Revolution

Wednesdays 8:00 PM on NBC
Revolution
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Revolution Review: A Powerful Premiere?

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There was mostly good on the Revolution pilot for me, and only some bad.

Let's get the latter out of the way first: I had a big problem with what is and isn’t working (keep reading for my snarky comments at the end) in relation to technology.

Now, obviously, some technology is going to be used as a plot device because Ben knew this was going to all go down, and, therefore, the algebra teacher’s super special flash drive and ability to boot up her computer didn’t bother me.

Revolution Premiere Picture

However, the narration in the beginning said that modern medicine isn’t really working without technology... so is Danny just benefiting from a left over inhaler because it doesn’t require a plug, merely a pump action?

The good news is for all of the minor quibbles I have over the technology, I never really dwelled on it. I was far more focused on getting to know the characters.

Beginning with the Matheson family: I can’t really say Charlie and Danny are exceptionally deep individuals at this point (but they are pretty, so there’s that), but I do enjoy the bond they share. Charlie is willing to quickly move on after watching her father (maybe) bleed to death to rescue Danny from the militia and keep her family intact.

Charlie doesn’t have the luxury of grieving for very long over anything. The only time we ever see her really show those emotions is when she’s at The Grand with Miles. Her predicament is undesirable, to say the least.

Speaking of Miles, Charlie has to quickly replenish her increasingly diminishing blood relatives to save Danny. Enter Uncle Miles as a not-so-willing participant. Miles is just the type of character to lead the Merry Misfits and the show. His past in the military provide a direct link to the Militia’s leader, Monroe, but he still manages to be incredibly relatable.

If I were in his shoes I, too, would prefer to drink myself to death and stay under the radar if possible, but now that the Militia has found him alive he only has two choices really: hunt or be hunted.

But, for me, the best character is Giancarlo Esposito’s Tom. Just like Breaking Bad’s Gus, Tom has that strong foundation Esposito can project so well. Hr knows when to intimidate and when to use force. There’s also a murky middle to him that makes his character cold and ruthless while simultaneously possessing a set of rules and boundaries.

As for the rest of the characters, Aaron, the guy who worked for Google, will likely come handy at some point, but right now he’s just boring; Nate is trying far too hard at being a Hunger Games participant – should he rebel against the capital or just ruthlessly kill all the Tributes?

Monroe himself has potential. I certainly like what David Lyons was able accomplish with the mediocrity of The Cape. Finally, I’m a huge fan of Elizabeth Mitchell and will gladly watch anything she does.

Finally, we’ll end where we started: with technology. The algebra teacher, Grace, leads me to developing a theory. I’m going to guess Ben, and maybe Miles, are part of a group that has the answer to turning everything back on. Miles alluded to as much during his talk with Charlie:

Charlie: Why did Monroe want my Dad? Why does he want you?
Miles: Monroe thinks your dad knew something, something important, and he thinks your Dad told me so I must know it too.
Charlie: What?
Miles: Why the lights went out maybe how to turn them back on. | permalink

However, the characters need a plan a course of action before turning everything back on since the Militias would probably prefer to use technology to start wars versus restarting humanity. The super secret flash drive has the ability to turn electronics on. The damage potential it has is far reaching. The Militia can literally turn all weapons of war back on.

Random Thoughts:

  • The re-emergence of nature is just so amazing. It’s sometimes hard to imagine how much we’ve shaped the world in our image and to watch nature take that back is powerful.
  • New ingenious uses of cars: Flower pots, the cart for a horse and postcard storage.
  • I keep expecting Florence and The Machine to begin playing in the background.
  • This technology thing is getting confusing; as long as someone reloads his musket with a rammer we’re all good? Or are they using them to shoot arrows? So, we’re at Pirates of the Caribbean levels of technology?
  • Should have brought the scotch with you Miles.
  • Did the world’s lack of technology bring about a closeout Henley sale?
  • I was slightly disappointed 4 8 15 16 23 and 42 weren’t used to boot up the computer.

What did you think? Grade the Revolution premiere now:

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.2 / 5.0 (194 Votes)

Nick McHatton is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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And seriously if the writer of this article liked this show he must be getting paid by NBC..Or really doesn't know the difference between dreck and quality. and this show is not quality.

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Alfi hit it on the head. The planes spiraling out of the sky was pretty cool. The rest of the show was one big snooze. Every single word of dialogue was so formulaic I practically was able to mouth the words along with the actors. The scenario of the US breaking down into fiefdoms is SOOOOO over done in post apocalyptic books, movies etc it is not funny. And all of that over emoting about it is all about family about made me puke. The lack of credibility of many of the details was just horrendous - Remember you last bite of ice cream because you won't see it again? Really? Hand churns were around a lot longer than mass produced ice cream. No power? Steam and water power have been around centuries longer than electricity. The first scene made me want to just bitch slap mom. One kid glued to the TV. Instead of turning it off and making her talk to grandma, she just lets the kid vegetate. Toddler is immersed in what looks to be an IPAD or some such. Mom is on the phone AND the puter at the same time. Yes I know the point they were trying to make but what a horrible parenting moment. And what is with the clothes? The kids in the village are in what looks like homespun but the older kids and adults are in form fitting leather pants and middy shirts etc. Really? The stores all burn down? What's with the powder loading muskets? Seriously they would all be museum pieces. And I guess uncle dearest taught himself to be a ninja warrior in 15 years? That was the most ridiculous fight scene I have seen outside of a badly dubbed kung fu movie. Come on JJ..you can do so much better than this tripe. Sci-Fi, which is what this is, has to be believable to work and this is not. And have that protaganist stop over emoting with her big mouth.

