So I've seen the first eight episodes of Jericho
via Netflix. It's kind of right up my alley, with its post-apocalypse we've-survived-23-nuclear-bombs-hitting-
Or it would be, if the characters were at all competent. So far, I'm only really in love with Heather Lisinski, who is an excellent girl gadgeteer for a elementary school teacher, Robert Hawkins, who is Schroedinger's terrorist-or-federal-agent, and Gail Green, who is on top of her family situation even if she can't control anything else in her life.
Unfortunately, I'm supposed
to like Jake, who is one of the leads, and I'm finding him kind of 'blah'. It's his incredible skill and knowledge that he got in 5 years away that is always relevant to the plot, no matter if it makes sense or not, that is making me not like him so much.
It's not that he couldn't be that competent -- it's that other people wind up being written as in
competent to make him look better. This is especially glaring with the two surviving sheriff deputies, Jimmy and Bill, who I can only conclude weren't included on the search in the pilot episode that resulted in the death of the sheriff and most of the force because they were the *least* competent officers in the department. Jimmy is too agreeable and lets people who shouldn't have authority give him dubious orders (like Gray Anderson, who is some sort of alderman, and *not* part of the law enforcement chain of command at all), and Bill is twitchy, suspicious, and kind of gullible. Admittedly, in a rural farming community like Jericho is supposed to be, their normal workweek would include a lot of time on low risks incidents like traffic accidents and stray cattle, but they'd also be called on for more dangerous situations like domestic disputes and meth labs -- there is no excuse for them not being at least minimally competent, and I'm not sure that they are as of episode 8.
Same problem with the episode with the fire at the town library -- the firefighters might have been shortstaffed, but the idea that they weren't competent enough at their jobs to think of the pump station while Jake and Stanley do just makes me think the town is being run by Keystone Kops, not that 'Jake is awesome!', which I think was the intended message.
Also, I'm finding it hard to believe that the writing staff was trying to set up a love triangle between Jake, Heather, and Emily Sullivan -- Emily totally reads to me as a person who has gotten over whatever feeling she might have had for Jake years ago and is kind of glad that she dodged that bullet, since Jake seems to be the sort who leaves emotionally messy wakes. He's better than his brother, who is cheating on his wife and can't manage to break with her, but that's damning with faint praise.
Actually, I like Stanley and Bonnie and even Mimi, mostly when their storyline doesn't interact with Jake or Robert Hawkins. It's nice that the staff writers actually thought a little about the fact that they plopped their story down in the middle of farm country -- it would have been nicer if most of the characters
remembered that they're surrounded by fields and pastures more often, and made note of it, instead of doing things like eating canned soups and stale cornflakes. The town government hasn't mobilized as many people as possible to work as farm labor in exchange for rations. Given that most of the electronics and thus most of the local vehicles were disabled by an EMP blast, it just makes me go 'huh'? You're going to need a lot
of people to harvest hay or wheat without a motorized tractor.
There also seems to be nothing resembling an agricultural extension agent who might be able to rustle up plans for non-motorized farm management or something -- and yes, I realize the staff writers are probably not familiar with life in a small farming town, surely someone could have done research -- because at of episode 8, the characters seem to be in great danger of starving in the middle of the biggest wheat producer in the USA.
Anyway, now I'm nurturing a plotbunny for a Supernatural/Jericho crossover, and wondering how much I'd have to yank canon around for it to work. I can see S1 Jericho being post-S5 Supernatural, actually, with the bomb attacks being some baroque plot by Lucifer's forces to get revenge for his defeat -- sort of a 'if we can't have it, we'll smash the world anyway' plot.