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Revolution

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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I think a lot of you are missing the point. It wasnt about loosing electricity.
I was about loosing POWER.

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I love sci-fi tv. The problem with talking the talk is that you eventually have to walk the walk. I was grossly disappointed with this show.  NBC promised a lot with this plot & they surely bit off more than they could chew. Even a Steven Spielberg movie would struggle to deliver on such a juggernaut theme. Only the initial climactic scene with airplanes falling from the sky caught my attention. And that was it. As far as the developing plot, everything else felt rushed & poorly thought out. Nobody looked razzled or dirty enough, remarkably clean clothes (even sexy clothes on our protagonist), the suspicious absence of alternative electrical power source, and my favorite  - one man (functioning alcoholic) killing an entire militia squad - gimme a break! The final straw was the flashdrive scene, almost as if the people who created this watered down mess knew the whole execution was mediocre & decided to throw that in there so some viewers would return next week.  NBC should stick to what they know - Sitcoms, Dramas & leave this genre to those that know how to create great Sci-Fi & hold our attention.  I'll watch just 2 more episodes.Â

C-f-ohara

(Previous Comment Continued)
(shameless Tropic Thunder ref. sorry)if he is indeed that big of a drinker.
At least the computer from LOST got a new gig. I don't know if that was an intentional nod by J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot or not, but so far that is the only thing the two shows have in common. I am going to stay involved for a few more episodes though because I like the premise and am hoping the show finds its groove.

C-f-ohara

Nick I can't side with you here with regard to Giancarlo Esposito’s Tom. Maybe it's too soon for him to play another bad guy. As I watched the series premiere I found myself wondering why is Gus Fring riding a horse? I also thought the whole "I used to be an insurance adjuster" but now I apparently can tell the difference between male and female footprints and how long ago they were made. The whole doorway interrogation with Maria Howell's character Grace was way too reminiscent of the opening scene of Inglorious Basterds and Tom is no Hans Landa.
Did anyone else shake their head when Miles left that bottle of Scotch on the bar with what looked to be still a third of its contents remaining? Is he a drunk or not? He was planning to drink himself to death or at least listed it as an option. How about that sword fight? I haven't seen drunken skills like that since Indigo Montoya was "waiting for Vizzini." I'm not so sure Miles would venture out into the wild without his "jelly beans,"(shameless Tropic Thunder ref. sorry)if he is indeed that big of a drinker.
At least the computer from LOST got a new gig. I don't know if that was an intentional nod by J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot or not, but so far that is the only thing the two shows have in common. I am going to stay involved for a few more episodes though because I like the premise and am hoping the show finds its groove.

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As already mentioned there are too may issues with the creative consulting on this to give me reason to watch this garbage. Steam engines are all over this country with people who would and could get them back n the main lines. The weapon situation is ludicrous, given the number of guns ammo and such JJ is way off base with everything. This show feels rushed through production without any continuity effort at all. Bicycles where are the bicycles? Too much vegetation on everything after 15 years.
This is most likely the worst produced/ creative/ scifi fantasy show I have ever seen, and I watched Buck rogers...

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The cause of the electrical circuit damage in this series in all cars, computers, and utility companies is likely from a large EMP (electromagnetic pulse). Even with this, older cars with points instead of electronic distributors would still run. Also cars that were in valleys, subways, or shielded by mountains, and large dirt encumbrances may survive this pulse. It's highly unlikely every new car would be damaged given the uneven terrain and locations of vehicles. Newer vehicles could have their electronic distributers bypassed with older point types, and fuel injector replaced with older type carburetors and should run fine. This would be an industry in itself converting newer vehicles over. Also, the few vital pieces in the manufacture facilities that need to be made to replace burnt electronics to get all the machines back and running could be fabricated with available means by generating mfg plant electricity via fuel generators. Where is solar, or water power from rivers such as the Colorado river, and steam powered machines that create locomotion and electricity? The clothing that people wear is a bit too stylish for an impoverished people as this reminds me of Hunger Games. I can forgive them for this but lack of all electricity seems a bit much.

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yeah, somewhat entertaining but could use better actors...will give it a chance. If nothing else you could turn "spot the plot flaws" into a drinking game each episode, here's a few everyone seems to have missed: 1) The dad obviously knew people were coming after him so he decided to continue on for 15 years using his old name and then, when the people he feared showed up looking for him, he decided to confess to being the person they were looking for 2) At the end it appeared the device turned on technology in a limited radius...so where is the electricity in the light bulb coming from? the power stations don't work so nothing is coming down the lines...which wouldn't have been maintained for 15 years anyway. Same issue with the computer, it needs working infrastructure between itself and the person on the other end (although I might except that the secret people with power could still have some working satellites I guess) however finding her uncle wasn't a plot flaw, her dad told her which hotel he was in...and he was working as the bartender which would be the first logical person to ask...

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By the way, for those asking why the power went off, well that is obviously the big reveal that will take place at the end of a couple of seasons (I doubt this will last that long) or at the end of the show. You can just hear the Execs, we need another Lost, something that will keep everyone guessing and keep them tuning back in.

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OK, first all of the planes fall out of the sky in flat/inverted spins with their lights STILL ON!!!!! Ok it was only a few planes shown, but all spinning out of control.
Next, two young people are out sustenance hunting and the bow is strung on the girls back. If you are sustenance hunting YOU ARE HUNGRY, you have your bow ready and you don't explore things that can't help you get food.
The rest of it wasn't worth watching. I can see the meeting...OK, but can the lead be a young woman/girl and can she have a bow like ....
The rest is just more insulting TV. Learn from your mistakes or just keep recreating the same crap.

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I liked it, but I won't be so kind in my review. The narrative said its only been 15 years since the electricity turned off. So... 1. What happened to the military? Are we to believe they all turned into militia? Extremely lame. 2. What happened to all the guns? What they all just disappeared? There is no way they would have all been used in 15 years. And, why is everyone using flintlocks? There is no way this would happen in just 15 years. 50 years maybe, but no way 15 years. 3. Why do the swords look like bayonets? At a minimum they would have opted for a katana type weapon. 4. Where was the solar and/or wind power at the settlement? All of the above would have been commonly known at the time the electricity turned off. And, there is absolutely no chance that any of the above would/should not be present 15 years after the electricity turned off. J. J. Abrams should have consulted with Kevin Costner about his Postman movie and it would have made far more sense. The only way this show works is if you take a major leap from reality to get to the point where they started.

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.

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