If you can get past the machine gun expletives that spew out of “John from Cincinnati” (JFC), HBO’s new drama about Imperial Beach, you will find a quirky, funny and idiosyncratic view of life on the edge along the U.S.-Mexico border: A world that is mired in the surfing subculture of Southern California. It is about the redemption of a family and community — IB — cut off from the modern world.

But not everyone is happy with that — or, at least, with the cursing.

Last week, a senior citizen approached David Milch, JFC’s brilliant Executive Producer and creator of “Deadwood,” while he was overseeing the show’s filming on IB’s Seacoast Drive. She presented him with a petition to ban the use of foul language in the new television series that airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

“Anyone who is from a working class community knows that is how people speak,” Milch told me over a lunch last week on the Imperial Beach set with Kem Nunn, the shows-co creator. And having grown up in IB, I can only corroborate the continual stream of f-words emanating from the mouths of my neighbors and friends during everyday conversations (a bad habitat that I also, unfortunately, picked up).

My impression of the barrage of obscenity-laced language in IB was reinforced on Saturday, when a local late-40-something surfer, a fixture in the water, yelled at me without irony, “That HBO show has too many cuss words, goddamnit. It’s all f-, sh— f— sh—.” He continued, “Motherf—, that show should be moved to National City or Chula Vista.” Apparently cursing is more appropriate and more prevalent in the gritty metropolises to the north than in the rarified Mayberry RFD world of Imperial Beach. Where is Brian Bilbray parading around town as a wannabee biker when you need him?

What I love about JFC is that it combines the California noir elements of Nunn’s California novels such as “Pomona Queen,” “Tijuana Straits” and “Tapping the Source”, with the Milchian characters who inhabit our past and present (and are so convincingly portrayed in “Deadwood”), and how the series depicts the transformation and redemption of the members of the damaged Yost family. The clan’s patriarch, Mitch Yost, (Bruce Greenwood) is a hideout from the world of yuppie surf culture. His errant son Butchie, a former professional surfer turned damaged heroin addict (played perfectly by Brian Van Holt) who attempts to scam the recently arrived John Monad.

Upon meeting John, Butchie transforms from scammer to savior and becomes more human as he wander the streets and surf the waves of Imperial Beach with the stranger who may or may not be from Cincinnati.

So if you like parrots named Zippy who brings super-grom Shaun Yost back from a coma, fathers and sons who speak to each other with ear-splitting obscenities and then apologize to each other while one levitates (Bruce Greenwood as Mitch Yost) as they bail the family matriarch out of jail, and hold hands with John, who may or may not have been sent to save them (“The end is near,” declares John), then “John from Cincinnati” is your summer escape.

So, while watching JFC after the sun goes down each Sunday, remember the words of Bob Marley interpreted so beautifully by Joe Strummer

(whose song “Johnny Appleseed” graces the opening credits of JFC),

But my hand was made strong

By the hand of the almighty.

We forward in this generation



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