John From Cincinnati
His Visit: Day Nine

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Mr. Sobell: C | Grade It Now!
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The End Is Here

I don't much cotton to the notion that if you found the narrative approach of John From Cincinnati somewhat dense and unapproachable that the problem was somehow with you -- that you either have to appreciate every ambiguous utterance from John and company or you're a mouth-breathing simpleton who should just go back to watching the Full House reruns you deserve. Again, there's a lot of territory between those particular extremes. A significant number of creative people are able to make compelling, demanding programs that compel close viewing but nevertheless hew to some sort of discernable narrative -- The Wire, I'm thinking right off the top of my head, though if I gave it more time, I could probably come up with a few others. I wouldn't exactly say that The Wire spoon-feeds its viewers, though advancers of the "if you don't like John From Cincinnati, you obviously hate challenging television" school of thought are arguing precisely that. That's a bullshit argument, quite honestly, and I'm glad I won't have to hear it anymore.

And I'm also glad that HBO gave us a season of John From Cincinnati, believe it or not. Yeah, it wasn't my cup of tea, but you don't wind up with memorable shows by playing it safe. Whatever darts I may toss John From Cincinnati's way, it certainly took some chances. That not every one paid off is almost beside the point.

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John From Cincinnati

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