TV Review: Jericho

Monday 16 March 2015 by

Jericho, TV, Netflix

Spend a weekend doing nothing and you find yourself caught up in Netflix. And you can find some strange things to watch on there. Try Jericho for instance. Jericho tells the story of Jake as he returns to his small home town of Jericho in Kansas to collect an inheritance, but ends up getting stuck there because of a whole load of nuclear bombs going off. Cue a series of episodes where the members of the small community try to survive in a post-apocalypse world whilst still trying to deal with their issues from their lives before.

The premise is fairly simple, and if I’m honest it’s not a hugely impressive series (despite its cult status and the joy of Netflix promising to revive a third season). The acting is shaky, the script even shakier. But there is something compelling about these kinds of series, when a small band of people try to survive together, and yet have other issues. As a cult hit, and Netflix promising investment, Jericho has the potential to be really good fun. The first series from 2006, however, feels like a first series attempting to find its feet.

Jake, the great hero, is typically flawed, and is reluctant to the extreme. But as a piece of eye candy, I just can’t get on board. All that being said, he makes a good protagonist, and the surrounding characters make enough of a mark for you to feel like investing in the series. In fact, of all the characters, it is Emily (Jake’s old flame) that I am most interested in. She is the best of the bunch.

There are several things to brighten the series from mediocrity; the setting is brilliant. You get a real sense of a small town in America, complete with Main Street, corn fields and sprawling clapboard houses. But the soundtrack is simply superb. Think a mix of Mission Impossible, pop culture and the haunting piano music so elegantly executed in Battlestar Galactica. It bolsters the less-than-average script to make it an addictive watch. It only really gets interesting by episode 13.

There is only two seasons, and the finale has not proved to be the cliffhanger excellence of some series I’ve watched, but it promises more. With a danger-of-the-week format, there may not be much more that can be improved on (The Walking Dead get around this with different settings each season) if they stay in Jericho, but the characters are good enough that I might be convinced to continue.

Overall, an average series, but one of those ideal Netflix offerings that can cheerfully fill your time of a weekend. Keep watching, but perhaps soften the blow with some more interesting entertainment later.

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