More on Milch's John from Cincinnati
Most Deadwood fans, including myself, were pretty pissed to find out that Deadwood was getting the boot thanks to a show about the first family of surfing, but what are you going to do? Artists grow. They change. They want to write other stuff, and most fans of Milch will follow him anywhere including the sunny California coast.
The New York Times piece comes as some relief in that the more we learn about the show, the more we understand just how exciting it may be. What exactly sounds so gosh-darned exciting that I can start to see the light at the end of the dark "grieving for Deadwood" tunnel?
1. The description of the series as "surf noir."
2. This genre-bending description: "There is a dysfunctional family viewed through the twin prisms of surfing and heroin addiction, a space alien and a lawyer named Dickstein. It should be mentioned that some characters occasionally levitate."
3. Milch is wise and self-reflective enough to recognize that "the smart money is that this show is about a stupid subject."
4. When asked about the look of the show, Milch invokes his mentor, poet laureate Robert Penn Warren. "Have you ever seen moonlight on the Wabash as the diesel rigs boom by? Have you ever wondered how the moonlit continent might look through the tearless and unblinking distance of God's wide eye. I have been working to make sure that the camera is stationed at a tearless and unblinking distance."
5. Milch is a believer in his own gifts. "I am an instrument of purposes that I don't fully understand. Time will tell whether I am a wing nut or a megalomaniac. The difference between a cult and faith is time. I believe that we are a single organism, and that something is at stake in this particular moment."
Who the hell else but Milch talks this way about a new television show? And who else but "It's not TV. It's HBO." would let him get away with it? If you're not excited, you've got to be just the slightest bit intrigued.