Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Max Swing: Good TV Shows are still possible!

I just recently watched "Jeremiah" again, all two season there are. Although I am a big fan of Jay Michael Strazynski (known for the infamous Babylon 5 series, which ran over 5 seasons and had the best-thoughtout plot ever seen in television series), I can still say objectively that everyone should at least take a look on this series. It is compelling and science-fiction in its truest meaning.
Instead of just posing technology of the future, this series tries to show a society and how it could work. Although, this is not the true purpose and main theme behind this Show. I don't want to give away too much, so I just summarize it a bit.

The show takes place in a near future and develops a post-apocalyptic scenario. Governments and nations no longer exist and sceptics would say that the "survival of the fittest" is on the run. This is certainly true and there is a big blackhole of injustice or self-justice in this future. But there are still small settlements or groups that cling together and work peacefully with each other. Instead of money, the currency is tradable material. You get a beer for two cans of rice and so on.
How our world collapsed, you might ask now?
Well, that's easy. There was a Big Death, a super-virus that killed all people over the age of innocence. Everyone over the age of 30 died and the kids had to fend for themselves.
But instead of babaric uncontrolled violence or a tyranny of the strong, it created a lot of settlements who trade peacefully with each other. Of course, there were tyrannic regimes in some of the settlement, but they were not strong enough to rule all the other settlements.

Then everything changed when the remainings of the former military started to annex what was once theirs. They try to enforce a military dictatorship that would finally introduce the safe-authoritarian state which can be seen in 1984 (George Orwell).
But there is one small military base under control of the decendants of the military inhabitants of that base and this refuge starts to fight the forth coming future, the military dictatorship of the U.S. Army.

This show is about love of freedom, individuality and anti-authoritarianism. It is staged around two heros, Jeremiah and Cody. It outlines the morality of self-interest and the longing for independency. Building on this it features the core-theme of Authoritarian against Anarchic societies.

I will go deeper into the show in my next post. However, I recommend to watch at least some of the episodes, because the next post will reveal lots of the plot and thereby might make the show uninteresting to you.
We will look at how the show employs the anarchic society and what question it poses against it. I will also dwell on the two different authoritarian fractions the show gives us in the two seasons it has.
In the end, I will look at the exact picture of individuality and liberty in this show, which will be a difficult task, because it is thwarted in many ways.

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