The Rest is Static

Just wanted to mention, “The Rest is Static,” my contribution to the In Media Res series at MediaCommons. I discovered Jericho while working on my science-fiction television article, watching all of this season’s episodes online at the Jericho website and wanted to provoke a little more discussion about the show’s representation of the aftermath of a nuclear attack on the United States.

I’m still not quite sure what makes the show work for me; my interest in the show clearly developed because I could watch all of the episodes consecutively online rather than waiting for them to be broadcast over several weeks. As a result, the show is more readily identified with the computer screen than the TV screen for me, to the point that I sometimes confuse other shows with it when watching network television on the web.

The supplemental series, Countdown is also pretty interesting, once you get past the tedious AT&T promos, especially in providing interesting background information about Robert Hawkins, one of the show’s central characters. The documentary footage of Condoleezza Rice commenting on North Korea’s nuclear tests and talking heads interviews with various experts on nuclear technology support the storyline without alienating casual fans of the show.

At any rate, the In Media Res series is starting to pick up steam now, so I’d encourage you to check it out.


  1. Chris Said,

    February 16, 2007 @ 9:40 pm

    hey chuck — i watch jericho, too (i reviewed it on my blog). i like it a lot, and i think it’s an interesting look at how people might really react in such a circumstance. i haven’t caught the newest ep yet (it’s sitting on my DVR until I have a free 45 minutes to dedicate to it).

  2. Chuck Said,

    February 16, 2007 @ 10:03 pm

    The episode that aired on Wednesday was a recap, not necessary if you’re familiar with the show, but interesting in its effort to bring casual fans up to speed. After clicking through, I vaguely remembered your comments on the show (at the time I probably paid more attention to your comments on Art School).

    I think you’re right about Jericho striking the right tone (it could easily slip into despair).

  3. Chris Said,

    February 17, 2007 @ 6:07 pm

    you know, i sometimes think the ending of each episode, with its desire (need?) to keep things hopeful (usually by showing people working together to keep the town going), works too hard and hits a false note.

    don’t you think, if those circumstances occurred, there would be a lot of despair to go around? on the one hand, i think that it would be a pretty bleak time. on the other hand, i like the way the show depicts how life continues for those outside the big cities. they have to figure out how to move on, and though it’s a struggle, they do just that.

    i just think the endings are a little too “life is still good,” what with the music and all. but the show’s tone overall works for me.

  4. Chuck Said,

    February 17, 2007 @ 6:34 pm

    Yes, the endings sometimes feel a little forced, and the music a bit too pop–and teh show seems to be underplaying the panic and grief, as if only 2-3 people in the town had friends and relatives and lives outside of Jericho. I think the conflict with the mercenaries was resolved a bit too easily, to name another example. But the community dinners aren’t unlike what happened post-9/11 where there was a need for community gatherings.

    My impression, via reliable sources such as internet rumors, is that the series begins to get darker in the weeks ahead, so I’m curious to see how things play out.

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