Stream On: Fables you won’t find in Aesop

By on December 6, 2019


“John” is a mysterious messenger who visits a troubled surfing family in John From Cincinnati. (

Who said there’s no room for theological studies on streaming TV? Not me; here are two entertaining takes on the big questions: What if God wanted our attention, quickly? And What’s so bad about the apocalypse?


From the brilliant minds of David Milch (Deadwood, NYPD Blue) and “surf noir” writer Kem Nunn comes John from Cincinnati, and I can safely say you haven’t seen anything like it, not even among Milch’s earlier works. It opens as a swanky car approaches a beach, and Linc Stark, surfing impresario (Luke Perry) gets out. Looking at a surfer in the ocean, he’s approached by a tall figure (Austin Nichols, Deadwood) who says, casually, “The end is near.”

As the surfer (Bruce Greenwood, American Crime Story) walks out of the water, the stranger goes up to him.

“You know Mitch Yost?” asks Stark, and the stranger pronounces, “Mitch Yost should get back in the game.” He repeats this to the surfer: “You should get back in the game, Mitch Yost.”

To the stranger, Yost says, “You should mind your own business” and to Stark, with whom he’s apparently acquainted, he suggests an impossible and obscene exercise.

Stark is there to recruit Yost’s grandson, a young surfing phenomenon, against the wishes of his grandfather. The story, though, is the stranger, who is essentially a blank slate. Meeting Mitch’s son Butchie (Brian Van Holt, Sons of Anarchy), a drug-addled slacker, he suggests his name is John. Butchie mentions Cincinnati and John repeats the suggestion. All of John’s dialog consists of agreeing with or reframing what he has just heard, except for an illuminating monologue in the last episode. Along the way we get a parrot, and then a boy, raised from the dead, and a few levitations. It’s a crazy ride, but played out naturalistically, inviting skepticism among those involved. At the end of the sole season John’s speech is meant to explain all, although it, like John, is a bit of a tabula rasa. On YouTube (probably an extra on the series’ DVD release), David Milch explains what was going on in a 13-minute video. “The word on the wall hears my father.”

Despite its left-field origins, John from Cincinatti offers a lot for fans of surfing, theology, anthropolgy and David Milch, and it’s a favorite of mine. This dense, entertaining metaphorical allegory is on Amazon Prime, there are no trailers on YouTube, and John is not from Cincinnati! [TVMA]

Demon Crowley and angel Aziraphale first met in the Garden of Eden and have remained pals ever since. Now they hear that the apocalypse is approaching, which neither think is a good idea, in Good Omens. (

GOOD OMENS (Prime Video)

This nutty miniseries begins with a voice-over by God (Frances McDormand, Fargo) reviewing arguments about the origins of the universe, which she avers began on 9:13 a.m., Sunday, the 21st of October, 4004 B.C. She concludes, “The earth is a Libra.”

Cut to the Garden of Eden and the serpent whispering to Eve, after which she goes to a nearby tree, tastes an apple and offers it to her husband. Next we see the couple running off … he holding a flaming sword.

The snake slithers up a hill where the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen, Frost/Nixon) is standing, observing the Garden. He assumes the form of the demon Crowley (David Tennant, Dr. Who) and joins him. “I don’t see what’s so bad about knowing the difference between good and evil,” Crowley says. “Say, didn’t you have a flaming sword before?”

Crowley and Aziraphale stay in touch, and we see them throughout history: Aziraphale is saved at one point from a revolutionary prison in 1789 Paris by Crowley. By 2019 they’re having drinks and the occasional dinner out together, when Crowley shares that he’s been tasked to bring a mysterious baby to a local hospital. They realize it must be the Antichrist, and that this will trigger the end of days. This sits badly with them, as they have both come to enjoy their earthly lives, and they decide to try to put the kibosh on this plan. Of course, there is a mixup with the baby, and the angels and their respective employers follow the wrong kid as he grows.

This delicious Amazon miniseries is clearly influenced by Douglas Adams’ Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy with its smart comedy and features parts for Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Mireille Enos (The Killing), who plays one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, in red leather on a motorcycle. A rough knowledge of the Book of Genesis and the Revelation of St. John won’t get in the way of the fun, but is not necessary. Here’s a trailer. [TVMA]

More strange and wonderful streaming TV next time. Email me and follow Stream On OBX on Twitter.

Click here for more Stream On: What to watch on TV by Peter Hummers


Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).


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