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Revolution

Posted by The TV Critic on 18 September 2012 | 6 Comments

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Credit NBC

Revolution - 101 - Pilot

This was terrible, just terrible. “Revolution” is a show about a world where electricity disappeared one day. That’s it. Now fifteen years in the future everything’s gone medieval. People ride horses, fight with swords and spend their time farming.

Now can we get to the important bit? Ok so “Revolution” makes the same mistakes that every new network drama show has made since “Lost.”

- The characters are paper thin. And unlike some of the “Lost” imitators the acting is poor throughout.

- There is no time spent on anything. We don’t get any extended scenes to take in the new scenery of a changed world. We get no characters demonstrating their personalities through time on screen. The main characters father dies and two scenes later she is off to save her brother with a minor character cracking jokes. No time for mourning or questioning I guess.

- The big bad guy knows all the good guys. They all knew each other before the lights went out. Oooh, doesn’t that make it all more interesting? No. It makes it all feel completely implausible.

- Everyone is really attractive and impeccably turned out despite living in a world without hot water.

- The show has a lot of violence but of course there is zero consequence to anything that happens.

- The reason for the electricity going out is probably a conspiracy and is certainly going to be an ongoing mystery. Yay!  

Basically “Revolution” spends its pilot setting up a dynamic of bad guys chasing good guys. No one stands out, everything is bland and samey. You’ve seen it all before on “Terra Nova” or “V.”

The underlying problem is network television. The network formula demands a plucky group of characters who can have weekly adventures. And apparently there’s no room in that for characterisation or any depth to the fascinating question of what life would be like if all energy disappeared.

I appreciate that you may have read this review and been frustrated by the lack of commentary on the actual stories or actors involved. But what would be the point? You may not like “The Walking Dead” but it’s a world that really feels changed by its apocalypse. When characters say “It’s dangerous out there” they really mean it. On “Revolution” what they mean is “It’s dangerous out there but you’ll probably be saved from anything bad by a hunky stranger at the last second.” Brilliant.  


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Comments

  • Sorry to hear that, though it makes me feel better about not watching it.

    Posted by The TV Critic, 30/10/2012 10:32am (6 years ago)

  • the concept behind this show is good. over the course of several episodes they've made a plot history that works, makes sense, and has interest value. but it all ends there.

    while there are several good characters in the show, way too many of them are just bad. they either have bad acting skills or are playing weird characters that have no appeal whatsoever. further, it seems like there's a psychopath around -every- corner.

    granted apocolyptic-proportioned global disasters would tend to bring out the worst in people, but could you at least make the weirdos dramatically appealing? the more i watch this show the madder i get not only because the stupidity is getting more and more annoying, but because i really had high hopes for this show and they're shattering my hopes and dreams with each new episode.

    Posted by John, 30/10/2012 5:06am (6 years ago)

  • Hey Robin,
    Totally agree with you. They had an amazing concept but managed to mess it all up. At least the Walking Dead know about world building. This felt so flimsy and the characters were just excruciatingly painful.
    I am checking out Last Resort tonight, hoping network tv can do high concept at least passably well.
    As always thanks for the forum

    Posted by Kayode from Baltimore, 27/09/2012 1:41am (6 years ago)

  • Scathing! Love it!

    Posted by The G man, 23/09/2012 10:52pm (6 years ago)

  • Yeah that would be fun for you!

    Posted by The TV Critic, 20/09/2012 5:04pm (6 years ago)

  • I love it when you rip into a new show ripe with problems. Everything you said is 100% true which is a real shame. Makes me think LOST was an anomaly that can never be replicated. It's also a shame that you got burned by Flashforward. I'd really love to listen to you tear this show to pieces week after week. :)

    Posted by Joe, 20/09/2012 12:17am (6 years ago)

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