Jericho, which might be the only TV show this blog has ever highlighted, has been cancelled — again — after getting new life through an seven-episode second season. Those new episodes end this week.
I’d love to say that I am outraged that the show, so promising after season 1, was cancelled again. But honestly, during this second season the show has been a shadow of its former self. Many of the best-loved characters have been AWOL the entire season. The new characters simply aren’t compelling or believable. And the stories — which used to depend on themes of communities and families dealing with horrifying uncertainty, isolation, and survival — now consist of trite morality tales about bad corporations and conspiratorial government officials, with thinly-disguised swipes at Dick Cheney and Haliburton. The show has gone from a unique premise that was well-executed, to a thoroughly ordinary, even dull, show with little to separate it from the pack of other CBS dramas.
Apparently I’m not the only Jericho watcher who feels this way. The ratings really reflect viewer apathy, and it was for the low ratings that Jericho was cancelled again. There’s been rumors that the SciFi Channel may pick it up, in which case I hope they treat the second season as somebody’s dream they had when they were taking a shower and just start where the first season left off.
Work has been more active than usual lately with some protracted Promotion and Tenure Committee business on top of a 14-hour course load this semester, so pardon the light blogging. I do have a few quick thoughts:
- No, I didn’t watch the Jericho season 2 premiere last night yet. 10:00 Eastern is way past my bedtime. I do have it on the DVR at home, though, so once the kids are in bed tonight I’ll be digging in. The entire first episode is online already, so maybe I’ll get a headstart if I
ignore enough of my work get a break today.
- I’ve been spending my post-kids-in-bed time at home this week watching season 1 of LOST at ABC’s website. Corey at Ubiquitously notes the huge quality difference between ABC’s online video player, which streams HD video full-screen, and CBS’s Innertube player. ABC’s version is really very impressive, with a crisp, DVD-quality presentation, non-irritating treatment of commercial insertions, and minimal hiccups in the streaming process. The only drawback is that my Macbook heats up to the point that it feels like I’m holding a hot pan in my lap while I am watching. (But the same thing happens when I watch streaming video at CBS too.)
- I just wrote a problem for my Differential Equations class about blanching asparagus. I feel like I have really arrived as a math teacher.
Just a programming/public service announcement: Jericho, the only television show I really actually watch, is returning for its second season this Tuesday at 10 PM eastern time on CBS. I first wrote about Jericho here, having discovered it while stranded in the Charlotte, NC airport for 36 hours. I say it’s the only TV show I watch, but in fact I have never watched it on television. You can get the entire first season, with the full episodes, for free on line at CBS Innertube, and that’s where I watched most of it (and mostly in the Charlotte airport). I broke down and bought a couple of episodes from iTunes as well.
That there will be a second season at all is a story in itself. The show was originally cancelled, but distraught fans mounted a petition drive to bring the show back on air. Part of the drive consisted of delivering several thousand pounds of peanuts to CBS headquarters (a reference to a famous line delivered in one of the final first season episodes). CBS reconsidered, and now there are seven new episodes in the hopper.
Jericho is a cult classic already, with a wiki and a spawn of Jericho-related blogs out there. Watch a few of the first season episodes at Innertube (the pilot, and then I’d suggest “9:02”, “Rogue River”, “The Day Before”, “AKA”, and then “Why We Fight” in that order if you can’t watch them all) and then tune in Tuesday night if you want to join the cult.