Sunday, September 7, 2008
Jeremiah (TV Show)
So after approximately 6 weeks of airing 4 episodes every Thursday, The Scifi Channel finished airing every episode of this show this past week. Albeit edited given the fact it originally aired on Showtime with nudity and profanity among some other non-censored elements.
My history with this show. I was/am a J Michael Straczynski fan of course with Babylon 5, one of the best Scifi or any kind of dramas on television over the last 2 decades. After that, he went on to start, but then get screwed over by TNT with the Gary Cole B5 spin-off show "Crusade." Which did air 13 episodes in the summer of 1999. I liked "Crusade" and have always felt it was a shame it was not picked-up by SCIFI or another network; but actually that Summer of 1999 I knew off the bat it was done sadly. So in a way it was like watching a Mini-series.
Fast-Fwd. Towards the end of Star Trek Voyager's run, the next ST franchise was talked about. And what ended up being the largely disappointing Rick Berman created "Enterprise," could have, and frankly SHOULD HAVE been JMS's next project. Maybe the failure of "Crusade" impacted that, but more likely, Paramount was still in bed with Berman, and JMS's pitch, much like it was turned down nearly a decade earlier, wasn't given much chance as I have read. Of course the whole Babylon 5/Deep Space 9 story many know about. The paralells, etc. I will just say that was certainly 1 case of when I'm glad they didn't give JMS the greenlight, since as a result, instead of having 1 classic Scifi show, we got 2. And DS9 also I will always trace back to my 1st real love of Scifi and Star Trek.
So, what I presume went down, JMS had this show "Jeremiah" which is somewhat loosely based on a comic-book series by a Belgian writer named Herman Huppen. A deadly plague known as "The Big Death" has wiped most adult humans, and the kids have had to grow up in the post-apocalyptic world. 90210's Luke Perry and The Cosby Show's Malcolm Jamal-Warner star.
I rented the 1st disc from Netflix a few years ago, but never got around to renting the rest of the 1st season, nor the 2nd season of course. The premise sounded interesting. Reasonable cast. And maybe best, it was from JMS.
Now finally having finished watching both seasons, I will say it was certainly one of the better Scifi shows to come out this decade. I really liked the adventures and uncertainities they explored about how the world was, rebuilding it, and starting-over. The 2nd season wasn't as good as the 1st, but they did add Sean Astin, which interestingly was maybe at his peak of stardom just following the huge exposure he got with the LOTR movies. His character towards the end of the show references humans re-setting of some kind. It's 16 years since the "Big Death" and now that the kids from then are old enough, they are going in a similar struggle as a race.
They also added another character the 2nd season in Libby, who has a connection to Jeremiah working with his dad at "Valhalla Sector." Not to spoil it entirely, but her character of course has more than one side, and she ends up connecting with Jeremiah when they meet through her dad at the beginning of Season 2. What transpires later with her and her work and life with Jeremiah isn't fully explained unfortunately. Bad enough her character does not stay throughout the whole season, but I really wished they'd told more about her background with coming to Valhalla Sector and everything else that led her to do what she did.
Overall, this show definitely stands out among stories I have read/seen about post-apocalyptic worlds. That idea, when done well, is an appealing story idea in Scifi and all fiction really. Although "Children of Men" sadly could have been done well in a similar way, but unfortunately I didn't feel it succeeded. The dark tone, and in-your-face war and violence kind of killed that movie among some other reasons. However, getting to experience this show and it's story, I have renewed faith that it can be created in a beneficial and entertaining way in Hollywood.
Put it up along side the likes of great short-lived shows like Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Freaks and Geeks, Brimstone, etc.
The biggest thing now I think is, it still leaves me wondering if/when JMS will get a chance to do another show like this. Just scanning his credits on imdb, it looks like he's doing a bunch of work in films now, which makes me curious. Judd Apatow's path became that in fact, maybe he noticed and is following suit. I still could go for him directing an episode of Lost, perhaps Battlestar Galactica (the show that reminds me most of B5 since B5 ended), and course someday still Star Trek. Hopefully Jeremiah can be another piece to add to why he should have those opportunities if he so desires them at some point.