Lost - but with nukes - and you'll have a good
idea what to expect of this short-lived television series.
A small Colorado town named Jericho is isolated from the
outside world after more than 20 major American cities are destroyed by
nuclear bombs. Who is behind the attacks? China? North Korea? Iran? Domestic
terrorists? What exactly is happening in the outside world?
These are amongst the questions the survivors have to ask
themselves in the aftermath of the attacks. Even more worrisome is immediate
survival as the town faces starvation, power outages and the fall of law and
Much of the show's first season also sees the townspeople
trying to maintain its norms and values when civilization has clearly come
to a fall around them. Part-1980s Cold War cautionary tale,
part-post-apocalyptic soap opera, part-spy thriller, Jericho is a
flawed but imminently watchable TV series that was first broadcast in 2006.
It was however cancelled after one full season. The show
was only brought back after a vocal fan campaign in which vocal fans of the
show sent 20 tons of nuts to CBS headquarters (if you see the show you will
understand the reference) another seven episodes show run before finally
canceling the show again - this time for good.
This box set basically collects the two existing box sets
and offers nothing new over previous releases. If you haven't watched the
show yet, this is an ideal purchase as the second season does wrap up loose
narrative strands even if not entirely satisfactorily after the
cliff-hanging finale of the first season.
The first season is better than the second season though
as a lingering sense of mystery hangs over proceedings and more time is
spent on characters and the minutiae of their daily existence. Much
attention is spent on the collapse of civilization within a post-apocalyptic
scenario in Season One, but never in a let's feel
really miserable about everything way that the new
Battlestar Galactica did. (If it did, it would perhaps have been a more powerful show.)
Jericho is flawed in that too often it reverts to
being a soap opera in which the main characters are often more concerned
with whom is sleeping with whom as opposed to, let's say, the effects of
looming nuclear winter. Also, the show's heroes are often simply too
well-equipped to cope with any emergency.
The show's hero played by the likeable Skeet Ulrich for
instance proves himself to be a regular MacGyver when he performs
tracheotomy on a small child using a plastic straw in an early episode. Just
how many people do you know who can do that?
Still, the plot often veers into unexpected directions and
the writing is often intelligent. That is, when the writers don't get lazy
and resort to clichés. The second season (consisting of only two discs)
unfortunately takes a while to get going. The sets and camerawork in this
season looks cheap and things aren't helped by the presence of actor Esai
Morales who looks like he would be more at home in an episode of Bold &
the Beautiful than leading an army division charged with brining order
to a small post-apocalyptic Colorado town.
The second season however wraps
things up suitably - in a manner of speaking. An alternate ending supplied
on the last disc clearly reveals that the studio was definitely toying with
the idea of bringing back Jericho for another run. It is unfortunate
that this was not to be.
If you like a cliff-hanger every five minutes shows such
as Prison Break (before it jumped the shark, that is) then you will
love Jericho. Check it out.