Friday, August 22, 2014

Jericho Rising

I have for up to a week been struggling to decide what my first blog post would be on. With so many subjects to choose from I was at a loss, should I write on Science fiction? Short stories? How to craft the perfect novel? I was not sure. But then a subject near and dear to my heart suddenly came into the lime light. So I present my first blog post. 

Something truly historic occurred yesterday, something no one expected. The film website "Hitfix" created a bracketed contest called "Cancelled" that pitted cult favorite TV shows against one another in a battle to decide the most popular. The list included 

Terra Nova
Almost Human
Freaks and Geeks
And many others,

 It’s the last two on the list I want to talk about today. Firefly is the reigning king of cult TV shows that were ended before their time, the fans of the show called "Brown coats" number in the millions and routinely pack exhibit halls at Comic con and other conventions, its stars are rock stars and gods of the geek (used in a very positive way) world. So when everyone says that Firefly was on the list everyone (myself included) figured the contest would be over before it began. But something happened. Firefly Lost. And it was not defeated in an epic battle in the contests final showdown, no it was defeated in the semifinals and by a show that until the last few years was considered dead and gone with a fan base that drifted away into the night. 

The Show was Jericho. 

In a brief history of the show, Jericho is a show that centers on a small town in Kansas which survives a nuclear holocaust that destroys much of the Continental United States. The show mixed the themes of freedom, espionage, terrorism and civil war into a perfect mix of drama that made for excellent viewing. The show was sadly cancelled after its first season, but through a massive fan campaign was brought back for a second season. Due to many factors the 2nd season was its last and the final episode served as a defacto series finale (The ending left you wanting more, but ended the series on a good note) 

It seemed at that point the series was dead, many small websites kept up the fight, but after a while they all began to fade, then came a fan who goes by the username "Gwen" having always been a fan of the show and a renewal activists, Gwen gathered many thousands of fans on face book and beyond to fight for the show. Armed with determination and an army of fans behind her, Gwen has lead the show into what can be described as a 2nd renascence that has seen the campaign not only get massive attention but also legions of new fans. The resurgence of the show has been so great that Jericho has seen the show continue as a Graphic novel series, and whispers of a possible revival at either CBS studios or with the mega website Netflix. 

Now how did Jericho beat Firefly? There are several reasons that while not apparent on the surface become clear upon investigation. Firstly Firefly is 12 years old, and the age while bringing lots of new fans has also lead many to believe a new set of episodes is unlikely, with this is the fact many of Firefly's stars now have shows of their own. Secondly, Firefly's fan base is very wide and decentralized with many leaders; it is difficult to organize a fan wide campaign. Thirdly and perhaps the biggest reason, is that post-apocalyptic shows are back in style, with successful shows like "The Walking Dead" "Falling Skies" "Dominion" and many others, fans of those shows are discovering Jericho and becoming fans in record numbers. Lastly shows that are cancelled take time to gather enough fans to get cult status, some never make it and die, but thanks to leaders like Gwen who have shepherded Jericho, it has emerged into its second Renascence.    

Mark yesterday as a historic day, Jericho is no longer a minor player in the cult show arena. It beat the King. It’s becoming a major player. 

Jericho is rising again

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