Jericho’s Misplaced Potential

Tuning in for a series that has been off air for quite some time and knowing that it hit a wall after its first season, yet got a second chance, is somewhat a challenge. You know two things: first, the series wasn’t good enough for the big shots and second, the series was amazing in regards to creating a fan base. So even before you start, you are divided between some strange limbo of not knowing where exactly you will be standing yourself.

Jericho is a small town that struggles to survive after witnessing an attack on a near-by capital Denver, Colorado. Though every communication source is dead it is clear that it wasn’t an isolated attack: numerous other big cities and capitals around USA have been hit by bombs. Following the events that took place on September 11, Jericho approaches a terrifying concept of terrorism and shows the worst possible scenario through multiple characters living in this small town. This group of people includes Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich), the son of the major with a troubled past who becomes the unlikely hero for Jericho and its inhabitants.

Each episode focuses on a separate problem while following the overall issue of not knowing what happened, who was responsible and what will happen once things go from bad to worse. There were some really great episodes with unsolved murders and supply runs, and then there were some that didn’t appeal as much as they annoyed. And by the middle of the first season things started to cool off and everything felt a bit too rushed towards the big battle between two neighboring towns. Needless to say, the show wasn’t half as bad to be cancelled right after its first season but I understand the decision, especially since the second season was simply an aimless attempt to revive something that was already lost.

Now, almost 10 years later I would expect Jericho having a completely different effect – the absence of such devices like phones and computers seems a lot more drastic. Plus, the now very popular format of 12 to 13 episode seasons would work a lot better in creating tension, especially when the full series would be launched entirely on one day. Though speculating whether this would improve the already rather loved series doesn’t serve much purpose, it does show how the habits of viewers have changed. Shorter seasons, all at once and attention to detail are three things that Jericho was missing but it was because I was 9 years late to the party.

With the big trend of reviving and re-imagining previous movies and shows, Jericho could have a great followup in the upcoming years. The idea of having the terrorism attack take place now, when every little piece of information is on your phone, sounds a lot more devastating. The fact that Jericho was able to adapt rather quickly despite the outrageous events is something that can be dragged out with the kind of format I described earlier. That being said, the problems and situations Jericho faced were rather logical up until the government was brought into the picture and everything got too political again. This is probably because I’m much more interested in the survival skills than a government take over that Jericho was moving towards and displayed in its second season.

This all being said, it is impossible to speculate whether Jericho’s effect was altered by the fact how the show progressed or that I watched it in 2015. I think it is a combination of both factors but since the show was cancelled, a part of me thinks that it was due to the fact that it had such a strong beginning compared to its second half of the first season that the big shots in their offices knew what they were doing. Something that was proven by the fact that the show didn’t last long with its second season and messed up its return by undermining its potential to be great.

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