I'LL VISIT JERICHO ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT.We're two weeks away from a new episode of Lost1, but, to tide me over, there's a new Lost wannabe show on CBS that is easily my most-anticipated live-action drama of the fall season.
Jericho is a series about what happens to the residents of an isolated small town in western Kansas after what seems to be a co-ordinated nuclear attack devastates Denver, Atlanta, and possibly every other major population centre in the United States.
Here's CBS's description of the show because I'm lazy.
JERICHO is a drama about what happens when a nuclear mushroom cloud suddenly appears on the horizon, plunging the residents of a small, peaceful Kansas town into chaos, leaving them completely isolated and wondering if they're the only Americans left alive. Fear of the unknown propels Jericho into social, psychological and physical mayhem when all communication and power is shut down. The town starts to come apart at the seams as terror, anger and confusion bring out the very worst in some residents. Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich), prodigal son of the town's mayor, becomes a reluctant hero when a school bus crashes as a result of the explosion. Mayor Johnston Green (Gerald McRaney) is conflicted with the return of his estranged son, but is called to action when the town begins to riot. Johnston's wife, Gail (Pamela Reed), is the strong, savvy first lady of the town who runs interference between her husband and her favorite son. Attempting to usurp the mayor's power is Johnston's political adversary, Gray Anderson (Michael Gaston), who is not above putting his personal agenda before the welfare of the very community he wants to lead.
Though the cloud appears in the distance, it affects all the residents in Jericho, including Dale Turner (Erik Knudsen), the 16-year-old trailer park kid everybody picks on, who finds himself in a position that could change his status; Robert Hawkins (Lennie James), a mysterious stranger who seems to be a jack-of-all-trades as he steps in to help restore order; Heather Lisinski (Sprague Grayden), a pretty young schoolteacher on the bus with her students returning from a class trip when the glare from the explosion causes a terrible accident; Emily Sullivan (Ashley Scott), Jake's high school sweetheart who lives outside of town and innocently goes about her business unaware of the catastrophe, Bonnie Richmond (Shoshannah Stern), a pretty 17-year-old who is hearing impaired; and Bonnie's older brother Stanley (Brad Beyer), Jake's best friend from childhood and an avid car lover who works on the family farm. In this time of crisis, as sensible people become paranoid, personal agendas take over and well-kept secrets threaten to be revealed, some people will find an inner strength they never knew they had, and the most unlikely heroes will emerge.
I don't know if it's going to go all weirdly metaphysical and symbolic like Lost, but it certainly is comparable to Lost in that it's a "closed-circle" kind of situation wherein no outsiders come in and nobody can leave, or, at least it will be initially.
I certainly hope that they don't repeat the mistake of shows like Invasion and go with the too-slow plot "reveal". Obviously, the first few episodes will take place entirely within the town, since we have to get to know the characters and their relationships and interactions first, but I will be majorly pissed if it takes them an entire season of 24 or so episodes before Jake Green gets his Camaro fixed and drives out of the town for the first time to see what's left out there, and I would be double-urine-pissed if the last scene of the last episode of the first season is Jake arriving at a roadblock and the last shot of the last scene is a close-up reaction shot of Jake's face where we won't see what he's looking at on the other side of the roadblock until the cliffhanger-resolution season premiere the following September.
Also, not that I wouldn't read spoilers if I came across them, but I haven't seen any for beyond the first episode, but, just from the CBS publicity, I get the idea that they're vaguely hinting that, whatever happened to the cities, it isn't what you'd expect, what you'd expect being an all-out Russia vs. United States (or China vs. United States or Iran vs. United States or North Korea vs. United States) thermo-nuclear exchange.
If they're going the "organized nuclear terrorism" group, they'd better keep it realistic and make the nuclear terrorists Islamofascists and not pussy out and make them politically-correct-ized villains like Neo-Nazis (à la de-Palestinian-ized Sum of All Fears movie) or some wacko far-out Christian fundamentalist sect hoping to hasten the return of the messiah or a Republican government eager to nuke all the major population centres just to eliminate "all them big-city libruls", leaving the only people left alive to vote convientiently in hard-core Red State Flyover country.
Or maybe we'll find out that those nuclear explosions weren't nuclear explosions at all, but some kind of experiment gone horribly awry that transported Jericho to an alternate dimension where America is a desolate wasteland.
I can't say what kind of explanation for what happened would please me without watching at least a couple of episodes. All I can say is that I hope Jericho doesn't suck and that it gets enough of an audience to last at least one season, though I think it will have an easier time finding an audience than did Invasion, since CBS was wise and scheduled Jericho in the timeslot before Lost starts on ABC, so it will serve as a good appetizer for Lost instead of the disappointing dessert that Invasion was after Lost (to many people, though not me, but I recognize what it was about the first half-season of Invasion that made most people tune out after Lost).
1 Damnit, ABC, why did you listen to those rerun-hating whiner fanboys on Lost Internet forums and not schedule ANY Lost reruns this summer? I'd sooner watch a Lost rerun than any crap summer original programme. It was a long summer without Lost where I had to resort to watching Perdu, the French-dubbed version, on Radio-Canada just for my Season 2 Lost fix. It's just a ploy to sell more Season 2 DVD sets, isn't it? And, no, "The Lost Experience" fake website game isn't the same as re-watching an episode.