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DVD Review: Jericho - The First Season

Jericho - The First Season... yep, it's another serial survival drama. I had kind of wanted to see it when it first aired, but I forgot to set my TiVo to record it. When I first saw the commercials, it was still too far away from airing (TiVo can only look ahead two weeks), and then the next thing I know the show had already aired a couple episodes. Since I only kinda wanted to see it, and since I hate coming in on the middle of a story, I didn't bother to start recording it. And I'm glad. Because this is an awesome show, and watching it on DVD with no commercial breaks and having the next episode available at the push of a button is exactly the way this show should be experienced.

The basic plot is about a small American farming town attempting to survive a nuclear aftermath. The town is called Jericho (same as the show... coincidence?), and is located somewhere in the Wizard of Oz state (psst... that'd be Kansas). The story starts on a lazy afternoon day, hours before everyone sees a giant mushroom cloud out on the horizon. The main character, Jake Green, drives into town to see his pop, the mayor of Jericho. He intended to just get some money and be gone again before nightfall (like any good son), but then it's funny how a giant nuclear explosion can put a kink into plans. Now rather than speeding home, he finds himself trying to save a bus full of children.

Now without power, and without any idea about whether the explosion was deliberate or accidental, the two must come together or else be torn apart... hold on, did I seriously just write that? How cliché. Anyway, this show is absolutely filled with interesting characters. Besides Jake and his family, there's also Gray Anderson, who is running against Mayor Johnston Green in the upcoming election, and who has seriously different ideas about how the town should be run in such a crisis. There's Robert Hawkins, who just moved to Jericho with his family not days before, paid cash for his house, and seems to know more than he's letting on about the explosion.

Jericho - The First Season Furthermore, there's the always cheerful Stanley Richmond, who runs the town's biggest farm with his deaf sister Bonnie. And Mimi Clark, a hot yet bitter-cold IRS agent sent from Washington D.C. to audit Stanley's farm. There's also Heather Lisinski, a cute elementary school science teacher that Jake quickly establishes a liking to, and Emily Sullivan, Jake's former girlfriend from before he left town oh-so-many years ago. And let's not forget Gracie Leigh, the evil-looking old woman who owns the local supermarket, or Dale Turner, the awkward teenage boy who works at Gracie's store. And I could go on, but I've got other things I need to do today! The point is, pretty much every character on the show, major or minor, is in someway interesting.

I don't want to give too much away, so I won't summarize any more of it, but I'll just say that he show continues to show the town's struggle through these perilous times. Sometimes it seems like everyone wants to tear everyone else apart, and other times everybody comes together like best friends. When I first saw the commercials I remember thinking what could they possible do for story once they get to a week or a month after the explosion. Then, when I actually started watching it, I couldn't help but wonder what would coming up on the next episode. Strong writing, a strong cast, and a more interesting plot than I ever expected makes this series a must-watch for yours truly.

The special features include commentaries on several of the episodes, some deleted scenes, an in-depth look at the create of the show, and look at how the nuclear arms race evolved since the end of World War II.

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