Jericho Season Two returns to TV Tuesday: Can nuclear apocalypse conspiracy 'Mad Max in Kansas' thriller series make it?
And the Lord said unto Joshua: "See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
"And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
"And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns. And the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets...
" ...[A]nd it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword...
And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein.
Only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord.
And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
The word is that the writer's strike is probably over by Wednesday, and conveniently, the apocalyptic CBS series Jericho returns to the airwaves the day before. Jericho's story was an interesting one: it got cancelled, and in a Star Trek-like act of mass devotion, Jericho fans delivered literally thousands of pounds of nuts to CBS headquarters. CBS decided to buy another half-season, so now it's time for the fans to get their friends to watch.
At the beginning of the whole mess, this kid (above) climbs onto his roof to see the nukes, and just prior, his sister is picking petals off a flower almost exactly like the famous Lyndon Johnson anti-Goldwater attack ad known as 'Daisy'. Probably the best American-nuclear-psyche reference I caught:
I am definitely a Jericho fan. I bought the first season DVD collection for the family for Christmas, and it went over really well.
If you're not familiar with Jericho, here's the basic idea: in the first episode, Washington D.C. gets nuked during a presidential speech, and Denver too. As the season unfolded, American civilization collapsed, EMP pulses blew out most electronics, and electricity dries up. The inhabitants of small Jericho, Kansas become an outpost of self-contained civilization. Much like the biblical Jericho, they have a salt mine which provides an economic foundation for barter with the other towns and groups they have to deal with.
It's certainly the ultimate postmodern Western, in the sense that Westerns often are about slightly deranged American capitalists bringing resources into harvest (see John Wayne's Red River for the cattle version, or the amazing There Will Be Blood for the oil version). Only now, the integration of the frontier has totally shattered.
Food scarcity, surviving the winter, dealing with the crazed killer Ravenwood mercenaries that raid across the poisoned land, foraging for medicine in FEMA-marked poison ghost towns.... such are the trials of Jericho's citizens.
Two additional elements create dramatic tension and good TV: 1) somewhat cheesy standard relationship drama as the hot chicks in town get involved with rugged individualists. 2) the unveiling of the nuclear attack conspiracy itself, which I though was awesome.
At the finale of Season 1, the misfit/hero character Jake Green tells the other town "NUTS" when they are about to attack, a reference to one of World War 2's more awesome moments (a defining moment for American comedy actually...). The Finale:
SPOILER ALERT FOR ALL OF SEASON ONE - this means you!!!!
.... not looking?
Ok. Robert Hawkins, the mysterious guy in town, has one of the nukes, because he was working at Homeland Security when the secret conspiracy faction ordered him to drive the nuke into a major city. He woulda been their patsy. Hawkins instead collected his family and hid out in Jericho for the bombing. A faction of the Department of Homeland Security executed a massive false-flag nuclear attack, which shatters the U.S. However, the states start to reform under a kind of fragmented martial law with weird flags. And naturally, the guy that wants to capture the last nuke -- the only smoking gun of the whole conspiracy -- is also now the chief of the biggest Neo-American Military Government near Jericho. Of course the evil guy basically looks like Cheney.
So at the last moments of the first season, the neo-American military is about to march into Jericho to find Hawkins and that damn nuke; the neighboring asshole town is attacking in order to seize the food and salt mine. Hence, NUTS.
END SPOILER ALERT kthx
Well that's about it. Go watch Jericho. On the official CBS site you can watch full episodes. And the writers are going to get paid for that. Not bad.
As long as the secret Ollie North Nuke government doesn't nuke St. Paul during the Republican National Convention, everything is gravy. One of those missing bombs from Minot, ND nuke base could go to wipe out the troublesome hippies and the discredited GOP establishment in one fell swoop. Must be a tempting for the secret mega dudes.... I'm not gonna let you do those false flag nukes in MY town.