It starts quite idyllic. A son returns home to Jericho to ask for a favour and old family wounds open. During his stay we look at the people living their lives. It's a normal day in Jericho... until it stops being normal.
The day Jake returns coincides with a nuclear attack on the national scale. In one fell swoop, several American cities are no more. Now the small town has to deal with a sudden lack of modern luxuries. What would you do if one day electricity, gas, water and the law were destroyed? This series tries to answer these questions.
But this philosophical question isn't the only plot we find among these episodes. Over the run of the first season we learn what caused these attacks and see what made the townspeople into who they are now. Life goes on even in the face of tragedy, some things get complicated, others only get bloodier. This is a story of survival and of finding order in chaos.
As the series progresses, it turns to a more military story. We see the horrors of war. What people are capable of when turning their backs on compassion and doing what they are ordered. The second season takes this one step further and places Jericho under military rule. Slowly, the corruptness at a government's core eats into the town and its people are once have hard decisions to make. The focus is not on just staying alive but on fighting for freedom and what's right when faced with a foe far greater than one can handle. We see ideals in people's hearts and why they're so admirable.
It's sad that this show ended just after one and a half season. It dealt with difficult issues like morality when there are no rules to be afraid of. An apocalyptic scenario isn't anything new and I'm probably not the only person who ever thought what they would do in such a situation. The series plays on that modern fear we have of terrorists destroying civilization, the one thing we are used to all our lives. However unlike most shows, this one doesn't centre on the events leading to the attack but on the consequences on common folk. At the same time, we learn of how it all happened before the first season ends.