John from Cincinnati : Season 1

  • Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 10, 2007
Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 24
  2. Negative: 7 out of 24

Where To Watch

Stream On
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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    As profane as "Deadwood" and as profound as "The Sopranos," the series strikes every right chord.
  2. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    70
    Ultimately, viewers just have to work a lot harder to fathom John from Cincinnati than Tony from Jersey.
  3. I found enough mesmerizing moments, bits of character and sharp Milch dialogue in the opening episodes that I'll probably stick around to catch a few more waves.
  4. 70
    Mesmerizing and entertainingly confounding.
  5. The ceaseless ways in which Milch and Nunn challenge our expectations about how families, friends, and strangers are meant to convey their fealty to each other, along with some fine hard-boiled dialogue and fisticuffs, suggest great continuing pleasures.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 254 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 202
  1. Jan 25, 2012
    10
    No description of this series makes it sound at all appealing. In fact, despite my enthusiasm for surfing, Zen, and Garrett Dillahunt, INo 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. Full Review »
  2. LisaB
    Sep 4, 2007
    10
    I loved it and so did all my friends. It draws you to think which is uncomfortable for people who like things in a nice neat box.
  3. BarryT
    Aug 26, 2007
    10
    10++++ I LOVE thisshow! Quirky, strange, mesmerizing, with the richest cast of characters, wonderful subplots--and the big question. I 10++++ I LOVE thisshow! Quirky, strange, mesmerizing, with the richest cast of characters, wonderful subplots--and the big question. I couldn't wait until the next show, then the next season. I watched each episode on On Demand at least twice to pick up all the subtleties. Now I just found out HBO cancelled it. HBO, PLEASE reconsider! Please put John fro Cincinnati back on the air. Full Review »