Tuesday, February 12, 2008

FanBoyWonder TV Spotlight: Jericho—Rising From The Ashes

FanBoyWonder has discovered a new favorite show of ours and we wish to spread the word about Jericho which airs tonight (Tuesdays) on CBS.

Here’s The Upshot From CBS: "Jericho is a drama about what happens when a nuclear mushroom cloud suddenly appears on the horizon, plunging the residents of a small, peaceful Kansas town into chaos, leaving them completely isolated and wondering if they're the only Americans left alive.

"Fear of the unknown propels Jericho into social, psychological and physical mayhem when all communication and power is shut down. The town starts to come apart at the seams as terror, anger and confusion bring out the very worst in some residents.

"Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich), prodigal son of the town's mayor, becomes a reluctant hero when a school bus crashes as a result of the explosion. Mayor Johnston Green (Gerald McRaney) is conflicted with the return of his estranged son, but is called to action when the town begins to riot. Johnston's wife, Gail (Pamela Reed), is the strong, savvy first lady of the town who runs interference between her husband and her favorite son.

"Attempting to usurp the mayor's power is Johnston's political adversary, Gray Anderson (Michael Gaston), who is not above putting his personal agenda before the welfare of the very community he wants to lead.

"Though the cloud appears in the distance, it affects all the residents in Jericho, including Dale Turner (Erik Knudsen), the 16-year-old trailer park kid everybody picks on, who finds himself in a position that could change his status; Robert Hawkins (Lennie James), a mysterious stranger who seems to be a jack-of-all-trades as he steps in to help restore order; Heather Lisinski (Sprague Grayden), a pretty young schoolteacher on the bus with her students returning from a class trip when the glare from the explosion causes a terrible accident; Emily Sullivan (Ashley Scott), Jake's high school sweetheart who lives outside of town and innocently goes about her business unaware of the catastrophe, Bonnie Richmond (Shoshannah Stern), a pretty 17-year-old who is hearing impaired; and Bonnie's older brother Stanley (Brad Beyer), Jake's best friend from childhood and an avid car lover who works on the family farm.

"In this time of crisis, as sensible people become paranoid, personal agendas take over and well-kept secrets threaten to be revealed, some people will find an inner strength they never knew they had, and the most unlikely heroes will emerge. "

FanBoyWonder caught the first four episodes of Jericho Season 1 last night during a mini-marathon on Sci-Fi Channel and we were hooked within the first half hour.

We were so drawn into this town’s struggle for post-nuclear holocaust survival that we totally blew off our normal 9 p.m. viewing of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Fox (we’ll catch up by viewing it on the Internet sometime).

What we saw of Jericho very much reminded us of Battlestar Galacticaa drama where nuclear holocaust and a community’s effort to maintain order and their humanity as society breaks down is only the backdrop but it’s the flawed and feeling characters that keeps us watching.

If Battlestar Galactica is basically an aircraft carrier in space then Jericho is Battlestar Galactica in Kansas.

The very fact that Season 2 of Jericho premiers tonight is thanks in no small part to original die-hard fans of the show who went “NUTS” at news of the show’s cancellation last spring—their outcry prompted CBS to give Jericho a second chance in the form of seven new episodes, as well as allowing Sci-Fi Channel to air Season 1 episodes in hopes of picking up new viewers.

It worked and we’re hooked.

As reported in today’s USA Today, the first-season cliffhanger, the start of a war between Jericho and a neighboring town, is resolved quickly so that the show can move onto new developments: the arrival of an Army major (Esai Morales) who changes the power balance in town; the return of Ravenwood, a malevolent private security firm; and the fate of an undetonated nuclear bomb, which is being hidden by Jericho mystery man Robert Hawkins.

Jericho Executive Producer Carol Barbee said she sees the new season as a fresh start, which she hopes will make Jericho inviting to new viewers as well as Season 1 loyalists. After a solid start in fall 2006, Jericho lost 2 million viewers when it returned last spring, but it could benefit now with so many competitors in reruns because of the writers' strike.

"I hope people will feel they can walk right in," Barbee told USA Today. "There are only a few things you need to know: We were attacked with a nuclear weapon, Jake's father was killed and Jake's not happy about it, and Hawkins has a bomb and people are looking for him.”

Jericho Season 2 premiere airs tonight (Tuesday) at 10 p.m. EST with Season 1 episodes airing on Sci-Fi Channel Monday’s at 10 p.m. (check local listings).

For more info, check out the show’s Website here www.cbs.com/primetime/jericho/


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