“Jericho” returns, for too short a season

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What is it about Kansas that
makes it the official site of postapocalyptic TV America? The Day After — the first of the two nuclear-bomb-aftermath TV movies of the early ’80s — took place in a small town in
Eastern Kansas.

And 20+ years
later, Kansas had a postapocalyptic TV revival in the form of Jericho, a short-lived series about life
in a small Kansas town after the United States as it previously existed
is gone.

If I lived in Kansas, I don’t
know whether I’d be honored or offended that my home state was the official
site of postapocalyptic TV. I guess there’s no such thing as
bad publicity. And who wouldn’t want to be portrayed as a survivor?
(But this assumption that the heartland will remain after the cities
get bombed might possibly explain how Indiana petting zoos are considered for
Homeland Security funding
.)
Maybe there’s just something quintessentially American about the Sunflower
State.

Regardless of why, postapocalyptic
horror is coming back to Kansas tonight when Jericho
returns to CBS, somewhat unexpectedly, for a short second
season
.

The show
debuted in 2006, was canceled and then brought back to life after a
viewer campaign. And now it’s back again for seven episodes of postapocalyptic
fun. Apparently, the new character introduced this season (Esai Morales
of NYPD Blue and Bad Boys
fame) will bring enough of a new story to the show that new viewers
will be able to jump right in and join the party.

If you’re a former fan, be
prepared for fewer characters and explosions: “We
had to be very wise about where to blow things up, because it’s expensive
to blow things up,” according to executive producer Carol Barbee.
But the new season will answer many questions left dangling last time
around — such as the origin of the bombs.

I’ve never seen the show and
don’t know yet whether I’ll watch — I’m still spooked by The Day
After
. But it could be intriguing. Has anyone seen it?
Is it good? Regardless, if you’re jonesing for some postapocalyptic
Kansas, you’re in luck tonight.

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