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REVIEW: 'Revolution' Series Premiere - 'Pilot'

Revolution

 

From creator Eric Kripke and omnipresent executive producer JJ Abrams comes a new dramatic sci-fi/survivalist series entitled Revolution, premiering September 17 on NBC. For those who aren't familiar with the premise, imagine it's an average night at home: your kids are zoning out in front of the television while you're chatting or texting away on your cell phone or surfing the internet. Maybe you're listening to your iPod or going for a drive. Suddenly, everything stops working. Your house goes dark, all electrical devices shut off, your car screeches to a halt, and if you're unlucky enough to be in an airplane, you're about to die.

 

Revolution

This is the concept behind Revolution and it is established effectively from the beginning. The first couple of minutes convey the feeling of such a monumental event, as pilot director Jon Favreau—working from Kripke's script—goes out of his way to show how reliant our society is on technology. This is a bit heavy-handed, but it's not untrue or exaggerated by any means. The younger generation is seemingly born with a cell phone in hand and would be lost without technology. It would have been interesting to see teenagers reacting to the sudden absence of social media and how they would handle losing it, but surprisingly the show skips ahead 15 years to continue its story. However, the fast-forward works in Revolution's favor as we see how society has tried to rebuild itself.

 

Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), Maggie (Anna Lise Phillips), Aaron (Zak Orth)

In numerous movies, video games, and TV shows, we have seen society collapse and crumble amidst extraordinary circumstances. Massive climate change, meteors crashing from space, nuclear warfare, worldwide pandemic, plagues of flesh-eating zombies - we've seen them all wreak havoc on this little blue planet we call home. Much like the short-lived CBS post-apocalyptic drama Jericho, Revolution would rather focus on how the human race evolved in the years following the disaster. But unlike Jericho, Revolution is grittier and more realistic, not afraid to spill some blood and get a little nasty. There is a near-rape attempt foiled by poisoned whiskey that ends with the would-be rapists spitting up blood, and the two main battle scenes are surprisingly violent for network television. While there is a focus on family, it isn't of the "Hallmark Movie of the Week" variety that Jericho often depicted. Having lost both parents and seeing her brother taken prisoner by the militia, Charlotte "Charlie" Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos) tracks down an uncle she has never met to help rescue her brother, but also because she is desperate for family and a reason to keep going.

 

Revolution: Wrigley Field

The small "villages" of people living in their old neighborhoods, swordfights and crossbows factoring heavily in combat, and the overarching Republic government that collects taxes and controls its own militia gives Revolution a neo-medieval flavor, reminiscent of HBO's Game of Thrones. The survivalist aspect of the show is handled well in the pilot episode, reminding me of the atmosphere of AMC's The Walking Dead, just without any zombies. The human drama is the heart of the show, and seeing Charlie's collection of postcards from the "old world" and the flashbacks of her last tub of ice cream as a kid makes you think of the things you'd miss. In addition, there's enough mystery surrounding the cause of the blackout and the flashdrives that can apparently restore electricity to keep viewers plugged in to find out the answers. The premiere episode of Revolution is a rare case of a program that lives up to the hype.

FINAL GRADE: B+

 

Revolution

 


Details
Person:
- Jon Favreau
- Eric Kripke
- J.J. Abrams
Show:
- Revolution (2012)
Network:
- NBC

Written by: Chrononaut
Sep 17th, 2012, 12:56 pm

Massaro

Message Posted On Sep 18th, 2012, 11:44 am
I haven’t dived into my Hopper’s recording of this show yet, but I don’t see how this plot could be bad. I’ve been trying to catch up on all of my Primetime Anytime recordings that include new series’ premieres, and I’ve been disappointed by a few. I have a feeling that Revolution may be good considering that a few of the TV-gurus I work with at DISH tell me that with Abrams behind this, it’s going to be impossible to fail. I can’t help but agree with Aqua Man that NBC can be cancel-happy, but if this can make it through one season without laying on the chopping block then it may be around for a while.
Chrononaut

Level 3 (9%)
Points: 1.5
Since: 02/Aug/12
Message Posted On Sep 18th, 2012, 2:37 am

Aqua Man gets it. Onymous, are you seriously complaining that a primetime network show isn't as gritty as an R-rated feature film? Did you just start watching TV yesterday?

Aqua Man

Message Posted On Sep 18th, 2012, 2:29 am
To balance out all this negativity in the two comments so far, I actually quite liked the show. It was fun, and had an intriguing plot. Not sure it will last on cancel-happy NBC, but it's worth watching. And I love how the other comments whine about the casting of beautiful people in TV shows, as if it's somehow new.
Anonymous

Message Posted On Sep 18th, 2012, 1:40 am
Maybe Revolution might be able to pull a rabbit or two out of the hat, but the name sinks and the plot looks like it sucks. Be there and done that. Foils a rape attempt by poisoned wine, really now. Chances are under those extreme circumstances the rape would have happened. I might have to agree with the above statements without even seeing the pilot. Also I agree that theres nothing real about always placing the pretty girl as the lead. What happened to the real girls next door. I wont be rushing to watch this. This is Something I'll waste time with when I've watched everything else and Im so bored I just cant say no.
Onymous

Message Posted On Sep 17th, 2012, 9:45 pm
So this show is realistic and gritty ? Are you fucking kidding me ?! You know what's realistic ? 2009 The Road. Now that's reality. Not incredibly beautiful actress in model clothes. Every time you see her, your eyes hurt. Or the guy with a bow. Deep V-cut shirt that's like new and fits him like a glove. 15 years, ha ? Well that's just fucking stupid. And overweight google nerd with bees allergy wouldn't survive even a week in that world. Or the guy with asthma. Terra-nova was equally as dumb and family-friendly. I just want to see this one family, that watches all that crap and orders new.
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