Monday, 5 August 2013

TV: Revolution (S1) (4/10)

Why did I watch it?
Sold entirely on the premise and the J.J. Abrams connection. When will I learn.... 

What's it all about?
Set in the future 15 years after the world's power mysteriously turns off, anarchy reigns and the United States of America has fractured into various republics and nations. The story follows teenage girl Charlie Matheson, a blackout survivor and her Uncle Miles, the former General of the ruthless Monroe Republic, located in Philadelphia, as they search for her brother, taken hostage by General Monroe and discover more about the origins of the blackout.

Should you watch it?
Sounds good right? Wrong.

Revolution is bad, really bad at times. The show suffers from the curse of its connections to Lost. The writers deliver some episodes of absolute dross, usually in the form of contrived tangents and side-quests to the character's main objectives, only to finish most episodes with some form of tiny reveal of the show's grand story, which the writers seemingly make up week by week.

Just turn the lights back on PLEASE
The swashbuckling sword fighting nature of the show's early episodes give way to episodes loaded with some of the lamest, most repetitive gun fights ever, punctuated with characters of frustrating stupidity and tediousness. The main character Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) is an annoyingly righteous, not to mention stupid, teenage girl in the Hunger Game mould, who repeatedly clashes with her self-serving, stylised bad guy Uncle as many times as she has to be rescued by him after more poor judgement. The writers clearly tried to make Miles (Billy Burke) the show's anti-hero, a womanising, boozing killer wrecked by his past indiscretions and the show would have been better if they would have stuck to their guns but they all too often give in because he's one of the good guys.

Revolution's single shining light (no pun intended) is Giancarlo Esposito's turn as Captain Tom Neville, easily the show's best character. That is all.   

The similarities to Flashforward and Lost are all too obvious. The score, the flashbacks (actually more enjoyable than the present day action), the mysterious world changing event, the 'hatch' 'tower' are all borrowed with varying degrees of mediocrity.

At times watching Revolution I wished that the world's power would blackout to save me, I'll be skipping season two despite the slightly intriguing set-up in the finale. Another interesting concept from the J.J. Abrams stable (see Alcatraz) fails to live up to it's potential.

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