Tuned In

Loyal to My Sorrowful Country*

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Robert Voets/CBS

Yes, I’m still watching Jericho. Yes, still not ashamed to admit it. But I do keep getting frustrated–not by the show’s bad writing and phoned-in acting, but by the implausibilities and the weird streak of authoritarianism. (The decision this week, for instance, to keep most of the town in the dark that a passing troop of “Marines” was actually phony in order to keep up morale, which we were apparently meant to agree with.) Also by the inconsistency of tone: I keep feeling that the world of Jericho is about two degrees more hellish than the producers feel they can show us on CBS. Maybe HBO will adapt The Road as a series someday.

But take heart: Jericho executive producer Carol Barbee told an audience at the Museum of TV and Radio that we’ll know much more by the end of the season about who carried out the nuclear attacks. Although, do we need to know that much more about who carried them out? We’ve got a sense already that it was the work of a shadowy, largely or entirely American-accented network of people who are out to “change the world.” What I want to know more about is how the world has changed: what’s going on in the rest of the apparently Balkanized United States, which we keep getting glimpses of without much information. That, and the story of how the country attempts to reunite, is apparently planned for the second season, Barbee says. If there is one.

And yet, I’ll stick with the show, because it’s got my number, because I’ve invested too much in it already, and because, dammit, my six Presidents need me.

* Any Ted Leo fans out there? Anywhere?