Anyone else watching this creepy show? I mentioned in my little fall TV recap that I'd be giving it a long leash because of the subject matter. This may be too much information, but I'm sickly fascinated with stories about surviving a nuclear war. Personally I'm not at all worried about getting killed in a nuclear blast, but surviving one? OH MY GOD NO!
I think it all started when I read Alas, Babylon in middle school. Now that was a CREEPY and terrifying book about a small Florida town after a nuclear war. I don't have a great memory for books, generally once I put something down it disappears from my head, but I still remember several important lessons it taught me: (1) do not live in a home that is unliveable without electricity (one of the characters lived in an expensive modern glass home that was partially open to the elements and became completely unliveable without airconditioning or central heating); (2) do NOT wear jewelry heisted from a jewelry store contaminated by radiation (there was a really grisley death brought about by this kind of greed). Now, hopefully I'll never put lesson (2) to use, but I definitely think about (1) every time I consider moving.
Then, in highschool, I took this strange history elective called Conflicts and Revolutions, which was supposed to be a class United States wars from the revolution to the modern day, but because my teacher was a little lazy, it more or less consisted of watching one war movie after another. In the strangest move of this very strange class, he decided to show us a little movie called Threads. Which was a BBC movie set in England. About nuclear winter. The connection to American history is really obvious isn't it? Anyway, if you've never seen this movie don't. It's completely scarring. Everybody I've talked to who's seen it has very visceral memories about the nightmares it invoked. I personally had dreams about it for months. This is from the BBC description of the movie:
We are treated to a graphically disturbing portrayal of the medieval conditions that might prevail after such a conflict, including starvation, nuclear winter, disease, psychological trauma, illiteracy and both mental and physical mutation.
Sounds grim, right? Well it is.
Slightly less grim was a book I read in college called The Postman. Yes, it was turned into a lame movie with Kevin Costner, but the book was really pretty good. It offered a much more hopeful look at a post-nuclear world in which not everybody is blind and eating rats and there is some hope at rebuilding civilization. What's interesting about The Postman is the idea that what could really kill civilization after a nuclear war isn't the effects of the war, but the destabilizing effects of crazy survivalists with guns. Because the book happened to be set in the area where I was living at the time, it also led to nightmares. In fact, for months I couldn't drive down certain roads in Oregon without imagining what they'd look like twenty years after cars stopped running.
And now there's Jericho, and given my history of nightmares, you'd think I'd avoid this show, but no. Of course not. I told you I was sickly fascinated by this little genre, so I will continue to watch. And maybe buy some potassium iodide pills. Just in case.