Thursday, September 28, 2006

JERICHO: After The Bombs Fall

I missed the debut of the CBS show JERICHO last week, but caught it on ON DEMAND last night. Also watched most of the second episode. I'm pretty much hooked, despite the kinda lousy writing, mostly to find out what's the deal with Skeet Ulrich's character. And also, I wanna see what the nuke-rain does.

Character and disaster. Those'll nab me, even when other things are a bit boring. But only for so long. It's The End of The World As We Know It blog said it rather adorably:
They had me at “mushroom cloud”.

But will they keep me?

Eventually, I expect them to get their footing and improve their game when it comes to making ALL the characters come to life and be interesting and finding non-predictable ways of handling the post-disaster landscape.

So, what didn't I like?

For instance, that whole running around for shelter: Boring. I can imagine some crack sci-fi writers could have made that interesting. But no. It was your run-of-the-mill stuff. Ho-hom. And the dialogue. Ugh.

And can someone tell me the fricken point of the prison escape? I mean, other than to add an element of some suspense (not much), what the hell was the point? (It may show up later. I may just be impatient.)

What did I like again?

Mr. Long-gone-son come home for his inheritance to aloof dad who is disappointed in him, though other brother makes dad pround. (Yeah, like I said, Prodigal Skeet.) I also liked the acts of kindness by the boy whose parents got blasted in Atlanta. There is a deep sadness and longing in that boy's face, and it makes you root for him. I also want to see more of the character who seems to be hiding an interesting, perhaps secret-agenty past. I call him the push-pin guy.

Now, for some specific lowlights and highlights:

One of the worst moments: Gerald McRaney being as wooden as possible while giving his rally-the-community speech from the school bus. They should have gotten an ace speech writer to do that bit. It was clunky. "We've got to work together." YAWN. I'd rather see them kill each other over gas than listen to that dull crap again.

Best moments:
~The little boy, playing hide and seek with his young sister, standing on the roof, and the camera goes behind him and we see what he sees--the mushroom cloud in the distance. (see pic above left).
~ The boy holding the answering machine tape who is asked, "What do you have there?" His simple, heartbreaking answer: "My mom."
~The mystery man pushing pins onto a map, major city after major city, and the big box of red push pins where his fingers keep dipping for more, and more, and more pins. Without a syllable of dialogue, we know the scope is huge and we're now in solid, post-apocalyptic mode.

I don't know if it's gonna get better or just be an accumulation of crap speeches by the mayor (McRaney) and people demanding to know what's going on (of the mayor). I don't know if the nukey rains will bring some kind of plagues to the town or be ultimately anticlimactic.

I just wish the people of Jericho were more interesting. Right now, I don't much care if 99.9% they croak from radiation sickness, starting with the I-have-only-one-expression-and-voice-volume-level mayor. That's not a good thing.

I do hope they don't squander the situation. Episode two was less interesting than episode one. That's not a good sign. But it ended well. I hope they manage to make this work, cause I really would like to see what's up with prodigal Skeet and I'd like to find out why the bombs fell.

Carmen at In The Open has had a couple of good posts on JERICHO. And she links to others discussing this new show. You'll want to get her take on it.

1 comment:

Suzan Robertson said...

I missed the first show, but caught #2 last night. I thought that it was pretty weak but I'm giving it another chance. It was almost as if they were MAKING it SO CLEAR, like "here is a moment of suspense," you know? It needs more intelligent writers, and the whole "Let's pair everyone up" routine bugged me after a while. Feels rushed. And blowing up the entrance to a mine and sealing them in? Are they kidding? That was supposed to be a brilliant move? Anyway, I thought the best part was at the end, with the red push pins. Very dramatic. The most intriguing character, and the most creative part of the whole thing.

I do hope that it improves. I just love the apocalyptic stuff.....

Am I weird? Don't answer.