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John from Cincinnati: Credits Where Credit is Due

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The review copies of John from Cincinnati I got from HBO had no opening credits or music. So last night, after the great blackout of ’07, I watched them for the first time, like you did once we all stopped screaming at our TVs.

I don’t have anything to change about my mixed-to-disappointed review. (About which: if TV critics were really all about pretending to like “difficult” TV so we can pretend to be smart, John would have gotten much better press.) But those credits? I kinda want to watch them over and over and over again.

Even by HBO’s standards, they’re mesmerizing–the hallucinatory shots of bubbles rising through water, the grainy archive footage of ’60s-era surfers, the Mexican wrestlers and migrants jumping fences–it’s transfixing and thrilling and, well, just so blue. And the perfect pairing of the late Joe Strummer’s Johnny Appleseed, with its lyrics about another mysterious stranger, as well as the almost eerily timely, apocalyptic reference to killing all the bees. Now this looks like a show that has mind-blowing, coherent things to say about the cosmos and the world today. This looks like a show that I want to watch. And who knows? Maybe that show may yet materialize.

Any day-after reviews?

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