Jericho was a short-lived television show that premiered on CBS in 2006. The show focused on the fictional town of Jericho and how its citizens were affected by numerous nuclear attacks on the United States. The fear that the fictional characters on Jericho felt regarding the nuclear explosions slightly mirrored the real fear that Americans felt in 2006. In 2006 North Korea conducted an underground nuclear weapons test. The international community condemned the testing and this only sparked tensions between the United States and North Korea, tensions that still exist today. It seemed like 2006 was the appropriate time for a show about nuclear attacks to premiere because it reflected what was going on in the world. Jericho examined the political and social issues that would rise if such an attack occurred. Would the United States tighten control over its citizens in an attempt to restore order after a nuclear weapon was used? Would citizens be in favor of military control following a nuclear attack? These are all interesting questions that pop up on the show and are raised by citizens.
24 was another show that played on the popularity of nuclear weapons. It was a show that was centered on Jack Bauer, a man who tries to protect Americans from terrorist threats. It premiered in November of 2001, relatively soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks. At this time period Americans were fearful of future attacks on the United States and this included the fear of nuclear weapons. As a result, 24 played on that fear. The show made people question what could be done to stop terrorists from acquiring these weapons and what could happen if a terrorist was to create a nuclear weapon.. This is an issue that is still heavily talked about today. The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism was only just adopted by the United Nations in 2005. Both 24 and Jericho managed to incorporate the political atmosphere of the world into the plots of their shows.
It is not only shows that cater to adults that feature nuclear weapons. Adventure Time is a popular cartoon show that is played on the Cartoon Network. The show is set in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo. The Great Mushroom War is often credited as the cause for the zany characters that roam the world and for the creation of the Land of Ooo. The mushroom in the title of the war is a play on the mushroom cloud shape that appears when nuclear weapons are used. The opening credits of the show even briefly feature the remains of a nuclear bomb. The program also touches on the humanitarian aspects of using the bomb. The effects of radiation in the real world range from various forms of cancer, mutations, and destruction to the environment. In Adventure Time, the mutations cause candy people, unicorns, talking dogs and other colorful characters. Finn, the main character, is the only human left. Jericho and 24 seem to raise political questions, but Adventure Time seems to simply be a look at what nuclear weapons can cause, albeit in a kid-friendly manner. Television shows will always continue to reflect the issues that are going on in the world.