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Reader Poll – Are you enjoying the new season of Jericho?

Cheers to Executive Producer Carol Barbee and the three cast members in attendance at WonderCon who were just short of upbeat on Sunday, two days ahead of D-Day for the show. According to Barbee, this past Tuesday’s episode was make-or-break for the show’s future on CBS.

Jericho poster

Considering that the current season’s best ratings have been worse than any of the show’s worst ratings last season, I was somewhat expecting a more somber tone during Sunday’s Q&A panel. Or at least a couple of displays of manic enthusiasm, obviously manufactured with the help of prescription drugs. Oh, well.

Turns out Jericho‘s ratings saw an uptick on Tuesday. But of course, that was against contenders like Quarterlife, which had one of the worst-rated premieres in recent history. Which is somewhat like competing in a game of chess against a mentally retarded squirrel monkey. Victory rings hollow.

Regardless, Barbee indicated that if CBS doesn’t pick up the show for season 3, Jericho could find new life on cable. (SciFi Channel, anyone?)

Carol Barbee at Wondercon

But I don’t know that I’m going to stick around. (Of course, I said the same thing about Smallville three seasons ago, so you can probably chalk this one up to dramatic license.) Here’s why I think the current season of Jericho is not as good as the first season.

5) Too much action, not enough meat.

I get as pumped as the next guy over a season promo that features guns, explosions, and violence set to The Hives’s “Tick Tick Boom”. My testosterone level are in the sort-of-average-to-average range, after all.

But, dammit, let’s stop to enjoy some character development again, shall we? Where are those (sometimes-cheesy) relationship explorations from last season? Stanley and Mimi are still great, but… Jake and his ex are back together? End of story? Damn this short, seven-episode season.

Brad Beyer JerichoAlicia Coppola Jericho

4) The mystery is gone.

The honeymoon is already over. We’ve apparently learned all there is to know about these characters, so prepare to settle into the “boring-yet-comfortable” phase of your relationship with Jericho.

If the show were your girlfriend, you’d still be having sex once a week or so. But it’ll never be as fun or spontaneous as it was when you were first dating. Remember how Jericho used to keep surprising you? Um, in bed? Those were the good old days.

(Yeah, no amount of plastic surgery can repair the stretch marks on that analogy. Sorry ’bout that.)

3) I miss Johnston Green!

Barbee claims he was always meant to die at some point, but I seem to recall the character’s departure at the end of last season was actor Gerald McRaney’s decision. Either way, without the level-headed patriarch bringing perspective the picture, the ‘kids’ are left to their own one-dimensional, hot-headed devices.

2) Speaking of, where are all those other characters?

Dale’s girlfriend, Jake’s mom, Hawkins’s kids, Jonah Prowse… wherefore art thou asses, yo? Again, fewer characters and relationships equals a more shallow, boring show.

1) The show was more fun when it was Mad Max meets Picket Fences

Us geeks love a good post-apocalyptic thriller. But now, as of this week’s episode, law has apparently been returned to the countryside. No more risk of being run off the road and pillaged by roaming bands of bandits or paramilitary troops if you leave town? Um, that was quick. And boring.

Somehow the new and inexplicable viral epidemic doesn’t hold the same excitement.

So, that’s me. What say you? (For what it’s worth, you can check out a clip from next week’s episode here.)


6 comments… add one
  • Shannon February 29, 2008, 7:59 am

    I totally agree. Jericho has been disappointing. Which is not as bad as bad, or maybe it’s worse. I like Esai Morales but they need to ramp up the evil conspiracy a LOT (and not make it so black and white, please, we’re not morons) and give us a little more meat to our stories. Poorly written textbooks and unexplained outbreaks just won’t cut it.

  • nickolai February 29, 2008, 10:00 am

    Totally on board. I want to see more exploration of basic moral situations that would result post-apocalypse. Is it worth going out of our way to save a stranger’s life, and at what cost? Is it justifiable to destroy another town if it means our town can live 6 months longer? For God’s sake, is it my corn or the town’s corn?

    Season 2 has totally lost its way…

  • nickolai February 29, 2008, 10:01 am

    btw, the situation feels a lot like Danny Boyle’s movie, Sunshine. The first 2/3 of the movie was phenomenal, but the last part almost ruined the whole damn thing.

  • Paul February 29, 2008, 10:25 am

    I’ve only seen two episodes of the first season. The way I’m reading it here, I’d be super disappointed if I was all into it.

  • Cindi February 29, 2008, 4:46 pm

    No clue. I’ve never seen the show. I’m way behind on Lost (talk about a show that’s gone off the rails). But it doesn’t stop me from commenting on your post when I should be working.

  • lovelain February 29, 2008, 10:37 pm

    it definitely feels a little different, but i’m still enjoying it a lot.

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