I like a good mystery as much as any other friendless, presumed lesbian. After endless scouting through IMDB.com i found “Jericho“, an American action/drama/mystery series that ran between 2006-2008 with 29 episodes produced in total. The show follows a bunch of small town folk in Kansas which gets cut off from the outside world after a nuclear attack on 23 major cities in USA.
I got hooked on “Jericho” very quickly, the first 15 episodes flew by in no time. The major questions of what happened, who are the bad and who are the good guys, hope versus reality etc..keep the suspense going and make it very hard to stop watching. Every episode revealed some new information, (therefore making hella long “previously on Jericho” sessions at the beginning of a new episode a vital part of the viewing experience). Also, the idea of there being only so many episodes was a great motivator to watch the show as i believe mysteries of that type work best if you know when to wrap it up.
“Jericho” as a whole was so effective because it didn’t feel like a family reunion, meaning that the storylines of minor characters were compelling enough to keep me interested but also to drive the overall story forward. The show wasn’t 20 hours of waiting for the major characters to get together and solve the great big mystery. The nuclear attack was, as weird as it is to say that, a backdrop for them. This resulted in some really effortless character stuff where i didn’t really dislike anyone cause they all brought something to the story. The show was also not afraid to get rid of characters who had run their course therefore losing the forced feel that some shows have to keep their stars on board and desperately write something for them to do.
My favorite episodes tended to be the ones at the beginning, the pilot and first three episodes are superb, as is episode 15 when a group of Marines bring hope to the town only to be found out as fakes later on. Or one episode when refugees from other places are supposed to be expelled from town because of lack of resources and one of them points out how there are so many empty houses in Jericho, yet they are made to sleep in a church basement. The locals would not let them move into the houses as they belonged to their friends and neighbors who weren’t in Jericho when the bombs hit. This scene, as subtle as it was, gave so many nuances about how we deal with loss, worldly belongings and the idea of people we know being somehow more important then kind people we just met. Everyones’ reaction was very human.
The first season ended with less mystery and more conflicts between people about the obvious topic of good people in bad situations. The last episode finished with a cliffhanger and then as it happens so often, the show was cancelled. However, a scene in the last episode references nuts so devoted fans with too much free time sent 8 million nuts to CBS in order to get them to renew the show and boom, 7 more episodes were ordered. It was good to have the show end with things getting more or less resolved. It is quite obvious though that the budget was slashed, the look of the show suddenly reminded me of Mexican soap opera, and started feeling like a drawn out episode of “24” (remember how i disliked that show?). Either way, the acting was still great and the overall storyline felt like it had not been overdone in other shows. The moral ambiguity of each character gave the show a fresh feel that i would recommend you experience for yourself.