David Milch, my old boss and mentor, might be the best pure writer ever to work in television. On a recent airline flight, I watched a third- season episode of “Deadwood.” The beauty of Milch’s language damn- near brought me to tears.
But Milch has hit a cold streak at HBO. I couldn’t get into his 2007 series “John from Cincinnati.” Its fusion of religious allegory and surf culture was, for me, impenetrable and joyless. And the poetry wasn’t there.
Now I hear that HBO has pulled the plug on Milch’s latest project, a New York City cop drama set in the 1970s called “Last of the Ninth.”
They filmed a pilot episode... with British actor Ray Winstone (pictured) as one of the leads. Evidently HBO was not digging it.
That’s a show I wanted to see. Since the ’90s, Milch has talked about creating a series based on Bill Clark’s early career in the NYPD.
Clark spent two years undercover as a white radical. He hung out with Black Panthers (including Tupac’s mama).
Oh well. At least I found a YouTube video where David Milch explains the meaning of “John from Cincinnati.” Who knew it had to do with 9/11 and our potential for “genocide”?
This is Milch speaking to a class at USC last January: