Post-Apocalyptic Jericho Series Depresses Everyone

Posted on September 20, 2006

JerichoJericho is a new series from CBS about people living in a small town in Kansas who see a nuclear explosion off in the distance. In the first episode we learn that the nuclear explosion occured in Denver. We watch as traffic accidents unfold from people staring at the mushroom cloud. We see the citizens of Jericho start to panic just a few hours into their new post-apocalyptic world. Next week, Jericho residents dig into their stock of duct tape to protect themselves from radioactive fallout.

Reviewers are comparing Jericho to Lost, but most say Jericho falls far short of Lost's appeal. The Boston Globe accuses Jericho of having Lost-envy. Unfortunately, there is no twist here. There is no alternative reality. There is no Truman Show being pulled on the residents of Jericho. And there are certainly no actors who look as good as a shirtless Josh Holloway or a bikini-clad Evangeline Lilly. They are just ordinary folks from a small town being led into a horrible, depressing apocalyptic nightmare. If only they would have included some of the fantastical themes in Lost instead of this depressing and hopeless backdrop.

The characters in Lost have a civilization they hope to return to. The characters in Jericho have little hope at all -- civilization as they knew it is probably gone and things are going to be getting worse every day. The grocery trucks aren't going to be showing up anymore with food. The lights aren't working. There will be no more medicine. The only character that has the potential to save the town (and the show) is Robert Hawkins, played by Lennie James. Hawkins is a savvy cop from Saint Louis who appears to have the screenplay in his back pocket as he foreshadows bad things before they happen. Unfortunately, we may not get to see much more of Robert Hawkins or Jericho. Some TV critics are already forecasting that Jericho will be canceled. Maybe a Save Jericho website or two will pop up, but don't hold your breath.

We'd write more about Jericho, but we're feeling kind of down in the dumps. You know, filled with ennui and sort of overcome by the hopelessness of it all. We can't wait until next week's show!

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