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FALL TV PREVIEW: Revolution

by Winston "Stone" Ford

Is it me, or are Americans fascinated with post-apocalyptic worlds that are bent on the destruction of our civilization?

Think about it. The Hunger Games and the Walking Dead captured the hearts and minds this year and History Channel’s Life After People had highest rated broadcast last year. So it’s no surprise that NBC and JJ Abrams would try to capitalize on our new-found morbidness with their series Revolution.

Basically, in the none to distant future, anything that has a hint of electronics completely goes dark. Everything from TVs to iPods to cars cease to operate. In the pilot this is not explained, but there is one guy, power company employee Ben Matheson who has inside information on the blackout. Matheson is killed by an army militia who are on to his secret and capture his son. It’s up to his daughter, Charlie, and a rag tag band of heroes to save her brother and connect with her uncle to find out the true meaning of the cause of the blackout.

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I’m trying not to compare this to JJ Abram’s other project, Lost, but I can’t help it. Although Revolution is a vastly different show than Lost, I’m pretty disappointed that the quality of the pilot pales in comparison to his earlier work. However, its not the plot that is the problem (actually, the plot twist at the end of the pilot has peaked my interest), it’s the characters. Why does everyone seem like the they were plucked out of a Gap commercial?

Like all TV shows, it all comes down to this…do I root for the characters? That is the essence of television. We create a bond with the characters–whether good or evil–and cheer for them even if they make bad decisions. However, after watching the pilot of Revolution, I really don’t give a damn about these guys (and I’m not the only one). Hopefully they have a transcendent episode to create some attachment later on in the season (think Lost’s Walkabout episode for Locke).

However, there is a lot of potential in this show, and if things come together (as I hope it would) it could be a solid sci-fi masterpiece. Unfortunately it seems like it’s going to be more style over substance. Right now, I’m going to give this one another try, at least until episode three. However, it things don’t gel I think I”m going to go back to watching re-runs of Lost on Netflix.


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