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October 6, 2015

John from Cincinnati: His Visit: Day 8

by Julia Ward, posted Aug 6th 2007 2:34AM
John from Cincinnati EPISODE 9

Damn it. With Zippy out of the picture, I've got no one to talk to about this week's episode. Teddy? Bad Ass Teddy? Do either of you have any insight you want to share, or are you too busy getting ready for the annual Teddy Bear Picnic? If you're looking for a caterer, look no further than your own backyard. Ramon can grill up a slaughterhouse's worth of fatback in under an hour.

Here's the thing. I don't have much to say about this episode. It was a tap dance until next week's big finale. Mitch returns. Barry and the Doc confront some fears. A whole bunch of stick figures pop up. Butchie hits the waves, and Trixie entrusts Hairlip with the internet cafe key after pressing her breasts against the back of his head. You don't know how many times I'm at work, and I think, "I should totally just stuff that guy's head under my shirt." (It's funny how all the Deadwood actors just play variations of their Deadwood characters.)

Anyway, there were a few nice gestures this week. The Doc taking Barry's hand. Freddie praying on his bed. Butchie and Kai seeking solace in each other. Even Mitch offered to "take the weight." Out of everyone's attempts to find Shaun, I think Butchie's was actually the most logical. Throw yourself at the mercy of the waves.

Shaunie and Zippy have apparently ascended or transcended or rescinded, or maybe they're just having a couple of Rob Roys down at the Shug Harbor. I don't care anymore. Do you?

Well, if you do, some folks at the John from Cincinnati boards are starting a letter writing campaign to save the show. You can read about it here. They're sending in postcards with John's symbol drawn on them. Try to avoid drawing them in compromising positions. You don't want the folks down at HBO thinking you're a big perv.

There is one thing to look forward to next week, and it's not just resolution. If you're a Buffy fan, you may be interested to know that the episode was written by Zack Whedon, Joss' little brother. We'll see if this whole brilliant TV writer thing is genetic.

Will Shaun return next week?
Yes but only in a vision or a dream40 (19.1%)
Yes and for real86 (41.1%)
No22 (10.5%)
Who cares? Where's Zip?61 (29.2%)

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Mick is a dolt.

August 09 2007 at 9:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mick is a dolt.

August 09 2007 at 9:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

John is a robot.

August 06 2007 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

John is a robot,

August 06 2007 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hank, I think my problem is with Dayton Callie's characters (Charlie Utter and Frankie) and Paula Malcomson's characters (Jerri and Trixie) and Stephen Tobolowsky's characters (Mark Lewinsky and Hugo Jarry). The dialogue and mannerisms are near identical. I think you're right that Garret Dillahunt's character in JFC, Dr. Smith, is demonstrably different than both Jack McCall and Francis Wolcott. I'm also happy to think my favorite "Deadwood" character, Whitney Ellsworth, isn't very much like Vietnam Joe.

But you asked "how is Freddie like Charlie Utter" and I think I equate the two easily. They're both stubborn, prideful, unable to channel emotions, very angry, and very prone-to-violence characters. As I wrote originally, I think the acting troupe is fantastic, and in turn, I think it's such a waste of Dayton Callie's talents to have him portray two characters who act and talk identically.

Let me throw something out there, which I haven't fully thought through. Why do the Yosts (Butchie, Cissy, Mitch, Shaunie), Kai, Linc, and Cass talk like normal 21st century Americans in Imperial Beach, but none of the "Deadwood" actors' characters seem to?

August 06 2007 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

David I couldn't possibly disagree with you more. Milch has done an absolutely brilliant job of character development. the scenes between Barry and the doctor, Freddy and Palaka and Butchie and Kai spoke volumes about what is going on in the narrative. and the notion that the actors are playing the same characters as in Deadwood is absurd. how is Freddy like Charlie Utter? how is the doctor like Jack McCall or the other character the actor played in Deadwood. the only character that is playing a remotely similar role is the actress who played Trixie in Deadwood. thats a thin example to use to claim all the caharcters are the same.

August 06 2007 at 9:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You're certainly right about two things: not much to write about from this week's episode, and Milch has done a very poor job with a lot of the character development, dialogue, and direction. Too many of the characters of recreations of "Deadwood" and too many of these fine actors have done a poor job breaking out of the molds created for them on those dusty South Dakota streets. And pardon me while I whine for the nth time about this, but I'm tired of EVERYONE talking as if they were semantic scholars. It worked for "Deadwood" but it doesn't work one bit on Imperial Beach in 2007, and it just goes to show how limited Milch's writing is in this show, which is a bitter disappointment for me, a fan.

Let's conclude this puppy next week and get on to the next program.

August 06 2007 at 8:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked seeing Howard Hesseman aka Johnny Fever from WKRP in Cincinnati. Nice connection.

August 06 2007 at 2:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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