Thursday, August 16, 2007

Johnny Bench From Cincinnati

Finally, we can get back to a world where there's only one John from Cincinnati, and that's Hall of Famer, and the greatest defensive catcher of all time, Johnny Bench.

John from Cincinnati, the sacrificial slot-filler from Sopranos-less HBO, has been cancelled.

Not to rub anyone's face in it, but in the immortal words of Gerry Lopez's little da Hui lackey in North Shore, "Beat it, haole buddy, dis is OUR wave."

I'm sorry to Steve Hawk and Keala and Dibi and Herbie and little Greyson, but that show sucked. And the reason it sucked was because of the surfing theme.

The fact is, surf culture just doesn't translate well onto the big or the silver screen, outside of the documentary format (and even then it's usually just masturbatory surf porn with the occasional hint of cleverness).

John From Cincinnati had some great actors but they were all wasted talent as they fumbled along with impossible to replicate surf-infused dialogue that came across as contrived sounding as any bullshit spewed out by the Windansea crew and later regurgitated for eternity in the Pumphouse Gang.

It's too bad because the premise was cool, minus the surfing: a funky border town populated with colorful characters and lovable burnouts, visited by a Christ-esque drifter with magical powers.

But listening to Rebecca De Mornay* chewing scenery with near-hysterical rants about missed heats and lucrative surf sponsorships gone bad...ugh, it just made you cringe.

The one bit of irony I enjoyed was the criticism of poor little mini-Fletcher's acting ability. His glazed-eyed Shaun Yost actually looked and behaved like most seaside preteen groms with better-than-average contest results - monotoned, slack-jawed, and generally soft-spoken (out of the water anyway). I thought he was dead on.

Anyhow, adios JfromC. It was a good effort. But if you want great television, look to HBO's rival, Showtime, for Californication. No surfing. Just some of the funniest scenes I've ever seen, as recently-divorced David Duchovny battles writer's block by fucking every married woman in LA. Hands down the best pilot I've ever seen.

The Colonel says, "Agent Mulder who?"


* Thanks to my boy Vince for pointing out that it was Rebecca De Mornay and not Roseanna Arquette. Those two might as well be Mary Kate and Ashley as far as the Colonel is concerned.