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Come on, you can use steam to replace land vehicles (steam trains, steam boats - plenty still around), sailing ships, horse drawn canal boats to move freight. Air ships (hot air or gas) can replace aeroplanes maybe with steam powered props. Even computers could be replaced by mechanical equivalents (babbage machine)

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How did Monroe have ice?

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Overall, I like it, but there are a couple of "plot holes:" 1. If the loss of electricity world-wide was because the electrons or electrical impulses stopped "flowing," then why didn't all the people die? After all, our bodies depend upon bio-electrical functions in the brain, heart, etc. Perhaps, as the mystery unfolds, we'll find out why it affected only mechanical devices that depend upon electricity. 2. Semi-automatic and automatic firearms don't depend upon electricity (note the militia leader using his semi-automatic 45 cal sidearm to quell the mini-uprising in the village. Also, steam, wind, and water powered machine tools (even horse-powered) were used in the 19th century to manufacture such weapons. Even the bolt-action rifle was invented back in the late 1880s (the Mauser), so this sudden drop back to muzzle-loading muskets seemed a bit ridiculous. Ammo might be tougher to manufacture without electricity, but even in the mid to late 1800s, before wide-spread use of electricity evolved, metal rifle cartridges existed and were plentiful. Guess what, they had trains, too, for transporting people and raw materials back before electrictry, haven't seen any yet on the show! So, overall, I think the program over-stated the level of technology the world would fall back to (what's next, the Bronze Age?), which was a bit annoying, but I guess that's "dramatic license," as they say! LJF

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Ok the tech thing is an issue I will agree, it did occur to me that some of the cars and machines could be made to work without electricity. I am going on the assumption its some sort of nano tech which is inhibiting the use of electrical devices. This would also make the pendant thing very much more plausible as it would disable the nano tech in a limited radius and the computer could have been running off a car battery or something.

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@Tisha maybe the blackout effects more than just electricity, such as combustion engines etc (although how I don't know since they run on a fairly basic principle). However the difference between a musket and a modern rifle isn't really very big. Both ignite a small explosion to propel a projectile. The only real difference is in how the explosion is started....and even then its not a huge difference really. I just cannot see how you can fiddle with physics and kill off modern guns but leave muskets. My best guess is that muskets are easier to maintain and replace...the components required for a more modern gun are smaller and more precise (I imagine anyway)...so perhaps modern weapons have become rare due to maintainence issues. Anyway, I will just go with it for now as I prefer bows and swords anyway.

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The pilot episode has my husband & I hooked, which is a rarity with a brand new show. It has some very good characters, and the storyline so far is fine with me. I hope that we see more of the past, in what happened in the early stages of the black out. Great sets, can hardly wait to see episode 2.

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I so very much wanted to like this show and was sadly dissappointed - the cheese factor was just to great. The little girls gets to eat 3 tubs of ice cream and "remember" the taste - gag. Girl with arrows - hello Hunger Games. The militia coming around the corner in the village reminded me of Planet of Apes - at least the leader's mouth moved. Chubby guy with black hair is behind girlfriend of dying dad and couldn't care less (watch). The next time we see him he is determined to go out of a sense of duty and off they go like a bunch of hobits. Is this guy the replacement for the fat guy from Lost and Alcatraz? "What's Your name buff guy?" Chad was it? "I'm Charlie" - gag. Dramatic music - uh. Did I see militia using powder rifles - WTF? Mister killer brother taking out 300 guys with his sword - I can't stand it. Four hundred mysteries and plot twists in the first show? It took Lost many episodes to get to the same point. I quit watching that as how many twists can you stand? Mystery memory sticks - who cares anymore......... Anybody else keep thinking zombies would appear?

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There have been a lot of post-apocalyptic TV series in recent years, for example the Walking Dead, Jericho, and Battlestar Galactica. I don't think this can truly live up to them. The dialogue is poor, and the whole concept is not well-thought out. Also, I find the whole concept of the United States descending into the Dark Ages in 15 years quite frustrating. Both a reverence for democratic government AND the transcontinental United States existed before electrical technology. I don't see why Americans would suddenly fracture into tiny splinter republics in 15 years. Maybe in 200 years, but not in 15. And I also agree with someone who mentioned steam technology. That isn't hard to figure out. I think it is more likely that the U.S. would return to the 1800s and not the 500s.

Revolution Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

80 million dollars in the bank and I would trade it all, right now, for a roll of Charmin.

Aaron

Tom: To tell you the truth, when General Monroe finds out, he's gonna be irate and he might even have my head.
Danny: Let's hope.