Reality in everyday usage means "the state of things as they actually exist." [1] The term reality, in its widest sense, includes everything that is, whether it is observable or comprehensible.

John From Cincinnati creator David Milch has made a number of claims about "reality", which inform the philosophical background of the program. This article discusses the Milchian view of "reality".

David Milch on realityEdit

  • "Reality -- so termed, you know -- is a lie, agreed upon. There are plenty of other realities kind of cohabiting with the one that we more or less say is ours." [2]
  • "To my mind, reality is a shifting and elusive condition. It redefines itself constantly... Which is to say that, when I was saying that this is a story that takes place on the margins of things, the attempt to identify the coordinates of reality is itself a kind of problematic and conditional effort. It's changing all the time. What constitutes -- where are we when we sleep? What is our sense of reality at that moment? It's, you know, science now suggests to us that what has been perceived as matter for a long time is, in fact, energy. That what looks solid, in fact, is constituted in waves, that Einstein's beautiful mathematical equations which depict the nature of reality don't apply at certain levels. And I think that's true as well about what constitutes the natural and the supernatural. You know, it depends on what foxhole you're in." [3]


  1. Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English, Oxford University Press, 2005 (Full entry for reality: "reality • noun (pl. realities) 1 the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them. 2 a thing that is actually experienced or seen. 3 the quality of being lifelike. 4 the state or quality of having existence or substance.")
  2. The Making of John From Cincinnati, HBO featurette. First aired June 6, 2007.
  3. "A graduate seminar in Milch-ology: The creator of Deadwood speaks", Maureen Ryan, The Chicago Tribune. January 13, 2007.