Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jericho Thoughts

The Jericho adventure is now over with the series finale last night. I was sad to see it go to the point of clockwatching during the broadcast, counting down the minutes left in the program/series. The tone of Jericho was different the second time around as the plot advanced at warp speed but at least the main storylines were resolved as best as they could be for an abbreviated season. Much of the drama that made the show the first time around, which I in fact made fun of, was striped from the second season. Be careful what you wish for because I actually, *gulp* …missed it.

The final episode wasn’t a cliffhanger per se; although it left a lot of room for a continuation of Jericho should any cable channel choose to pick it up which is remotely possible I suppose. The series finale left us with the start of something very big and I was actually quite intrigued with where the creators had wanted to take the show in a 3rd season. I hope that at least a book or comic is published to explore this and I’ve got a feeling it will be.

Fans should be proud that their hard work produced a second season. So many shows get cancelled and that’s it. We got a few more episodes and a chance to say goodbye to Jake and the rest of fictional town that we enjoyed so much without the whole thing being left totally in limbo. Some hardcore fans want to bash CBS, and yes they made mistakes, but they recognized the fan base of Jericho was something special and tried to accommodate that. I’m mystified that the general public didn’t tune in when there was nothing on TV because of the writers strike, but at least Jericho has helped raise important questions about the dinosaur that is the Nielsen Ratings.

Things I liked about the second season of Jericho (spoilers):

The Goetz storyline was satisfactory resolved.

The fictional companies Jennings & Rall and Ravenwoond were the real bad guys behind everything, just like KBR, Halliburton and Blackwater are in the real world.

They spent some money on the series finale. A lot of scenes were shot outside and on location. It gave us a hint of what a full second season might have looked like.

Gray Anderson’s role in the finale worked out well.

I liked that Jake green looked haggard and dirty all the time.

The “Texas embassy” was a nice touch.

I thought Jake becoming Sheriff was a great plot point.

The New Bern plotline was thin but still present. New Bern’s the anti-Jericho.

Looks like a romance could have developed between Edward Beck and Heather Lisinski

I like the twists and turns Hawkins took to solve the mystery of the corrupt new government and trying to get the bomb to Texas.

“John Smith” made an appearance

I think that a couple of Hawkins trusted buddies showing up worked out very well.

Hawkins and Jake realized they had become friends by the end of series.

The start of a new civil war was a compelling idea, full of potential if a third season had been made

Problems with the second season of Jericho (spoilers):

I really don’t see the Liberal Pacific Northwest joining the corrupt Cheyenne government… without extreme force being taken (maybe there was but we didn’t get to see it).

In retrospect, killing off Gerald McRaney’s character, Johnston Green, at the end of season one was a mistake. That probably made older folks lose interest and caused Gail Green to become a superfluous character in an abbreviated second season.

The survival storyline had to be totally jettisoned in the second season rather than phased out over a longer season.

I know we need to suspend disbelief, but just having a few guys guarding the nuclear bomb was ridiculous.

Isn’t he Tenth Mountain Division based in upstate New York? So why are they over in Kansas working for corrupt Cheyenne government?

The budget was noticeably cut for the second season with lots of indoor scenes and not enough outdoor settings.

Although ten-o’clock on a Tuesday was a good time for me personally, I think it was a bad time slot for the second season.

CBS had a very quiet and confusing promotion campaign for Jericho Season 2. Plus, the whole 2 endings announcement made folks not want to invest in a show that was probably going to be cancelled.

It was sad losing most of the minor characters and their plotlines like Hawkins’ relationship with his kids, Dale and Skylar’s situation, Dr. Kenchy Dhuwalia and Jessica Williams at the hospital, Jonah Prowse roaming the countryside, and Maggie Mullen - did she make it?

All of the other love stories were lost except Mimi and Stanley (it was the best one though)

Missed/lost opportunities:

I had a feeling that Colonel Hoffman (from the end of the first season) was going to Jericho, Kansas where he would meet Gail Green and end up in a relationship with her. Consoling her because of the loss of her husband.

The second season was so compressed that I saw many events in the show that screamed to be explored or revealed over a longer period of time, kinda’ like Serenity.

The full second season would have shown more of what was happening around the country.

We never got to see the remains of any bombed city, which would have really made the world of Jericho seem like it was on the edge.

On a side note, I got a feeling those Allied States patches will be prized collectibles



Arkonbey said...


We B-5 geeks were lucky that TNN picked it up after the third season. Of course, we have TNN to blame for the terrible fifth-season...

I truly wonder why Jericho didn't take off. Is it just that CBS viewers aren't accepting of intricate speculative dramatic fiction and prefer to watch one of the many predictable (and progressively more terrible) CSI shows?

The 10th Mt. Division is out of NY. Ft. Drum. They may have been engaged in some sort of unit training.

Pandabonium said...

We may get to see a bombed city soon enough.

Dean Wormer said...

Again- condolences. My plan is to watch the whole thing on DVD. I just can't plan my life around t.v. anymore.

Right now I'm catching up on Galactic 3rd season.

OT - watched New Frontier and LOVED it. It's very dark and makes clear right out of the gate when a Korean soldier is shot point blank in the face that it's not the Justice League show from Kid's WB.

Probably my favorite moment was the Martian Manhunter watching television and changing into all those characters along with the program.

On the post-apocalyptic front: I know you don't play computer games any more but Fallout 3 is looking pretty good...

Swinebread said...

Arkonbey – Yeah maybe B-5 should have gone to Sci-Fi…

I haven’t seen such a passionate audience in a long time. I think CBS wanted the show to fail the second time around and that’s why they didn’t advertise it and then broadcast it a late time slot.

You win the 10th Mt. Division No-Prize.

Panada – Well, I don’t want a real bombed city, Yikes!

Dean – It’s a great show, I think you’d enjoy it for the most part. Most folks can’t plan around TV that’s why there’s On-Demand, The internet and D-VRs, things wich CBS and the ratings didn’t take into account.

Its funny, a lot of fans are quite new as they watched the first season in reruns on Sci-Fi, rather than on the CBS. It reminds me of Firefly which I was late to find.

Glad you enjoyed the NF, it’s such a good story. I’ll let you read the Comic sometime all it adds a lot of detail that had to be dropped from the movie. I like how real events frame the story as well. That transition from the 40s to the 60 is a very interesting time and NF captures that but adds that superhero adventure.

I can make an exception for Fallout 3, I jut hope they have it in Mac

Don Snabulus said...

I hope cable picks up the show for you.