John From Cincinnati (Season One)
The arrival of a mysterious, verbally challenged stranger in Southern California's Imperial Beach has a profound effect on a multi-generational surfing family and the residents around a motel where they are based. Mitch Yost is out of the game and his self-indulgent behavior finds himself arguing with his overbearing wife and floating off the ground, while former champion Butchie Yost battles his junkie addictions and tries to prevent prodigy surfer son Shaun Yost signing himself away to the corporate devil of Luke Perry's "Stinkweed" surf brand.
Following David Milch's winding up of Deadwood, expectation was high for this series and it got off to a good start. The production values of the show are fantastic, with the cinematography and setting perfectly capturing the so-cal beach culture in a way that is so easy to get wrong. The acting has also been universally good, with Ed O'Neill, Luiz Guzman, Luke Perry and young surfer Greyson Fletcher putting well cast and Brian Van Holt in particular putting in a great cold-turkey laden performance trough the entire series. Rebecca De Mornay came across as obnoxious and overbearing, which hasn't won me over to her but certainly worked for the troublesome Cissy Yost.
The near Shakespearean delivery made for interesting viewing, but while the show was in some way swell written the basic momentum of the story lets things down in the end. The mood and atmosphere were almost enough to keep things going but the feeling of hoping it would all be leading to some climactic event was never realised and while the finale almost met my hopes of reaching the legendary finale of Big Wednesday, the show was been left with nowhere to go and has not been renewed for a second season.