Finished watching the first season of Jericho on DVD yesterday. I have now ventured back to the CBS website and found out that I have 7 ep’s to go before they call it a series. I started out really enjoying the show, then I felt like it hit a lull and lost direction mid-year, before (sort of) picking it back up again down the stretch.
If I were making a critical assessment strictly from a content standpoint, I would have downgraded it to three stars– I thought it was enjoyable, but I have a feeling I might’ve given up on it if I were watching week-to-week. For one thing, there were some significant continuity problems, and second, the method used to turn an apparent “bad guy” into a “good guy” was pretty sloppy and poorly executed. There was also a tendency to dwell on certain plot points and present NEARLY EVERY FRACKING CHARACTER’S VIEWPOINT of a set of circumstances before moving forward. Even as I sit here and consider the continuity issues… they become more numerous. That was a major thing as the season wore on.
However, I still think that the show played well on an allegorical level– I feel that, overall, the series (at least as much of it as I’ve seen, which is most) did a good job of interpreting a harrowing, 3rd-World-type disaster into English. I found myself appreciating the sense of isolation and lawlessness that I could only imagine would exist anywhere when a small group of people are suddenly and violently cut off from the rest of the world.
The over-arching problems that the characters faced, and the troubles that they had to deal with rang true to me, even if the way that those problems were handled didn’t always do as well. I did find it distracting at times when they would run too long on tangents pertaining to conspiracies or characters’ back stories– Jericho wasn’t LOST or 24, but it tried to be both at different times. Maybe that was part of the problem, and why they were whacked after 22 29 episodes– the show was definitely at its best when it told the story of a fractured society that was torn from its comfort zone and had to reinvent a whole new way of life. As a tale of human ingenuity and perseverance, Jericho works. As an action/mystery serial, not so much.