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JERICHO - THE COMPLETE SERIES

 



Jericho - The Complete  Series
 

Actors: Skeet Ulrich, Sprague Grayden, Asley Scott, Gerald McRaney, Pamela Reed
Format:
Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Number of discs:
8
Studio:
CBS DVD/Paramount Pictures
Run Time:
1312 minutes
 

Movie:
Disc:

 

Think Lost - but with nukes - and you'll have a good idea what to expect of this short-lived television series.

A small Colorado town named Jericho is isolated from the outside world after more than 20 major American cities are destroyed by nuclear bombs. Who is behind the attacks? China? North Korea? Iran? Domestic terrorists? What exactly is happening in the outside world?

These are amongst the questions the survivors have to ask themselves in the aftermath of the attacks. Even more worrisome is immediate survival as the town faces starvation, power outages and the fall of law and order.

Much of the show's first season also sees the townspeople trying to maintain its norms and values when civilization has clearly come to a fall around them. Part-1980s Cold War cautionary tale, part-post-apocalyptic soap opera, part-spy thriller, Jericho is a flawed but imminently watchable TV series that was first broadcast in 2006.

It was however cancelled after one full season. The show was only brought back after a vocal fan campaign in which vocal fans of the show sent 20 tons of nuts to CBS headquarters (if you see the show you will understand the reference) another seven episodes show run before finally canceling the show again - this time for good.

This box set basically collects the two existing box sets and offers nothing new over previous releases. If you haven't watched the show yet, this is an ideal purchase as the second season does wrap up loose narrative strands even if not entirely satisfactorily after the cliff-hanging finale of the first season.

The first season is better than the second season though as a lingering sense of mystery hangs over proceedings and more time is spent on characters and the minutiae of their daily existence. Much attention is spent on the collapse of civilization within a post-apocalyptic scenario in Season One, but never in a let's feel really miserable about everything way that the new Battlestar Galactica did. (If it did, it would perhaps have been a more powerful show.)

Jericho is flawed in that too often it reverts to being a soap opera in which the main characters are often more concerned with whom is sleeping with whom as opposed to, let's say, the effects of looming nuclear winter. Also, the show's heroes are often simply too well-equipped to cope with any emergency.

The show's hero played by the likeable Skeet Ulrich for instance proves himself to be a regular MacGyver when he performs tracheotomy on a small child using a plastic straw in an early episode. Just how many people do you know who can do that?

Still, the plot often veers into unexpected directions and the writing is often intelligent. That is, when the writers don't get lazy and resort to clichés. The second season (consisting of only two discs) unfortunately takes a while to get going. The sets and camerawork in this season looks cheap and things aren't helped by the presence of actor Esai Morales who looks like he would be more at home in an episode of Bold & the Beautiful than leading an army division charged with brining order to a small post-apocalyptic Colorado town.

The second season however wraps things up suitably - in a manner of speaking. An alternate ending supplied on the last disc clearly reveals that the studio was definitely toying with the idea of bringing back Jericho for another run. It is unfortunate that this was not to be.

If you like a cliff-hanger every five minutes shows such as Prison Break (before it jumped the shark, that is) then you will love Jericho. Check it out.


 



 

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