Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Jericho: And So It Ends

This weekend I bid an old friend goodbye. It was already departed; long departed, really. I was holding onto its memory as a little piece of hope and a way to preserve the effort that went into giving it a second lease on life.

I've blogged a whole lot about Jericho before here, including how much I enjoyed its excellent narrative, the fan effort to save the show for a second season after the first season's cliffhanger, and CBS' decision to actually renew the show for seven more episodes. I think it was pretty obvious at the time that those seven episodes were a bit of a 'Hail Mary' - a way to shut fans up, to stop the boxes of nuts arriving at CBS headquarters, and (thankfully) to give the narrative its much-needed closure.

In the meantime I've done a lot of things: moved to London, convinced other people to watch the show, even sat down at the same table as the executive at CBS who made the decision to renew the show (her name is Nancy T., and she's exceptionally cool) and discussed the nuts campaign with her. But what I never did until this weekend was watch the rest of the second season. I saw the first three episodes, then I stopped.

Why? The episodes move really fast, and almost all of them are cliffhangers themselves. I loved the show. Why wouldn't I watch?

Because I didn't want it to be over.

I enjoy the journey as much as I enjoy the destination, and with Jericho it was easier to leave it sitting on my table than to watch the last three hours of the show and complete it. I vaguely knew what would happen by reading summaries on the Internet, but it was still an unreal abstraction.

This weekend though I thought I'd go ahead and bid Jericho goodbye.

I'm glad I did. The last seven episodes form a hell of a good story arc. The show takes a decidedly different turn, heading into 24 territory for a little while. I wanted more of the small-town stuff that made the first season so great, and that drew me into the show in the first place, but I really liked where they took the show as far as the connections they drew between the plot and historical contexts. (I won't spoil it for you, it was a pretty nifty reveal.) It was a satisfying ending, and although I wanted the show to continue I was content with the story as it was.

I actually felt very similar to how I felt when another cultish favorite show of mine ended, Carnivale. The story could be further developed - but it didn't need to be. The characters can live on in imagination, or you can simply take their story as a start-to-finish plot, like a nice book you come back to read from time to time.

Reckon I'll be doing just that in a little while.

Thanks for all the awesomeness, Jericho. You will be missed, gone but not forgotten.


JKI said...

The fight to save Jericho is not over!

The fans have already put ads in The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, a billboard in Los Angeles, and have aired TV ads in the Los Angeles area. They've also brought attention to the inadequacy of the Nielsen rating system and have had various charitable activities.

CBS Paramount is in talks with other parties to continue Jericho and they want to hear from the Jericho fans.

Please write to: Ms. Nancy Tellem, President, CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group, 4024 Radford Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604-2190.

For more information on how to help Save Jericho go to:


erika said...

Aaaah, what a nice post for Jericho! Glad you liked the ending so much. I miss that damn show!

Dg2.5 said...

I still hold out hope for another iteration of Jericho, BUT season 2 made up for some of the drag of season 1. Honestly, and entire episode about the library on fire? I had my wife convinced to watch the series (on DVD). We hit that episode and she said she was done. So here's hoping Jericho 3 or Jericho: The Movie or even Jericho:Civil War (mini series) happens, but season 2 was on par with season 1, albeit with a quicker pace.