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Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

The cult classic CBS series Jericho was ahead of its time in many ways. But how well has the post-apocalyptic drama aged?

The cult hit CBS series Jericho – which influenced the ways in which fans interact with their media, particularly when it comes to fan campaigns – is well over a decade old at this point. But even 14 years after its release, the post-apocalyptic drama series remains strikingly relevant, and even eerily prescient in some ways, when comparing real world crises and other forms of apocalyptic media.

The series also featured stars who would go on to be well known for other, more popular works, such as Skeet Ulrich and Lennie James, as well as tenured acting legends, like Gerald McRaney. Jericho had many things going for it, but even this still well-beloved series has its faults. We’re looking back at what has aged well from the series, and what just hasn’t stood the test of time as well.

Aged Well: The first season

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Right out of the gate, the CBS series developed an incredibly loyal following, due in large part to the incredible story telling and character development on display in almost every aspect of the series’ first season.

There are barely any episodes that feel like a filler, and every mystery introduced as the residents of Jericho try to understand their new world order is more compelling than the last. Plus, do we even need to explain the incredible impact of the first season finale’s iconic “Nuts” ending?

Aged Poorly: The second season

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

While the first season has stood the test of time as some of the strongest post-apocalytpic genre television to ever air, the second season, sadly, has fallen well short of that benchmark.

Condensed to a measly seven episode run, the once-cancelled series was brought back and given the opportunity to continue telling stories about the characters fans so loved… only to introduce a bevy of new characters and confusing storylines that never amounted to much.

Aged Well: Lennie James’ performance

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Robert Hawkins may not have been the main character of the series, no matter the major role he played in driving its central plot. But Lennie James is far and away the most talented peformer in the series, as he turns in one incredible, breathtaking performance after another.

Unwrapping the mystery that is Robert Hawkins little by little over the course of the series’ two seasons, James is able to turn the mysterious and dangerous agent trope into a fully realized, lovable man.

Aged Poorly: Ashley Scott’s performance

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

A performance that has only gotten worse with time, however, is that of Ashley Scott as the woefully inept and pointless character Emily Sullivan.

Particularly when considering her role through the lens of the increased importance of developing strong, complex, significant female characters, Emily, the cliched high school girlfriend from the wrong side of the tracks, falls flat – and even flatter when compared to well-drawn characters like Mimi Clark and Heather Lisinski.

Aged Well: Stanley and Mimi’s relationship

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Romantic relationships are hardly the focus of a series like Jericho, but the prospect of finding love as the world ends only strengthens the series’ core message about finding hope and happiness in the unlikeliest of circumstances.

The series’ best couple is unarguably the pairing of nerdy farmer Stanley Richmond and snobby Washington DC resident Mimi Clark. Their back and forth, love-hate, will they, won’t they dynamic is one of the most enjoyable parts of the series, even after all these years.

Aged Poorly: Eric and Mary’s relationship

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

A relationship that was a bad idea when the show first aired, and stands out in even more poor taste, is the show’s insistence on promoting the extramarital affair between Eric Green and resident barkeep Mary Bailey.

The show tries to sell its viewers on this relationship as one to root for, even after all the ugliness and hurt it causes. But it never feels right, and Mary never feels developed, either.

Aged Well: Inclusion of disabled characters

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Jericho was in many ways ahead of its time, and one such example of that is its prominent featuring of various disabled characters.

Most notably, the series featured deaf actress Shoshannah Stern in the major role of Bonnie Richmond, the strong and fearless sister of main character Stanley Richmond. The series also featured various characters with PTSD and other related mental health issues.

Aged Poorly: Inclusion of other diverse populations

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Beyond the inclusion of the Hawkins family, who are treated as outsiders and almost completely ignored in the series’ second season, the world of Jericho is a markedly non-diverse one.

The farming community of Jericho, Kansas might be primarily white, but the series could have found ways to make a more concerted effort to be inclusive.

Beyond the inclusion of the Hawkins family, who are treated as outsiders and almost completely ignored in the series’ second season, the world of Jericho is a markedly non-diverse one.

The farming community of Jericho, Kansas might be primarily white, but the series could have found ways to make a more concerted effort to be inclusive.

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Long before shows like The Walking Dead and The 100 were entertaining audiences with their futuristic, dystopian, and post-apocalyptic realities, Jericho was building an end of the world reality that was far more convincing, far more realistic, and far more richly developed.

With complex communications systems, a new economy, new methods of travel, and much more, the world of Jericho is just about as well-developed as it gets.

Aged Poorly: Meaningful answers to questions

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

Jericho: 5 Things That Have Aged Well (& 5 That Have Aged Poorly)

By consequence of being cancelled, revived, and cancelled once again, Jericho is a series that feels woefully unfinished.

There have been comic adaptations for further seasons of the series, but only the most ardent and comic-friendly of fans would go on to read those. Many of the series’ central mysteries and cliffhangers, therefore, remain frustratingly unresolved all these years later.

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