I noticed in the Comments some people were going to check out Jericho Season 1 on DVD based on my previous post. Be warned -- Season 1 is an entirely different beast. The first half of the season often cannot decide what it is and so settles for "schmaltz". Very soapy characters spot-welded into the sci-fi concept. Lovely Wife already pointed out in previous post that the characterizations of women were really, really awful. It's not until Episode 14 "Heart of Winter", that the grimmer little edges of the show start appearing. Yet you need all the setups from the first half of the season that are scattered through-out the soap elements for the sharp back half of Season 1 -- and this year's crackling Season 2 -- to make sense.
It may well be impossible to be a new fan coming on -- one may need the experience of putting up with the ramshackle bastard for that first season, with all the accompanying affection.