In this series by the creators of Babylon 5 (which I liked much less than Jeremiah), Luke Perry plays Jeremiah, a kind of lost, disaffected mid-20s guy who 15 years earlier lived through what's come to be known as the Big Death - a bioweapon hormone-based virus that 15 years earlier wiped out everyone who was past puberty. So it was that civilization was totally engulfed in post-apocalyptic chaos, since the only people who were left living were the children.
Things haven't changed much in 15 years. In fact, with supplies from "Before" rapidly waning, things may actually be getting worse. There's no electricity or running water or long-distance communication any more, batteries and gasoline are worth their weight in gold, food is hard to come by, and society is basically total anarchy. They're living off the scraps of the world "before."
In the midst of all of this, Jeremiah's on a quest to find the place that his parents told him they were heading to for safety before they disappeared 15 years earlier. He assumes they're dead like all the other adults, but still wants to know "how their story ends."
In the pilot he meets Kurdy, who is played to pitch perfection by Malcolm Jamal Warner as this slightly younger, very lonely guy and they sort of form a team, realizing there's strength in numbers. He's looking for something too - he just isn't sure what that might be yet.
The series is about the really gritty, harsh world they live in, the political battles between the various factions that want to take over, and the hope of a better tomorrow. The story telling is very intimate. The scripts are often punctuated by quiet, revealing moments for the characters, and the show makes no bones about how much the inhabitants of this world constantly suffer, so it's really harrowing at times, but the characterization and acting and plot are extremely gripping.
I originally caught this when it aired on Showtime and bought the season on DVD, and I wasn't sorry. The world of the show is very realistic, and the dialogue is fascinating, because none of these characters went to school much, and they all talk and act like you'd expect people whose world ground to a traumatic halt as children to act. They're bratty, selfish, manipulative, never stupid (survival skills born of necessity and all that) sometimes painfully naive, and always hopeful that things will return to the way they were "before."
The DVD has hours of extras that show exactly how much thought has gone into building the mythos of this show. Showtime is just now going to start airing the second half of S2 in September 2004 (the last new episode aired November 2003) and no one is sure about a third season. But this is modern sci fi at its best and most gripping, and while the price is a bit steep at nearly $80, it's well worth it for the quality. Who would have thought that a show starring Dylan from "90210" and Cliff Huxtable's only son could be this good? =)