Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Jericho's second season

The first season of Jericho was OK. I sat down and watched it at one point a few months ago when I was bored and ill and up all night and it was the only TV show I could find that had a whole season's worth of episodes available online for free. I really liked some aspects of it, particularly the post-apocalyptic themes and the secret agent storyline, and I could listen to the guy who plays Hawkins talk all day and not get bored; he has the most wonderful voice. Other aspects were kind of annoying, like how none of the women were good for anything, and how the town kept "running out" of gasoline and then the next episode people were driving all over the place, and the resemblance some of the plot points had to a 9/11 Truther conspiracy theory.

The first few episodes of the second season have been pretty stellar, though. Apparently the show isn't that popular, but I think it's great. Popularity isn't necessarily the defining factor when you're telling a good story, and like Kung Fu Monkey says, this show has become radically subversive. I just watched Episode Five, and it reminded me of nothing so much as a composite of certain incidents from the Iraq war. The incident in Fallujah, before we burned it to the ground, where those contractors went into the city and were killed, and their bodies were mutilated and strung up by a mob. Numerous incidents of corruption during the reconstruction. Arbitrary imprisonment of occupied citizens without trial, and "misunderstandings" that resulted in the death of innocent children in their homes. The major difference is that the victims of corporate-government oppression here aren't Iraqis, they're Americans. The pretty little girl who gets shot is blond, and the men who string up the contractor are American farm boys, doing what anyone would do in their situation.

The most dangerous threat to the impulse to war is sympathizing with the enemy. Empathy, I am convinced, is the root of morality. If you can imagine yourself as the person you oppose, if you can feel what they feel , if you can truly know them, war becomes impossible. When it comes to people who live halfway across the world, who speak a different language and pray to a different God, empathy isn't that easy. Stories like this help bridge the gap, and we need more like it.

You can watch all of season two of Jericho here, on CBS' page, free and completely legit.


Elizabeth McClung said...

I am a big fan of post apocolyptic stories like Jerimaih - I watched Jericho but was frustrated by the fussing about and micro power plays similar to LOST, as a US citizen myself (in exile to be with my partner), I hope this doesn't reflect what US citizens will do when you see a GIANT MUSHROOM CLOUD - but then I though Red Dawn was a bit optimistic too.

I do find it interesting what you say about jericho as subversive simply BECAUSE it is LIKE the show THE UNIT, instead of being all "HUU-RAH!" and blowing away the brown, darker, arab, etc people it IS killing the blond kid, the person with the midwest accent but is essentially the same story. I also agree with you about Empathy as the root of morality. So ya make me think AND you give me a link to free viewing - sweet!

Tayi said...

There is a lot less fussing about in season two, I guess because they have less than ten episodes to tell their story in. So things are a lot more focused, so far anyway. I hope you like the show if you end up watching it. :)