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October 7, 2015

More on Milch's John from Cincinnati

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 21st 2006 9:55AM
Bruce Greenwood John from CincinnatiMonday's New York Times features a story on David Milch and the writing process behind his forthcoming HBO pilot John from Cincinnati. If you've been reading our reports on the series' casting, you know that HBO's enthusiasm for this project is what brought about the earlier-than-anticipated-end of Milch's other HBO outing, Deadwood.

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.

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Edit Correction: Robert Penn Warren. Sorry about spelling this great mans name incorrectly.

I'm not the same since enucleation.

December 30 2006 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mr. Milch I'm a Great Lakes surfer in Buffalo, New York and once was in an opera named "Willy Stark" (as the super numerary(a.k.a. spear carrier), who caught the lead singer, when he was gunned down, in the finale, on some high steps, in both Houston and at the Kennedy Center) that was inspired by by William Penn Warrens "All The King's Men."

Please stop saying that you know as much about surfing as somebody from Buffalo. The fact of the matter is that there are hundreds of passionate Great Lakes surfers and a core group from the Buffalo/Niagara Peninsula area of Ontario where you came from. Too bad the New York Times article didn't publish the wave riding photographs of them last year. I'm referring to an article written by Matt Higgins a NY Times reporter. The unpublished photographs were taken by Mike Groll and showed head high waves on Lake Erie in Port Colborne. Surfing to surfers like me who live on the West Side of Buffalo find it much better than heroin or any other drug. As a matter of fact we are stone cold surfers who ride in the dead of winter in ice and blizzard like conditions. We havem't learned to levitate yet but we read A. C. Weisbecker.

Also there was a documentary shot in Buffalo and throughout the Great Lakes that was released two years ago. There is a Great Lakes film maker that needs a chance. His name is Vince Deur. Mr. Milch you should check out his work. Deur is as passionate about film making as you are about writing.

There is a Buffalo connecttion to surfing and it has been going on since before the sixties by some fresh water illuminati of wave riding.

December 30 2006 at 3:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who do you think really wants to watch a show about the first family of SURFING?

You might be ready for new work as a writer, but don't
you think that watchers wants count for anything? I wish you do what you want to do and find a way to keep the Deadwood fans happy. Or are the veiwers wants
really matter ?

December 28 2006 at 9:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patsy Whitt

I'm intriged as much as the next guy. Maybe even more so because Milth and his posse invade my neighbor now and agian (this time for only 4 days) to shoot scenes in Imperial Beach at this really run down hotel that thier using for the show. They not only invade my neighborhood but my street as well. Trailers and people all day all night. It's nuts>

December 04 2006 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am intrigued, and I will watch (with a fair amount of skepticism), but that doesn't change the fact I'm still pissed, "Deadwood" got replaced by a show about surfing and aliens. Quoting Al Swearengen, "Damn cocksuckers!"

November 21 2006 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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