12 January, 2007
Currently American TV drama is having the best season for a long time. Partly it's because they are willing to take more risks and trust the writers. The commission of Jericho is one such risk that has paid off. It isn't a cops/docs/lawyers show but about a small town affected by a nuclear bomb that goes off in the nearby big city.
Some people couldn't see how that scenario could become a hit but I believed from the pilot it would do well, for at least a season, because it is relatable, especially in this fear-driven political climate.
It is a small town cut off from the world which increases the possible conflict amongst people who get on with each other normally but are forced to share resources when they might just want to think about themselves and their family. They are unsure what's happening in the world but relationships have to go on.
As well as that personal stuff going on there is also the wider mystery of what actually happened. What is it an accident? Is it terrorists? Was it another country bombing them? Did other bombs go off? Are other countries affected? What's that knowledgeable stranger in town got to hide? By the way that stranger is played by our own Lennie James, himself a good writer.
The first few episodes are well written and interesting but you get the sense the creators haven't quite worked everything out yet including where the ongoing conflict was going to come from without it seeming repetitive but eventually new major conflicts are introduced and it goes up to 'quite good' on my scale instead of just 'OK'.
I recommend giving it a go.
This Canadian drama is like a cross between The Sopranos and The Wire. A drugs kingpin is being secretly taped hoping that he can be caught ordering someone to be killed. The boss of the unit is hoping to leave for a better job in another agency and wants to take the best grasses with her. Her deputy has no qualms with breaking the law to catch villains.
The pilot is an enjoyable watch as it's a bit different and the dialogue is always very good but some of the plotting caused raised eyebrows. It's worth investigating.
I don't know this Aussie mystery drama but it looks interesting.
"Each episode of the series contains two short half-hour stories, that have a twist ending. Also present in each episode is a link or connection between the two tales.
Rather than draw on a pool of experienced writers the producers of the series issued a call to up and coming writers to submit screenplays."
Now that's a good idea.
Hallmark , Fridays from 8:00pm and Sundays from 9:00pm
(The Hallmark Channel is available on Sky digital at Channel 153, ntl:home at Channel 190 and Telewest at Channel 190)