Five years ago, the final episode of the TV series John from Cincinnati aired on HBO.
To state it as plainly as possible, the show's focus was on miracles, spiritualism and surf.
Shot almost entirely in Imperial Beach, the god-like character John Monad descends on a surf family and a town portrayed as a place where honest people, dirt bags and miracles intertwine.
Made in part by Deadwood creator John Milch, the show premiered after the final episode of The Sopranos, and included well-known actors like Ed O'Neill, Rebecca De Mornay, Luke Perry and Bruce Greenwood.
Critics described the show as “profane,” “strange,” “mesmerizing” and “entertainingly confounding.” One went so far as to name it one of the worst shows of the past decade.
Possibly due to its 10-episode, two-month lifespan, John from Cincinnati left any fans in IB, Coronado and elsewhere asking what the show was all about.
Things happened that were unexplainable to the characters of the show and likely to people watching at home.
The first episode begins with people sneaking across the U.S.-Mexico border and the words, “The end is near.”
People levitate, their hair catches fire and miraculous healing takes place.
By mid-season, John gives a lengthy sermon in the parking lot of the abandoned El Camino Motel, named the Snug Harbor Motel for the show.
Instead of 40 days in the wilderness, John goes surfing for a day and comes back with a new wetsuit and clothing brand.
The last episode ends with someone surfing, and John saying “Mother of God Kass Kai.”
In an interview with The Guardian UK, show co-creator David Milch said the show was put together too fast.
“I wrote it in four months and that wasn't adequately respectful to the process," he said.
In an interview with Tavis Smiley, Milch tried to convey the meaning of the show.
“The idea [behind John from Cincinnati is] that the universe is a solid system but [also] a series of waves,” he said. “And that man is not an individual creature, but that his essence is carried from seeming individual to seeming individual [and becomes] available to surfers if they aren't loaded and selfish or if they don't become addicted to the behavior of surfing itself."
What was the meaning of John from Cincinnati? Did you watch because it was filmed so close by?
What was the meaning of the final words? Did the show help or hurt IB? Why didn't the show last?
Tell us in comments.