I recall this summer, my So. Cal surf buddy Marguerite made a funny comment regarding HBO’s then new “John From Cincinnati” while we were walking to the showers at El Porto and found ourselves bombarded with the show’s poster campaign. Well, the comment was more cleverly phrased but the gist was something to the effect of, “You’ve never seen a more miserable group of surfers.” That I had, a few nights previous, tried to sit through two unbearable, incomprehensible episodes of that bummerama -thinking I was somehow just not getting it- I found myself happy and relieved to agree. I mean, even on the most annoying or frustrating day out in the water, I still feel better than the characters on that show. As in my previous piece referencing the perils of Hollywood trying to capitalize on the surfing lifestyle (“Point Break 2: Young, Dumb, and…More Surf Movies to Cum“) no matter what pro-surfers you infuse in the mix, most of the supposedly story-driven (as opposed to surf-footage-driven) movies and TV shows regarding surfers or surfing seem to miss the mark. While most of the surf genre go so far into cliché you aren’t watching anything new, this show wanted desperately to prove they were anything and everything but cliché…and ended up running so far in the other direction they left you in their wake. And as far as representing the essence o’ surf, these Hollyweirdos always, on cue, miss the point — guys, you can’t buy “it”, you have to experience it!!! Yeah, I know co-creator Kem Nunn surfs (as far as I can tell he only wrote Episode Two and co-wrote Episode One, with a jumbled mix of writers and directors for the rest of the season) and is supposed to be Mr. “Surf-Noir” (Tijuana Straits, Tapping the Source…) but…he probably rides a longboard. Seriously, maybe these things have to be written and directed by surfers -you know, during a break in the swells- so it doesn’t get filtered through the hallow minds of executive money-men. HBO – I expected much more from you! Especially with this as your Sopranos replacement!!!.
Posted on the Surfline website, writer Paul Holmes compiled a nicely written piece (“Space Aliens Take Over HBO…“) regarding the cancellation of the doomed series (somehow linking it to the fact the alien-infested junk tabloid Weekly World News was canceled as well: “It can’t be a coincidence that another bastion of quasi-mystical fantasy entertainment, The W.W.N., announced it would cease publication the same week.”). The only two things I found interesting about JFC were: my friend’s ex-wife Rebecca DeMorney, who has not done any decent work in a long while, was…pretty decent (considering), and Keala Kennelly who actually “retired from the ASP World Tour (and moved to LA) in order to pursue her acting gig on the show” (seriously!?) was absolutely adorable.
So who was this “John” from Cincinnati anyway? Did anyone think they would find out…or care? Maybe it could have been interesting if they didn’t complicate matters with this savant-kook. But frankly, the real mystery of “John” and the whole show in general is how it got made in the first place and how with so many good actors you find a way to make them so unlikable and uninteresting. And why none of the truth-seeking soul-surfers on the set, all amped-up like it was a killer day at Pipe, bothered to stop mid-fantasy to infuse some reality into the scenario, “Ho!!!! Guys, it’s only 1 foot, high tide, on-shore and there’s a sewage spill…This shit stinks!!!”
Dear Hollywood, I’m really busy right now but if you pay me the six figures I will write your dang surf flick, or series… I’ll direct and edit the fugger as well. Other than that, can you stop the abuse already and move on to some other sport. Maaaahalo!