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JERICHO was one of the most intriguing new television series of the 2006-2007 television series. JERICHO is also a series that wound up being axed, after a long hiatus from which the ratings never recovered- Nuts! Fortunately, JERICHO found itself resurrected, thanks to a vocal and "nutty" fan base that convinced the network that the show deserved a second chance and will be returning to the airwaves as a mid-season replacement.

The basic premise of JERICHO depicts how the small town American town of Jericho, Kansas comes to grips with the fact that they have been spared the devastation of the nuclear holocaust that has wiped out the major cities on the continent. Cut off from communications, infrastructure, goods and services, not to mention the security of the U.S. government, the citizenry of Jericho find themselves on their own and fending for themselves in a brave, new world. Much of the show is concerned with the interpersonal relationships of the characters and how they adjust to their new circumstances, but in the background, the show also depicts a shadow conspiracy on the fringes of the former U.S. government. Were these shadowy figures responsible for the nuclear attacks? Did they have foreknowledge of the attacks, but let them happen anyway? Are they now pulling the strings of what is left of the government and the military? Let’s just say that watching JERICHO is far better than me telling you about it. The terrific ensemble cast of JERICHO features Skeet Ulrich, Lennie James, Kenneth Mitchell, Pamela Reed, Gerald McRaney, Ashley Scott, April D. Parker, Michael Gaston, Brad Beyer, Alicia Coppola, Bob Stephenson, Clare Carey and Erik Knudsen.

JERICHO: THE FIRST SEASON ($50) comes to DVD in a six-disc set that features the following twenty-two episodes that were aired in the show’s freshman year: Pilot, Fallout, Four Horsemen, Walls Of Jericho, Federal Response, 9:02, Long Live The Mayor, Rogue River, Crossroads, Red Flag, Vox Populi, Return To Jericho, The Day Before, Black Jack, Heart Of Winter, Semper Fidelis, Winter's End, One Man's Terrorist, A.K.A., Casus Belli, One If By Land, Coalition Of The Willing and Why We Fight.

CBS/Paramount Home Entertainment has made all of the episodes that comprise JERICHO: THE FIRST SEASON available on DVD in 1.78:1 wide screen presentations that feature the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. This is another series in which the episodes really look great on DVD. Sure, its not HD, but these DVDs certainly send an SD broadcast home with its tail between its legs. Image sharpness and detail are just great for a television production. Colors are nicely saturated and the flesh tones are usually quite appealing. Blacks are deep, and the whites are completely stable. Contrast goes slightly beyond your average television production, plus the dark scenes produce more than respectable shadow detail. Digital compression artifacts usually remain under the radar.

All the episodes that comprise JERICHO: THE FIRST SEASON come with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. The mixes are good, but the television level sound design remains pretty obvious. As expected, the forward soundstage remains dominant, with the rear channels providing occasional active effects, ambient sounds, and some musical fill. Dialogue is cleanly reproduced and is always easy to understand. No other language tracks are provided for the episodes, but English, Spanish, Brazilian and Portuguese subtitles are included.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard episode/scene selection and set up features, as well as some supplemental materials that have been spread throughout the set. Running Audio Commentaries with various members of the cast and production team are included on the following five episodes: Pilot, Fallout, Rogue River, Red Flag and Vox Populi. Featurettes include Building Jericho (a look at the creation of the series) and What If (reviews the nuclear arms race, as well as survival in the face of disaster). Finally, Deleted Scenes with optional commentary are included for: Four Horsemen, Walls Of Jericho, 9:02, Long Live The Mayor, Crossroads, Red Flag, Vox Populi, Black Jack, One Man's Terrorist, A.K.A. and Coalition Of The Willing.

JERICHO was one of this reviewers favorite shows of the previous television season. Fortunately, the show has been given a reprieve and hopefully the great looking DVD set will earn the series some new converts that will bolster the ratings when it returns mid-season. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out JERICHO before, now is your chance, plus the DVD collection guarantees the viewer they won’t have to contend with commercials or an ill-advised hiatus. Recommended.



Jericho - The First Season



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2007 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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