is hard. I could think for hours and then finally stammer, "John from Cincinnati" is to "Deadwood" as "The Tempest" is to "1 Henry IV," but,despite struggling to find the most apt analogy possible, all I have done is tell you "It's really different" and "It's really good." So, though I normally condemn unsubstantiated value judgments, I think it's essential to make one here, because anything I could say is as likely to make you shun "John from Cincinnati" as to make you want to watch it. If you think I'm just being lazy, look at some of my other reviews; all I'm trying to avoid is turning another potential viewer OFF. I will qualify my approbation a bit, however. "John" is not a show for fools, nor for people who just want to power down their brains after work and settle into a stupor. I'm not saying that the series requires effort to watch--it doesn't--but it will stimulate brains that are not already dead, and the questions it will raise are exciting. So viewers who mind being stimulated, mentally, should probably choose another series. "John" is also not a show for rigid people. If, for you, rules and categories and formulae are ends in themselves (rather than means of achieving certain ends), you will not like this series, as it consistently breaks generic and other boundaries. If characters must adhere to familiar types; if, for you, mothers must be nurturing and children lovable and junkies loathsome and surfers moronic and avatars eloquent, then, no, you will not like this series. If, however, you have an open, active mind and your sympathies extend to people unlike yourself and you've occasionally asked a question or two about what it might mean to be human and, most importantly, you really enjoy seeing something you've never seen before, especially if it's beautiful, then check out "John from Cincinnati." I have a feeling that your great-great grandchildren will be proud to tell their friends that you were among the very few who realized way back in 2012 that this series was a classic. Expand
  4. BrianF.
    Jul 11, 2007
    grows on you as you watch each new episode
  5. jimj.
    Jul 3, 2007
    Thanks again HBO for giving us another quality show! very few networks..with he exception of Showtime, HBO and FX give us television that makes you think. The show has lots of different angles and characters to be developed.. I love the show and how Milch and his team can tear apart and rebuild characters like few others...Keep up the Great work! Expand
  6. RichardK
    Jun 25, 2007
    This show is just plain bad. After barely being able to finish watching the 3rd show, I've concluded that I don't care about any of these people, especially John. After Deadwood, I thought David Milch would have come up with something really great. What a major dissapointment. Expand
  7. TylerS
    Jun 9, 2007
    I had the [dis]pleasure of vieing the first three episodes in advance. Trust me, 20 minutes in, this one will have you racing towards you telephone to cancel your post-Soprano HBO subscription. I am literally appalled that they dropped the masterpiece that was Deadwood for this steaming piece of poo! Expand

See all 202 User Reviews