The new season of Jericho premiered on Tuesday and chief among the most fascinating elements is the new government. I’m just as intrigued by how a new government would form as I surmise the writers of Jericho are, and I suspect we’ll see more about the beliefs and structuring of this as we move forward.
For now, let’s examine some of the more minor details, because, much as I love this show, there are some pretty big flaws I’m finding, not including the notion that a junior senator from Wyoming apparently has the ability to launch a full-scale nuclear assault on two countries.
No, my biggest problem with the new Jericho is the flag. The vertical red and white stripes and 21 stars are creepy, yes, but it should be. It’s a new, different country, so my problem isn’t that the flag is weird as hell. What I take issue with is the speed in which the new flag was created and marketed.
Try putting yourself into the world of Jericho. Nuclear bombs destroy 23 major U.S. cities and you’re a Wyoming senator. After nuking Iran and North Korea, is creating a new flag really a top priority? Practically, I’m simply curious how the process worked out. Did he open a contest to his staff and citizens of Wyoming? Was there a town-wide vote to ratify the designs? Did he just see some old woman doodling and say “That’s it”?
Maybe I’m alone in wanting to see flag ratification on TV. Yet my mind continues to wander. Let’s say, within the first two months, they created the new flag. Did they then commandeer a factory to mass manufacture these new flags? Because the government is flying them everywhere they can. That’s a lot of material and resources that go into production of flags, and again, I ask, weren’t there better and more efficient ways to spend those resources in the wake of the most massive terrorist attack in history?
The flag madness doesn’t stop there. We’ve also seen the new flag as patches on the military uniforms and as decals and bumper stickers on their cars. So not only are the producing flags, but they’re also making flag decals and patches. Does this all take place in the same factory, or are there two flag factories in Cheyenne?
One could easily argue that the show is trying to mimic the surge of patriotism following 9/11, when American flags were plastered everywhere they could, and the sale of miniature American flags increased rapidly. The difference is that those flags already existed, and so that was simply crass commercialism in the face of tragedy. What is it on Jericho?
After racking my brain over a tasty KFC Famous Bowl, I think I’ve come up with the answer that makes perfect sense: it’s a war of ideas. In order to convince people that he’s the leader, Senator Tomarchio has to change the focus, and what better way to do that then to mass market your own country. Tomarchio, like any good business man, is using the idea of mass marketing and name brand recognition to win over consumers. The new flag is his version of the Nike swoosh.
But that rationale would imply that Tomarchio is a truly evil man. In the wake of tragedy, his first priority was tricking everyone else into thinking he’ should be their leader. I don’t yet know if Tomarchio is a savvy businessman (like Mitt Romney) or a soulless politician who gets elected using fear-mongering (gee, I wonder who that sounds like).
We’ll find out this Tuesday at 10pm on CBS, when Senator Tomarchio brings his whistle-stop tour to Jericho.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of JerichoWiki)