You dropped the bomb on me

New television drama “Jericho” poses questions all too familiar in today’s politics

Megan Kadrmas

A little boy and his younger sister are playing hide-and-seek. The boy catches a glimpse of something on the horizon and hoists himself onto the roof of his house to see what it is.

In the west, toward Denver, a deathly beautiful mushroom cloud blooms. The boy stands on his roof in small town Jericho, Kan., watching the beginning of the end.

“Jericho,” a new primetime drama on CBS, hits close to home in today’s world, with North Korea’s recent nuclear tests and the ongoing war on terrorism.

The show exploits the worst-case-scenario fears of post-9/11 culture, showing the aftermath of a catastrophic nuclear attack on a small town of survivors.

The show is thrilling, suspenseful and absolutely frightening because it seems like a realistic portrayal of an isolated town’s reaction to the bomb and its struggle for survival.

“JERICHO”

WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesdays
CHANNEL: CBS
STARRING: Skeet Ulrich, Gerald McRaney, Lennie James

Although the show is in its sixth episode, attaching to a favorite character or storyline is still difficult. This prevents the audience from connecting with a character and living vicariously through them, which would only heighten the show’s thrills.

There are so many different stories and characters that the show simply cannot emphasize one. The goal is to show the effects on the whole town, focusing on a group of representative characters.

The highlighting of a group story is similar to other hit primetime shows, such as “Lost.” The complexity of the storylines in these series is part of their popularity and trying to unwind the jumble of different voices is where their appeal lies.

The mayor of Jericho (Gerald McRaney, “Major Dad”) struggles to adapt his wholesome politics to the post-apocalyptic problems facing the town. To complicate the crisis further, it is still an election year and the mayor must compete for authoritative control against his opponent (Michael Gaston). This detail is beautiful, demonstrating that people continue their habits and attitudes much like before a major disaster.

As of now, the cast is still trying to figure out exactly how much damage has been done. They intercepted a Morse code message and international television broadcast confirming their fears of a widespread and well-orchestrated attack across the United States.

This is the most tantalizing part of the storyline.

There might be no one out there. All family and friends outside of Jericho might be dead – the small town might be home to the only remaining Americans.

The suspense of waiting for more information, survivors from other areas or rescue parties is hard to handle at times. “Jericho” creates more questions than answers, which creates faithful viewers.

With all of the stories and characters, it may be hard to jump into the series. However, once caught up, “Jericho” is captivating because it could happen tomorrow.