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DVD Review: Jericho – The First Season

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I was hooked on Jericho from the first commercial I saw. I made it a point to make room for the show in my appointment TV watching. I easily watched each episode at least twice. The show is far from being cheery, yet it still holds onto a glimmer of hope. It also makes you think about what life would really be like in such a situation.

Jericho is about a small Kansas town and their survival after a nuclear attack on the United States. They have no idea if there are other survivors or if they are alone to rebuild. The show chronicles what would be very real problems like food shortages and looting and then goes a bit further to show war-like skirmishes between neighboring towns that had very different responses as to how to survive.

Jericho is another in the growing popular ensemble-cast thrillers. The thriller aspect comes in from living in a basically post-apocalyptic world. But sprinkled throughout the chaos are stories of the people of Jericho: who they are, their relationships with each other, and what secrets they aren’t telling anyone else. The setup has drawn a lot of comparisons to Lost, just without the supernatural aspect.

What makes Jericho so gripping, and perhaps timeless, is the invisible enemy. Without knowing who is attacking the US or why, it puts a real spin on the plot. I think the mysterious forces behind the nuclear attacks also force the audience to wonder how they would react in such a situation: would they maintain law and order or would it be a free for all?

The casting of the show also works in its favor. Skeet Ulrich (Scream) is the lead and is equally strong and vulnerable, which makes his character more compelling. He’s also ridiculously good looking, so you know some love triangles are in for the making. The cast of Jericho is rounded out by Gerald McRaney (Major Dad, Simon & Simon), Ashley Scott (Birds of Prey), Pamela Reed (Proof of Life), Kenneth Mitchell, Lennie James (Sahara), Sprague Grayden, Michael Gaston, Erik Knudsen (Saw II), Brad Beyer, and Shoshannah Stern (Weeds) who is really deaf.

The special features on Jericho: The First Season are fairly typical extras these days. Most of the episodes have deleted scenes, commentary, or even both available to watch. The sixth disc also has two mini-featurettes. The first is called “Building Jericho” and is a behind the scenes look at how the first season of Jericho was made – from audition tapes, to building the back lot, special effects, and even how fan feedback affected the season. The next feature is a mini documentary called “What If” that looks at possibilities of actual nuclear attacks in the past, present, and future. It chronicles the history of nuclear weapons with stock footage and interviews with various people. The feature also discusses responses to disasters, with Hurricane Katrina being a big example of how it can go wrong without a plan in place.

Technically speaking, Jericho: The First Season is in widescreen format, enhanced for 16:9 televisions. The sound is Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround with options for subtitles in English, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese.

I highly recommend Jericho be added to your DVD collection.

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  • sarah

    Much agreed. Skeet is ridiculously good-looking, a VERY underrated actor and very articulate in his interviews. I’m still waiting for the next 7, and season 3 CBS!

  • Thomas Valente

    Theres no other show like JERICHO on the air. The comparison to LOST is only applicable in the early episodes. As the series evolved it was clear the rest of the country and the world was still there but the world had clearly changed and millions were dead or dying. Indeed the most important aspect of JERICHO is the question as to what would become of the world, America and our families if terrorists set off nuclear bombs in American cities from coast to coast. Would the country fall apart? Or work together to rebuild? Would anarchy reign? Or would the good in people win out over selfishness?

    I definitely added JERICHO to my DVD collection, its one of only 3 series I own DVDs for. All the rest are movies.Its that special.

  • http://360.yahoo.com/nancygail NancyGail

    Nicely done, but you skipped somebody! Out of all characters, the most compelling was Phil Constantino, played to chilling perfection by Timothy Omundson. Although the return is in Jericho, you have to watch to see if Jericho’s former mayor survives!

  • http://360.yahoo.com/nancygail NancyGail

    Nicely done, but you skipped somebody! Out of all characters, the most compelling was Phil Constantino, played to chilling perfection by Timothy Omundson. Although the return is in Jericho, you have to watch to see if Jericho’s former mayor survives!

  • jjb_md

    I’ve been a dedicated Jericho fan all year. I watched the entirety of Season 1 on DVD in three weeks and I’m ready to start over again. A few of the songs have been changed, apparently due to licensing issues, and the special features seem a little skimpy, but overall I give this set a good solid “A”. Can’t wait to see Season 2 and beyond!

  • Grace

    JERICHO ROCKS!!!
    Can’t wait for season 2.
    Skeet Ulrich and Gerald McRaney are SUPERB!!

  • Nilton Braga

    Please!

    Do u know if the Special Features have portuguese subtitles too?

    Thx!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • olivia

    I can’t wait any longer for season 2, season 3, season 4,…….. until the end.DO YOU HEAR ME CBS? DON’T EVER EVEN THINK ABOUT CANCELING JERICHO AGAIN.

  • olivia

    I can’t wait any longer for season 2, season 3, season 4,…….. until the end.DO YOU HEAR ME CBS? DON’T EVER EVEN THINK ABOUT CANCELING JERICHO AGAIN.

  • olivia

    I can’t wait any longer for season 2, season 3, season 4,…….. until the end. CBS! Please, I beg you whenever the idea of canceling Jericho again jumps into your mind think about something else or another show to cancel but please not this one!