“John from Cincinnati’s” Zack Whedon is on his way


Jfcwonderboycrop_2Among the many interesting things about the “John from Cincinnati” finale seg is that it heralds the ascent, in WGA terms, of Zack Whedon.

Zack is the latest addition to the Whedon clan’s tradition of producing fine TV and film scribes, stretching back to the 1950s and ’60s with Zack’s grandfather, John Whedon (“The Andy Griffith Show,” “Dick Van Dyke Show”); and father, Tom (“The Golden Girls,” “Benson,” “Alice”); and on through older brother Joss (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” “Serenity”).

Zack has been schooled in the David Milch tradition for the past four years, starting out as an assistant to Milch on “Deadwood” early on in its first season. He wound up co-writing a “Deadwood” seg with his boss last year, and this year he was a kind of permanent freelancer on “John from Cincinnati.” And like the titular character, Zack had good timing throughout. In episode seven, he fell into a bit acting part as Wonderboy, aka the Stinkweed vice president armed with all the research about the company’s target demo and its prospects for expanding in e-commerce — all of which earns him a face full of Linc Stark’s bare ass in the memorable mooning scene. In Milch-ian fashion, they wrote the character the day before the shoot and were time-pressed to find someone to play the part.

(HBO’s hard-working publicists searched but could only find one production still above from that scene, with Milch at the center, and it offers only a glimpse of Zack’s arm, his hand holding a pencil and a bit of his face in the far right-hand corner.)

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  3. please don’t miss the brand of Canada goose when necessary. (yang)

  4. Lynn says:

    This is the first TV show I’ve ever cared enough about to visit bulletin boards and websites to investigate it further. Something about it touched me deeply, from the very first episode.
    One thing that struck me time and time again was the vitriol directed at this series by the people who were upset about Deadwood’s cancellation. They were calling for JFC’s demise before even giving it a chance.
    While JFC’s cancellation doesn’t surprise me in the least, knowing how mega-media corporations operate, it does disappoint me. There was so much potential in this series, and it was just starting to build a groundswell of support. I’d talked it up to dozens of people, none of whom were watching it before. Now that they’re interested in seeing it, they can’t.
    Ah, but there’s plenty of reality programming to mesmerize the masses!

  5. Jon says:

    Seems like the main problem with JFC was that it wasn’t Deadwood, or The Sopranos.
    I hadn’t watched either, and wasn’t an HBO subscriber, but watched every episode of JFC twice. It was intriguing to me, but a total turn-off to my wife. But it seems the writing on the wall was writ large with its slot after the Soprano’s farewell, and as the next project of the Deadwood creator, and not being either.

  6. ML says:

    I have to agree, JFC just didn’t work. While I liked the cast a lot, the story and the writing were just a waste and really failed to do anything more than frustrate this one viewer.
    Granted, I tried. I watched every episode, but it failed to really tell any story about surfing, Rebecca D had little more to do than scream, and the whole plot around surfing never really emerged. It’s too bad, I liked most of the actors a lot.
    But why does Milch insist on using Garret Dillahunt over and over again? He wasn’t good in either character he played in Deadwood (yes, they cast him twice!) and he brought nothing to JFC.
    Anyway, I’m not disappointed to see the show go, I’ll just miss the cast until Milch does something else.

  7. Marilee says:

    I wanted to like JFC, but I got lost. I met my husband surfing at Imperial Beach, CA., I related to the counter culture, surfing types… the milieu, and I enjoyed much about the show. But I became totally confused. I am not some drugged out surfer hippie.. I’ve got a degree in literature. But if I found the show incomprehensible, think about the general HBO public.

  8. Joe B. says:

    It wasn’t unwatchable. It was way outside the mainstream, granted, and it took a lot for me to get into it, but I think I understood what they were doing by the time episode 7 rolled around.
    You can’t look at it as a TV show. The storytelling method was certainly alternative, but it made you feel something, which is more than I can say about a lot of the crap that I see on the tube.
    You can read all my JFC posts at this link.

  9. Ned says:

    Does this “item” (or shameless HBO PR push) explain why the series is totally UNWATCHABLE, PRETENTIOUS and a COMPLETE Failure, both critically and commercially!!! Where’s Tony Soprano when we need him? Somebody at HBO needs to get Whacked!

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