Mondays @ 10:00 EST, NBC
Premieres September 17th
Can you remember a time when your cell phone was not attached to your hand? When Google was not available to answer your every question? Or more simply, when you did not have the option of popping an aspirin when you felt a migraine coming on? Modern technology has greatly increased the comfort of our lives, so much so that we do not always recognize its presence in the delivery of our food or the availability of hot water. We take these benefits for granted, so much so that when things happen slowly we complain. So what would we do if it all went away?
Such is the premise of producer JJ Abrams’ newest show: Revolution. One day the power goes out. And it never comes back. What caused the blackout? And what does humanity do now?
Fifteen years after the catastrophic event, Ben, the one man who predicted it, has died at the hands of the local militia. His son, Danny, is taken captive, and his daughter, Charlie, has been tasked with finding her uncle Miles to get help in getting Danny back. Something tells me this will not be easy. The real question is: will it be enjoyable to watch? Let’s break it down.
Familiar Faces: Elizabeth Mitchell (LOST), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), Billy Burke (Twilight saga)
This Reminds Me: Revolution contains elements of two of Abrams’ former shows: LOST and FlashForward. Like LOST, the main characters must contend with the issue of survival once thrust into a situation very unlike their former lives. Like FlashForward, a single event changes the shape of the world and the fundamental question of what caused this event acts as a driving force for the main action of the show. And lets not forget the time bending narrative that appears in all of Abrams’ shows. The pilot only features flashbacks, but there is always the possibility for more nonlinear storytelling.
Luckily, though Revolution draws from its predecessors, it has also learned from their mistakes. LOST, FlashForward, and Fringe have all drawn heavily on abstract, theoretical scientific or mystical ideas which quickly became so complex that the effort to suspend disbelief became just that: an effort. No mysticism here, and though I expect some pseudoscience to be trotted out at some point, there are only glimpses in the pilot. In fact, the principles behind Revolution are entirely conceivable, which points to the possibility that this show will not become bogged down in its own importance and could avoid the brutal first season cut that meets many such high-concept shows.
Other Aspects to Consider: Have you heard of a little something called The Hunger Games? The survivalist trend is certainly popular now, and Revolution gets to capitalize on it. You get to see what happens when people have to fend for themselves in finding food and shelter. And you get to watch people shoot arrows. I like watching people shoot arrows.
On top of the mystery of the blackout’s origins and the day-to-day requirements associated with survival, Revolution adds the danger of the newly organized governments that are militia run. Little townships have formed, but they must pay tribute to the local militia, and if they don’t, their safety is threatened. So you get action-packed fighting along with the scientific intrigue. You can even get some romance, and if the pilot is any indication, it will be tumultuous and full of betrayals. The best kind!
Oh, and if you are a fan of his work in Breaking Bad, you will love seeing Giancarlo Esposito play the bad guy. He does it so well that I cannot hate him, even if I should. His character has a bit more range of expression than that of the cool Gustavo Fring, so it is a slightly different look for him. I love it, and only hope his character survives a long, long time.
Remaining Questions: How long can the rescue mission for Danny last? The long-term story is in place (figuring out what happened and whether or not it can be reversed), but what will the characters do once the immediate task of rescuing Danny has been accomplished?
The Verdict: DVR. Even though I cannot exactly predict the form this show will take, the high energy, mysterious pilot already has me wanting more.
What Do You Think?
Will you be tuning in? And if you have, what do you think of the show? Sound off below!