Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New post-apocalyptic TV series Revolutions - First impressions

So, NBC actually had a smart idea and posted the pilot episode for the new J.J. Abrams post-apocalyptic series Revolution online for free. They had another smart idea and made the video embeddable.

Revolution is set fifteen years after a mysterious event kills everything that runs on electricity and in a single moment, the entire world is thrown back several hundred years, tech-wise. As you might expect of something from the post-apocalyptic genre, society collapses and warlords emerge to carve our their own kingdoms with their militias. However, there's a twist here, with the possibility raised that the effects of the aforementioned event could be reversed and not surprisingly, that potential will be craved by less than savory factions.

Hit the jump for the video and my thoughts on it. Fair warning, the episode is over 43 minutes long, so you might want to set aside some time, lol.

Thoughts: I like it and I hope it avoids the fate of Jericho, another show in the post-apoc genre that was, unfortunately, cancelled after two seasons. Whereas Jericho was focused on the immediate aftermath of a massive nuclear attack, Revolution shows us what society might look like well over a decade after the fact and how it has adapted. In this case, it has reverted into an agrarian society divided into small communities. Weaponry is interesting too, with bows and arrows, crossbows, swords, and muskets having replaced all repeating firearms. Well, almost. One of the antagonists, Tom Neville, in the pilot is armed with a semi-automatic pistol, possibly a .45. Neville is a captain in the militia of the Monroe Republic, so only officers might be armed with them. I'd imagine it's because the capacity to manufacture ammo and parts for repeating firearms was lost in the worldwide blackout, so their use is limited to conserve both.

While I did like the pilot, there's one thing that nags me: the clothes. Revolution takes place fifteen years after everything goes to hell, yet the clothes everyone wears looks too new. Take for example, Charlie Mathason's (the female protagonist) clothes. They look like they came right off the rack. Even if her family and everyone else looted clothes from retail stores and rationed them to replace older clothes as they became torn and worn out, there's no way they would still look like fresh.

Another problem is the fact that three people set out to travel through a post-apocalyptic environment and only one of them brought a weapon - a weapon that takes several seconds and some effort to load. That is an absurdity. I'm also bothered by the fact that a decade and a half has passed on the show and the characters who appeared as adults at the very beginning have physically aged in all that time. Couldn't they have had their makeup artists add some wrinkles and gray hairs?

Revolution reminds me of another post-apocalyptic series, writer S.M. Stirling's Emberverse novels. In them, the world is plunged into the similar situation when a mysterious event robs the world not only of electricity, but also alters the laws of physics to wear things like gunpowder doesn't work as it should.

So yeah, I'm definitely going to add Revolution to my list of shows to watch and hope that NBC doesn't cancel it.

h/t Topless Robot.

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